REheat – Graduate ThesisBranding, Design Strategy, Product Design, Service Design
The problem of individual temperature comfort everywhere affects people all over the world. REheat is a suite of products that create mobile individualized microclimates to facilitate environmental temperature comfort anywhere, anytime.
In my day-to-day life, I observed unnecessary heat losses and gains over and over again in different environments, age groups, times of the day, times of the year, and locations in the world. I observed family members opening windows during the winter, and then consuming more energy to reverse a room’s temperature back when it became too cold. The current one-temperature-fits-all approach that exists in all of the spaces in the modern world forces us to sit in discomfort and waste energy in our homes and from our bodies. I saw a clear design and engineering opportunity when no functional solution was found to exist that regulates and maintains the body temperature of individuals in a way that is connected with human needs and that reuses lost human resources.
Using modern materials REheat stores and re-emits your own body heat when you need it, and allows you to monitor your temperature with unobtrusive visuals.
Two products were created: an undergarment or patch for women and an app that gives the user a visualization of the product working and allows the user to manual-override.
With a temperature sensor imbedded in the undergarment and patch system, the application allows users to set their own ideal temperature within the optimal range. Based on this temperature, the suit automatically adjusts for optimal comfort, and it gives information feedback to the user. Interviewing quadriplegics and researching the effects of their injury demonstrated the importance of visual feedback and manual override control of the suit’s temperature.
The products on the market that work to heat and cool individuals all were focused on extreme applications. I saw the opportunity to create a product focused on the everyday. REheat gives added comfort anywhere, anytime, in any temperature without the user always having to over-prepare. With REheat you are actually recycling your own body heat and energy. This system can considerably reduce energy consumption (possible 5% to 15% reduction of HVAC system use) due to heating and cooling. With a back up power source and comfort testing, it works better than existing wearables and existing central HVAC systems. REheat does not require any significant lifestyle changes, and gives visual feedback about how the suit is being powered. It also works automatically to adjust to an optimal temperature and enables a manually override of the temperature settings, unlike both HVAC systems and existing wearable heating and cooling garments.