You might be familiar with the feeling that a dark rain cloud is following you around. But here's a happy twist to that old trope: A designer has invented a misting technology that can track you as you walk around, cooling you with your own personal mist cloud, reports Dezeen.

The technology, called "Cloud Cast" and designed by Carlo Ratti, is a perfect solution for hot summers or for strolling around in desert cities like Dubai, Las Vegas or Phoenix. It offers an energy-efficient way to cool the air, and since it only provides mist where there are people underneath, the system doesn't waste water.

"Evaporative cooling has been used for centuries in the Arabic peninsula and is still more energy efficient than, say, air conditioning," said Ratti, who is director of MIT's SENSEable City Lab. "It is based on generating a cloud of mist that cools the air around it while it evaporates."

Cloud Cast is made up of an array of thin aluminum rods that hang from a ceiling. What really makes this system revolutionary, however, are the ultrasonic sensors inside the rods that beam sound waves that can detect any human-shaped objects passing underneath. When such an object is pinpointed, a mist cloud is delivered to that location. Since the system can track and anticipate motion, the cloud will follow you as you move about.

Better yet, the smart technology ensures that mist is only generated where it is needed, so it doesn't waste water or energy misting whole rooms or open spaces like conventional misting devices do. 

"In traditional systems...a lot of energy and water are consumed for cooling outdoor spaces, even when sparsely used," Ratti explained. "In our project, we focus misting on people, gaining order of magnitudes in efficiency."

Cloud Cast was recently unveiled in Dubai, where summer temperatures can average over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a lot of energy is required to keep spaces cool. 

"We envision the city of the future to be a place designed for people, giving them a chance to actually shape their environment and to fully experience their everyday lives and interactions," said project manager Emma Greer, from Carlo Ratti Associati.

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Bryan Nelson ( @@brynelson ) writes about everything from environmental problems here on Earth to big questions in space.

Designer invents 'cloud' that follows you around, keeps you cool
Everyone can have their own personal cloud of mist, thanks to designer Carlo Ratti.