Heating And Cooling People Instead Of Buildings

By using infrared beams of warmth to target people as they walk through an open space, MIT scientists are challenging conventional thinking about indoor climate control. 

What's the Latest Development?


Earlier this year, scientists at MIT's Senseable City Lab performed an experiment in which they installed three infrared beams at the university's main entrance -- a large open space -- and, with the help of cameras and sensors, used them to target and deliver warmth to individuals as they walked through the space. It was part of an ongoing project, "Local Warming," that, according to Senseable director Carlo Ratti, asks the question: "Can we use technology in order to put the energy where the people are?"

What's the Big Idea?

A significant amount of energy in the US goes towards heating and cooling buildings, and it's often done on a larger scale than may be necessary. The Nest smart thermostat represents the kind of personalized climate control technology that Ratti and his colleagues want to see deployed in larger spaces. They say that doing so could save up to 50 percent of the energy currently used for whole-site heating and cooling. The project is an early first step, and there are lots of challenges to overcome -- such as targeted cooling -- but, says Ratti, "What we’re trying to do...is explore different futures."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic Cities

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less