Personal Cloud or cloud cast
Professor Carlo Ratti, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSE able City Lab, and his team at MIT developed a new cooling technology referred to as the Personal Cloud or Cloud Cast.
According to a press release, this system uses motion-tracking to provide people with a cloud of direct and localized cooling air. “In the Cloud Cast installation, ultrasonic sensors embedded in the suspended canopy structure detect passersby interpreting the echoes from high-frequency sound waves,” said Ratti.
According to Ratti, the device measures the time interval between a sent signal and the echo of receiving it again and uses that information to properly determine where a person is and how much space they are taking up.
The effect is that of a responsive mist cloud activated by each passer-by,” he said.
One of the goals of this product is to increase efficiency by emitting cooling only when there are actually people in the area to use it. That can allow businesses to save energy, which also saves money, by only using the required amount of energy to keep people comfortable.
“In some cases, our calculations show you could reduce energy consumption by 90 percent,” Ratti said.
Cloud Cast was designed to be implemented in hot, arid climates where the temperatures during the summer months discourage people from going to places that do not have some sort of temperature control.
“The system would work less well in hot, humid climates, think for instance of tropical locations, as the higher humidity in the air makes evaporative cooling less efficient,” Ratti said.