What if you could heat your room using just your walls? That’s the idea behind a new piece of tech created by The Warming Surfaces Company. The Finnish startup has created a paper-thin warming film that can fit inside of walls and furniture, allowing it to heat the room using energy-efficient methods.
The film has been in the works in one way or another for the past two decades. The project, which is called Halia, was spun out of research performed at Finland’s VTT, a government-owned R&D center, Fast Company reports. A few years ago, though, the Finnish military approached the researchers and began asking for help creating military decoys that can heat up large surfaces to fool attackers.
As the team worked on that design, though, they realized that a paper-thin warming film could also be extremely useful for heating homes and offices. And so, the startup began fitting the film into furniture and interior surface materials. The film uses a very low-voltage heating element, which can be embedded in almost any material, including fabric, the researchers claim.
Additionally, because the heater film rests across such a large area, the startup says that it is capable of heating an area almost immediately, making it extremely useful for heating rooms as needed. Further, the folks behind the tech say that it could be combined with sensors, allowing the system to turn on when someone enters the room, making it comfortable very quickly.
“It’s really a fast response,” Jani-Mikael Kuusisto, cofounder of the startup, explained to Fast Company. “It’s not immediate, like lighting, but we’re talking tens of seconds to reach your desired temperature,” Kuusisto explained. Not only does this help save energy from being used to heat rooms you aren’t in, but it allows you to still be comfortable while saving that energy by only using it when you’re in the same room.
We’ve seen some really amazing breakthroughs in tech like this over the past couple of years, including some breakthroughs in how solar panels are designed, with some even working on solar panels that work at night, to gather solar energy even when the sun isn’t out. This new warming film is yet another amazing push forward for tech that could lead to some really big things in the future.