The office chair with a thermostat

personal comfort systems chair

The office is never the right temperature. Too hot? Too cold? How do you keep everyone happy?

The Center for the Built Environment -- a research collaboration with UC Berkeley -- came up with a solution: Make everyone's office chair a personal heating and cooling system.

The chairs can reduce energy consumption by as much 60% and are a low-power alternative to keeping the entire space at a "room temperature" that not everyone agrees on. (It runs on a battery that's recharged about twice a week.)

A prototype of the chair was showed off at the ARPA-E conference, but Personal Comfort Systems has a license to produce a commercially available version, David Lehrer at CBE said.

It was previously manufactured by Tempronics and retailed for about $1,000, according to the company.

First published March 9, 2016: 10:25 AM ET

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