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The Q.rad warms your home with microprocessor waste heat

It's equal parts smart heater and network server.

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Microprocessors generate a surprising amount of heat during the course of their number crunchings -- especially when you cram a slew of them together in a modern data center. While major tech companies like Google, Facebook and eBay have long reclaimed that waste heat for other uses, French startup Quarnot is now bringing those recycled benefits to consumers. The company showed off its Q.rad home heater on Monday at CES Unveiled. The Q.rad harnesses the waste heat generated by its onboard microprocessors to warm your house.

So, say you are mining bitcoin. Or rendering 3D images, anything that requires a bunch of processing power really. By running the operation through Quarnot's device, the hot byproduct can now be utilized to keep you toasty warm during the winter months. That's not to say this is simply a fancy digital radiator, of course. The Q.rad system runs as part of a cloud computing architecture which distributes the computing load across multiple heaters. That way you can still heat your home even if you don't have data to process. Plus, the electricity that the heater consumes to power the processors is metered and refunded to the user monthly. And, like every smart home device on the market, this heater can be controlled with your smartphone.

Andrew Tarantola has lived in San Francisco since 1982 and has been writing clever things about technology since 2011. When not arguing the finer points of portable vaporizers, flat screen TVs, and military defense systems with strangers on the Internet, he enjoys tooling around his garden, knitting, and binge watching anime.
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