IKEA meets Tesla in these tech-enhanced furniture designs: Part 2
I love doing up my home, selecting interesting pieces of furniture, adding them to my living space, and deducting the ones that don’t quite fit in. Home decor is always fun, and an interesting genre that I’ve recently been indulging in is Smart Furniture! Tech-enhanced furniture is a whole new ballgame, catering to our multiple needs, and making our daily lives more comfortable. From smart work desks that run on food waste to smart beds that charge our devices and come along with an integrated home theatre system, smart furniture is in a league of its own! And, we’re exploring a few super innovative and unique designs today.
The Hariana Tech Smart Ultimate Bed was designed to have everything you will need to relax within your bed frame. It has an integrated reclining massage chair with a remote, a built-in Bluetooth speaker, a bookshelf, a reading lamp, an air cleaning system, an area to plug-in and charges your devices, a foot-stool that opens up for extra storage, and a pop-up desk for the ultimate WFH setup, Netflix marathon or cozy reading hours. The sound system also features an SD card slot, an auxiliary port, and a USB port.
Fitwork’s design sort of embodies a no-excuse mentality to being fit. Whether it’s the excuse of ‘being too busy, or of ‘not wanting to go all the way to the gym’, Fitwork combats it by bringing the gym not just to your house, but to your workspace. Designed as a product to let you work and work out at the same time, this crazy hybrid of a desk-chair and treadmill keeps your legs active while you work. Whether you’re sitting in front of a laptop or standing in front of one, it’s the sedentary lifestyle that Fitwork tackles. The setup (which is sure to grab a few eyeballs) comes with an office chair attached to a treadmill underneath, and an elliptical in front. Coupled with an elevating desk, the Fitwork allows you to keep the lower half of your body active while you work, giving you cardio as well as keeping your spine engaged, whether you’re sitting or standing while working. While you’re sitting, your legs naturally rest on the Fitwork’s elliptical, allowing you to pedal away while typing out emails or attending zoom calls without really anyone knowing what a fitness buff you are. Swivel the chair back and boost your desk upwards and you’ve got yourself a standing workout workspace. Activate the treadmill and you can walk while working… or as I call it, walking the walk while talking the talk.
This table is called a Clock, and it was designed to be compact and fit in the growing trend of smaller living spaces. The designer wanted to create something that seamlessly blended into our workdays without disrupting our office hours or eating habits. The hybrid station converts food waste into energy to power itself wirelessly but also includes the systems to be plugged into a wall if needed. It is an innovative product that combines technology and functionality to sustainably manage waste and encourage more people to shift to natural/renewable energy sources. When you aren’t working, simply slide the parts back and close the product into a slim bench. In its closed state, only the power icon and energy levels are visible, simply tap the power icon to light up the panel.
The Cube high-fidelity loudspeaker was conceptualized and built with La Boite’s long family history committed to the “traditional high fidelity industry with the design of ergonomic ‘all-in-one’ products optimized for new technologies.” Their patented technology makes it so that from wherever the Cube high-fidelity loudspeaker, which measures 47 x 35 x 49 cm, is positioned in a room, neither the sound quality nor its volume will ever be compromised. Due to its small size, innovative design, and finely-tuned sound quality, The Cube high-fidelity loudspeaker can double as a coffee or side table sized to fit in any space ideally. Each speaker of the Cube’s collection comes outfitted with a total power output of 200W and features three speakers, one front-facing speaker, two aluminum vent ports for bass reflex, and two rear speakers equipped with La Boite’s patent Wide Sound 2.0 immersive technology. Mindful enough to make the Cube compatible with both wireless and wired capabilities, La Boite also integrated an analog RCA input, a digital optical input Toslink, Bluetooth 4.0 Codec Apt-X built-in, and a mini 3.5mm jack input.
Equipped with a built-in 4K projector that can be synced with a series of devices to binge-watch movies/TV shows on a 70-inch retractable screen, the HiBed by Fabio Vinella (for Hi-interiors) is the epitome of in-bed relaxation. A built-in surround sound system with invisible speakers makes the bed feel more like a movie theatre. The bed is connected to an app and monitors our sleep patterns and movements, adjusting the temperature according to our comfort. It also records body weight, air quality, and noise level to provide a foolproof check on our health. Some good news for the late risers, the HiBed comes with an inbuilt smart alarm system that wakes us up with loud recitations of the weather and daily news.
With the pandemic leaving most of us to our own devices, some of us knew we had no choice but to get good at cooking. My spice cabinet is overflowing because of it. Getting more and more familiar with herbs and the punch they pack in flavorful dishes, the popularity of horticulture has also increased. More and more people are installing indoor garden systems into their homes because they provide an easy, accessible way to bring the flavor of fresh herbs to every dinner plate. Grobo Premium is one such indoor garden system that utilizes smart technology and hydroponics to harvest vegetables and herbs inside the comfort of your own home. Since Grobo Premium is a smart garden system, the weight of having to learn about horticulture is lifted from the user’s shoulders. All that’s required for plant cultivation with Grobo is planting the initial seed and filling/draining the water as the days go by. Since hydroponics generally takes a more hands-free approach to gardening, the makers behind Grobo Premium chose it for their smart indoor garden system.
The Smartmi Heater has solved a lot of problems with two design changes. The first is simple – adding an adjustable handlebar to the heating unit. When the bar is in the upright position, it functions similarly to the handle of a briefcase, making the appliance more portable despite its bulk. If you pull it down in front of the heating unit itself, it acts as a rack to dry or warm up your clothes. (Finally, I can get that fresh-from-the-dryer warmth without risking a fire.) Of course, the adjustable bar poses a similar problem to my proposed “socks on the heater” method. Sure, your towels or sweaters will get warm and toasty, but your room may miss the flood of warm air directly aimed at your cold feet. The Smartmi fixes this issue by allowing warm air to flow from two outlets: straight out from the unit’s front and out from the top. This means that warm air can still fill the room, even if the heater’s face is blocked by a curtain of clothes.
Privacy or fresh air? That is the compromise that many apartment dwellers — especially those with ground-floor units — face. The Hazy Air Purifier is a window that ensures privacy while providing proper ventilation. How does it work? The device utilizes a new concept called HAZE, which uses sunlight to heat the air inside your home; this “heat haze” purifies the atmosphere and creates a foggy screen that obscures your interior living space from passing neighbors. How does the Hazy air purifier fit into your living space? After all, windows come in all sizes. The designers fixed this issue with the Hazy’s height-adjustable frame. As long as your apartment has rectangular windows, the Hazy will likely be a perfect fit. Alternatively, the product also works as a standing unit; it doesn’t have to be fixed to the wall. Unfortunately, this method means losing out on the product’s main selling point: the hazy window effect. However, on its own, the Hazy air purifier’s unique shape won’t clash with your decor or clutter or living space, but may also attract some interested, quizzical questions from house guests.
The pandemic gave Sergio Spinel, an interior architect and furniture designer, a very unique opportunity to relook his craft as something that’s more than what most people perceive it as. Decor serves a very fixed set of purposes, combining form and function, but with COVID-19, Spinel realized his decor could promote safety too. Meet the POD, the coat-hanger reinvented. Calling the POD a coat-hanger seems a little reductionist, now that I think of it. The device gives you a place to hang your coats, hats, place your shoes, store/charge your phone, keep your keys, and even provide a dedicated hook for your face-mask. Designed to be the last piece of furniture you interact with on your way out, and the first when you return from the outdoors, the POD stores your belongings, while also sanitizing them with PCO and UVC technology. The vertical wood-veneer pillar comes with a sliding door that opens when you approach it (thanks to a motion sensor at its base), revealing the organizing space within. Hooks give you a place to hang your coat, hats, and even your masks, while a tray at waist-level provides the perfect place to keep your wallet/purse, keys, and even wirelessly charge your smartphone.
How many different ways can you say, “Do you have WiFi?” It’s my most-asked question when visiting new cities. In today’s world, having access to WiFi is essential if you plan on making the most of any trip abroad. But far too often have I thrown my money down the drain for a tiny cup of espresso just to use a cafe’s WiFi and charging port. Replacing this costly exchange with their interpretation of a city hub, the makers behind Kuube designed a smart bench for city centers, equipped with all the necessities that a modern-day traveler might need to comfortably move through any city. Moreover, given the fragile nature of our climate and our energy grid, these smart benches could prove to be a highly valuable public utility during blackouts by providing free charging and WiFi to everyone. Kuube comes in three different sizes, each of which offers the same services to varying degrees. The Kuube Nano, their mid-sized bench, is solar-powered and accommodates up to four people, complete with a WiFi hotspot, two USB chargers, two wireless Qi chargers, and a single display screen, which provides environmental information like weather, air quality, and UV index.