We all are accustomed to a particular temperature at which we are comfortable, isn’t that so? So when the climate gets harsh, what do we do? We either employ the use of a heater or an air conditioner to bring the temperature down or up respectively. However, have you ever noticed that the conventional method of cooling or heating a room consumes a lot of energy? Why do you need to heat up or cool down an entire area when it is only you who is feeling cold or hot? Realizing this glitch in the methodology, MIT has come up with a rather improved and efficient method of warming individuals who are present in a room by employing motion detecting spotlights.
The approach has been put forward by MIT’s Senseable City Lab which also came up high-tech bus stops, flying 3D displays and the GPS robot heads. The concept is known as Local Warming and comprises of an assembly of panels which have big infrared heat lamps incorporated into them in the ceiling. By making use of Wi-Fi, the lamps are capable of operating in conjunction with the motion detection system. This allows the lamps to ascertain if someone is in the room and where exactly is the person(s). Once the presence and position is confirmed, the lamp turns on and by relying on a series of motors and mirrors, aims at the person and heats him up directly whereas the rest of the room remains more or less at the same temperature.
The prototype as of now is quite bulky and therefore commercial use is limited, however, the MIT team is hopeful that by incorporating smaller LEDs into the current installation, it will be simplified and shall also rid the system of the need to rotate when it has to follow a person, which translates into increased efficiency for the system.
The system is designed for areas where only few individuals shall be working; if you are looking at a room that is crowded, then the traditional heating system will be more efficient of course. According to MIT, however, a room with only two personals heated by Local Warming resulted in energy consumption saving of above 90%. The team also has plans for implementing this idea when it comes to cooling down people. The Local Warming is on display at the 14th Venice Architecture Bieannale and shall be there until November.