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Understanding adaptive thermal comfort: new directions for Ubicomp

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsPaper


Publication date2013
Host publicationUbiComp '13 Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international joint conference on Pervasive and ubiquitous computing
Place of publicationNew York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450317702
Original languageEnglish


In many parts of the world, mechanical heating and cooling is used to regulate indoor climates, with the aim of maintaining a uniform temperature. Achieving this is energy-intensive, since large indoor spaces must be constantly heated or cooled, and the difference to the outdoor temperature is large. This paper starts from the premise that comfort is not delivered to us by the indoor environment, but is instead something that is pursued as a normal part of daily life, through a variety of means. Based on a detailed study of four university students over several months, we explore how Ubicomp technologies can help create a more sustainable reality where people are more active in pursuing and maintaining their thermal comfort, and environments are less tightly controlled and less energy-intensive, and we outline areas for future research in this domain.