Qarnot's smart space heater has learned some new tricks

The Q.Rad heater now acts as a WiFi hotspot, wireless charger and air-quality monitor.

Anybody with a desktop tower (or a laptop running Chrome) knows how much waste heat processors can throw off during the course of their computing. Typically that heat is simply discarded, shunted from the processor's surface through a complex series of tubes and sinks. But French startup Qarnot has a better idea: Use that energy to heat your home.

At CES today, the company showed off its latest iteration of the Q.Rad, a home heater that generates its warmth from the heat created by an array of CPUs located within it. In fact, since 2014, more than 100 French households have been heated by Q.Rads, whose CPUs are remotely crunching data for a variety of companies. The houses stay warm –- without the need for heating oil, natch -- and the companies have access to a distributed network of processing power. It's a win-win for consumers and businesses alike -- not to mention the environment.

The new version shown off this year offers a host of new and connected features. Each Q.Rad now serves as a WiFi hotspot, monitors indoor air quality, wirelessly charges phones and even serves as an informal security system by notifying the owner when it senses movement in the room. The heater is also compliant with both the Nest and HomeKit ecosystems.

Best of all, the rent that companies pay to use the processors fully covers the system's operating expenses, so homeowners don't pay a dime. They simply have to replace the units every five years or so when the processors go out of date. Currently the systems are only available for public and private institutions rather than individual homeowners.

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