Fort Worth, TX – MIT’s Senseable City Lab, created a heating system and an air conditioning system that targets the exact space that someone is standing in and it follows you around. The thought process behind each of these systems is straightforward and simple. Why waste energy heating and cooling an entire home or office building when you can specifically target the area people are in?
The heating system was installed as a prototype in Venis, Italy IN 2014. It makes usage of servo motors, infrared lamps, and motion tracking. When people are standing in the area where the system is it directs rays of heat towards to the people via a series of mirrors and the infrared lamps. If any of this sounds slightly familiar to you then you may have heard of recent HVAC systems that already do something like this. Albeit the recently released HVAC systems do not specific target individuals they target the rooms individuals are in.
The Immediate Future for this HVAC System?
As the technology to achieve individual targeting may be here, economically at this time it does not make much sense. The system requires many components in order to work and as you can imagine in an average sized three-bedroom home it would require at least fifty tracking mechanisms. Currently, it is much more economical to target rooms to condition rather than micro-targeting individual space.
The air conditioning system is composed of an array of thin aluminum rods that are installed on the ceiling. These aluminum rods contain ultrasonic sensors that can specifically locate the speed, and location of a person. The system precisely measures the interval of time between sending the signal and receiving the echo to determine the distance to the floor as well as the speed and trajectory of the person. Depending on your location in the area and speed at which you are moving, a nebulizing mist will be sprayed in your direction.
Will we be seeing this type of HVAC system in the immediate future? More than likely not, as the costs to produce such a system does not align with the current economical costs of existing systems. If production costs for the parts needed to design such a system go down in pricing or the pricing to build existing systems go up in pricing, then we may see a system like this in the near future. For now, these type of HVAC systems are simply proof of concept.
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