We on HomeKlondike already know much about the notion of the Internet of Things: smart home lights that can create different lighting scenarios (“Tradfri”: IKEA Launches a Collection of Smart Home Lights), kitchen countertop robots that know what’s in your fridge, what can be cooked from those foodstuffs and how, and when your oven should be pre-heated, smart toilets that can analyze urine tests, smart quadcopters that can guard houses, smart pillows that know everything about your sleep and many other things. Now the Internet of Things, which connects our home appliances into a single effective team and enables us to control them from smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi, is gradually penetrating in the world of…furniture. And Italian designers have already launched the sale of what they claim to be the world’s first Internet-of-Things sofa! Let’s find out what it represents…
The new digitally controlled furniture is dubbed “Lift-bit”. And it would be actually wrong to say that this is a sofa. A Lift-bit is a hexagonal upholstered seat, a module, which can serve as a single stool or be mixed with any number of other modules to form any piece of seating furniture from an arm-chair and sofa to a chaise lounge or a giant geometric public seat. Thereby you don’t have to make any physical effort – an app on your digital device (a smartphone or tablet) will create the piece of furniture you need, collecting the hexagons like a giant meccano. Each stool has a built-in motor that can lift it up and lower its height within several seconds, and thus you can either get a comfy backrest or an ideally flat surface, in a word, anything according to your needs and wishes.
If you don’t feel like searching for your smartphone and need to adjust the Lift-bit’s height right now, you may also do it manually. Every hexagonal module has a motion sensor inside – it recognizes gestures and when you hover your hand above the seat, you can raise or lower it with the same movement.
The Lift-bit was designed by Carlo Ratti, who is already famous for his bold and innovative approach to design, with the support of the Swiss furniture brand Vitra. It was announced as just a prototype at Milan Design Week last year, and in April 2017 it was already officially put to production with new sleek birch wood legs. It’s now available for pre-order, and each module will cost about $ 459.