As lockdown restrictions lift, COVID-19 is changing how we use indoor spaces, challenging those who manage these spaces, from homes to offices to factories. One of the biggest challenges concerns heating and cooling.
In response to the need for smart, more flexible climate control to keep people comfortable without heating and cooling entire empty buildings, researchers from the University of Michigan have developed the Human Embodied Autonomous Thermostat (“HEAT”). HEAT is designed to provide more efficient, more personalized comfort.
The system uses thermal cameras with three dimensional video cameras to measure whether occupants are hot or cold by tracking their facial temperature. This data is fed to a predictive model, comparing it with information about the occupants’ thermal preferences.
The research group has conducted a pilot study in partnership with the U-M school of nursing to explore how the system can be used in healthcare environments.