Here's a future-tech development to watch: Researchers at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) say they've developed a composite building material that can release and retain heat on command. The new material can be set to absorb extra heat in a room past a certain temperature set point, according to The Engineer) (via Fast Company).
The new material "could be used to regulate building temperature more effectively than similar existing materials that release heat more slowly," The engineer writes. "It can be cheaply manufactured and could lead to more efficient LED lights and solar panels, as well as reducing the cost and energy use of air conditioning by absorbing heat from a room."
It may be way too early to know whether this will have a practical application in data centers, but could in theory provide some control of the environment that could have a pass-through benefit to more granular controls on airflow within the server environment.