Talk of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) -- a digitally linked network of objects and devices that are capable of collecting and exchanging data -- has been swirling around for some years now, though some of us are questioning whether our ovens really need to be on the Internet at all.
Nevertheless, it doesn't stop designers from making these new-fangled IoT pieces of furniture. Italian firm Carlo Ratti Associati, Swiss company Vitra and Opendot teamed up to create Lift-Bit, or what they are calling the "world's first digitally transformable sofa".
It's a modular design featuring hexagonal, upholstered "bits" that are rendered adjustable by hidden linear actuators, which can be controlled via an app on your smart device, or by gestures. The designers explain:
Controlled remotely through a tablet app, each stool can double (or halve) its height in just a few seconds, reconfiguring the space in a myriad of combinations. Paying homage to Cedric Price 1978’s “Generator Project”, Lift-Bit’s responsive modules can seamlessly transform into a sofa, a bed, an ordered living room, a small auditorium, or a domestic landscape, according to the user’s needs and wishes.
The modules can be arranged in different numbers, layouts and heights to create a chair, chaise lounge, bed or even scaled up to provide a whole room of transformable surfaces to sit, lounge or place things on -- though we do wonder just how comfortable these modules really are.
To keep things interesting and in line with the idea of "intelligent furniture", the Lift-Bit can also begin to transform on its own when it hasn't been used in while, in order to re-engage users.
We don't yet know the long-term implications of meshing digital connectivity and interactivity with our appliances and furniture, but with the current breakneck pace of technological development, designs like the LiftBit may catch on faster than we think. For more information (you can apparently pre-order one) visit Lift-Bit.