An air conditioning system developed by a team at MIT’s Senseable City Lab is activated by occupancy. The Cloud Cast system works via aluminum rods that are fitted with sensors into the ceiling. When the ultrasonic sensors detect the presence of people by interpreting the echoes from high-frequency sound waves, they activate a cool mist.
Misters are common cooling mechanisms for outdoor patios and walkways in hot climates. But the innovative aspect of the Cloud Cast is that it focuses on misting people, and doesn’t waste energy when a space is unoccupied.
A ceiling-mounted installation by Italian architect Carlo Ratti, who is also director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, was displayed in Dubai recently. It uses motion tracking to direct personalized clouds of mist at anyone walking beneath.