New Air Conditioner Cares Postures, Body Part Temperatures of People
Mitsubishi Electric Corp released the "Z Series" of its "Kirigamine" room air conditioners.
Mitsubishi Electric improved comfort by using a high-resolution infrared sensor to determine people's postures and body parts. Also, the company remodeled the outdoor unit of the air conditioners by, for example, employing a new-type inverter and reducing power consumption.
There is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, but the retail price of the Z series is expected to be ¥218,000-368,000 (approx US$2,207-3,725). It will be released in November 2013.
The comfort of the air conditioners was improved by using the "Move Eye Kiwami" infrared sensor and "Takumi Flap", which independently controls six flaps.
The infrared sensor has a vertical pixel count of 3,008. It is four times the vertical pixel count of the "Move Eye," the infrared sensor used in Mitsubishi Electric's previous air conditioners. As a result, it became possible to determine the body parts of people in the room such as heads, arms and legs and measure their temperatures in increments of 0.1°C.
The Takumi Flap is a technology to independently control six flaps: 2 x 2 large horizontal flaps and embedded right and left vertical flaps. It can generate 34.3 billion patterns of airflows, enabling to, for example, send warm air to a specific point or low-speed cool air to a wide area.
Those new technologies enabled fine control of cooling and heating operations. In general, when an air conditioner is used for heating, the temperature of a human head, which is located in a high place, tends to be higher than that of feet.
When the Z series finds that the temperature of feet is lower after measuring it with the infrared sensor, it blows warm air to the feet. When there are two people in the room and the feet of one person are cooler, it is possible to blow warm air only to the cooler feet.
On the other hand, when an air conditioner is used for cooling and cool air is focused on part of a human body, it causes discomfort. Therefore, the Z series first determines the posture of a person (e.g. whether the person is standing, lying or sitting) and, then, controls airflow so that the entire body evenly receives cool air.