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STTR Phase II: Connected low-power wearable technology that provides personalized thermal comfort in offices

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1831178
Agency Tracking Number: 1831178
Amount: $749,995.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: I
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-08-31
Small Business Information
285 Washington ST, Ste C
Somerville, MA 02143
United States
DUNS: 079938987
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Smith
 (413) 218-0629
 matt@embrlabs.com
Business Contact
 Matthew Smith
Phone: (413) 218-0629
Email: matt@embrlabs.com
Research Institution
 University of California-Berkeley
 Hui Zhang
 
2200 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

 Nonprofit College or University
Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project is to make significant contributions to the future of thermal environmental conditioning in buildings throughout the world. The connected, low power, wearable personal comfort systems can provide relief for the thermally-underserved of America's workforce (who are disproportionately female or part of the aging population), thereby improving their workplace wellbeing, satisfaction, and productivity. The personal comfort system could increase worker productivity by 2-3%, unlocking $17B economic output that is currently lost due to thermal discomfort in the United States, and could reduce the cost of space heating/cooling buildings by 20-30% when integrated into smart building systems. As roughly 10% of the world's energy is spent heating and cooling the interiors of commercial buildings, this technology can make an impactful contribution to the preservation of our planet and the wellbeing of future generations. The proposed project will support the development and demonstration of a connected, low-power wearable personal comfort system that provides personalized thermal comfort to building occupants. Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors, buildings are responsible for about 40% of our total energy consumption, and yet over 40% of people in office buildings are dissatisfied with their thermal environments. The proposed project has the potential to correct this imbalance, improving occupant comfort and productivity while reducing the energy consumed by buildings. In Phase I, we demonstrated a connected, wearable personal comfort system that can improve the perceived environmental temperature by over +/-6 degF using only 1-2 W of power. In order to harness this enormous technological potential, this Phase II R&D will address remaining technical challenges around ergonomics and thermal management, intensively validate the efficacy of the devices in a laboratory setting, and culminate in deploying this technology in smart buildings and quantifying the effect on both the building and the building occupants. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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