October 19, 2003

Smart Furniture: what's been done?

In following up to my Smart Furniture Manifesto I decided to do a little research as to what's been done. My criterion for inclusion was to look for pieces of furniture that used environmental information in a deliberately functional way (rather than, say, Dunne and Raby's Placebo Project objects, which intentionally use information in a way that's only marginally useful).

I've come up with (only!?!) two:

  • The chair version of Maribeth Back and Jonathan Cohen's Listen Reader, where kids sat in a chair (which contained the electronics and a speaker system) and flipped through a RFID-enabled story book. Depending on which page of the book they were on, the chair would make sounds that provided an appropriate soundtrack to what was on the page.
  • The Trinity College Smart Couch which uses people's weight to determine who's sitting on it and make various things happen (there was a similar kind of technology being used in luxury cars back in the 80s to set mirror and seat position, I believe, but nowadays it seems to only be used for making safer air bags).

Are there any others out there?

[10/27: Found Purdue's Sensing Chair project. Here's a better description.]

Posted by mikek at October 19, 2003 09:36 PM | TrackBack

This might be related:
Dunne & Raby's placebo project, at http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hsct102/DunneRaby/placebo.html


Posted by: Dan Hill at October 21, 2003 02:16 PM
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