Amerigon (ARGN) is a leading provider of a new fan-based thermoelectronic system for heating seats in automobiles. It has been growing primarily through General Motors (GM), but its technology is being rapidly taken up by other manufactures. Their heated/cooled seats are getting design wins and better placement in the packages of upgrades.
The traditional thermoelectronic system works to convert electricity into heat, the air is heated and subsequently heats the seat and the area around it. It is what's know as a passive process. This is in stark contrast to conventional seat heaters where a cooler gets hot and anything touching it will heat up as well. This is an active method.
In reverse, Amerigon can take heat and convert it into electricity. The major funding from the Department of Energy involves capturing heat from the autocatalytic converter in the exhaust system and converting that heat into electricity to run the car. This has profound implications for the amount of energy a typical car will use.
The technology is being experimented with in personal space heaters. It works faster and allows better temperature controls than conventional methods and is far less likely to result in heat damage or a fire.
Herman Miller (MLHR) will be utilizing the technology to make space heaters. The thermoelectronic processes can turn electricity into heat and passively heat a space. The initial trials were 'only' twice as good as classic heaters, but with new components they are touted as being up to four times as efficient.
Ford's luxury marquees LandRover and Jaguar have incorporated the seat system in its new models.
Nissan Motor (NSANY) was getting 84% uptake on the $700 extra on the cars where it was offered. So it is actually cheaper for Nissan to offer it as a standard feature, which they have since done.