Imagine a future where the wearable revolution has happened and embedded technology is a reality. Objects have become bionic extensions of our body. Developments in nano materials have enabled us to create a seamless blend between body and object. Bionic Inc. Prototype #1 is an exploration into chairs for that future.
Mick Geerits, graduate student Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London
"What do chairs look like in a bionic future?"
An electromagnet is suspended from a steel wire. A magnetic surface, with chains to distribute the weight over the back, is embedded in a second skin which is glued to the users back. The user is suspended from their back relieving the spine of the compression it normally experiences when sitting.
The second skin in the prototype is attached with specialized skin glue, however it is already possible to use nanotechnology based on gecko feet as a dry adhesive to skin. If the glue were to be replaced with the dry adhesive, the second skin could be embedded in our clothing and seamlessly integrated into our daily lives.
Technology is developing rapidly. We are already embedding electronics and synthetic materials in and on our body–for example, in the form of pacemakers or robotic limbs. With developments in nano materials and ever miniaturizing electronics, it seems reasonable to assume that this trend will not come to a halt anytime soon.
The prototype also asks the more obvious question of what it means to sit. Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the world. In our increasingly sedentary lives we tend to sit most of the time we are awake.
When we sit, our spines gets compressed, which can cause lower back pain. In Prototype #1 you are suspended from your spine, elongating it rather than compressing it.
You can view a video of the chair in action here.
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