If you have ever worked in a business office, you have experienced the building vs. people comfort war. Some building management companies decide to turn off the air processing equipment on nights and weekends. You will be guaranteed a very uncomfortable worker in a short time if you have to endure this for too long.
If you have shared a set of cubicles with others, you may have become proficient in surreptitiously nudged the climate control up or down to suit your comfort level while others wondered why the temperature had shifted out of their comfort zone. Hard walled offices that share the same heating or cooling zone suffer the same problems when the office that has the thermostat also has an occupant with unusual climate needs.
Well, a company has come up with an application that solves all of these problems. They don’t send out a hypnotist or a psychoanalyst, but they do employ various tricks that fool even the most finicky of officemates.
First, they give everyone the capability to request a change in temperature from their smartphone through an app that communicates with their computer software. The software behind the curtain analyzes what people are requesting and calculates the ideal environment that satisfies the most people, while taking into consideration of environmental changes, the cost of energy and other building needs.
The first psychological trick they use is immediate feedback to the users. When a request is made, the system reacts by turning on the blower with a temperature determined by the software analysis. Since the person who made the request hears or sees (probably through streamers attached to the vents) the system react and their brain registers the difference and becomes satisfied. Several minutes later, the system slowly returns to the optimal temperature while the requestor is distracted.
The second tool the system uses is peer pressure. Everyone in your air management zone can see all the requests the members of the group makes. Peer pressure is a powerful tool when it comes to cooperation within a group.
Building Robotics Has developed the software called Comfy that learns the individuals’ needs while blending it with what is necessary for saving energy and eliminating wasteful practices. They have a control box that plugs into the network for the building control system. They have just received $1.14 million in venture capital and have their system in a few companies for testing. Visit the Comfy web page to find out more about this product to control your energy costs while keeping the people happy – at least happy about the temperature.