Mar 17 2021

Digitization of the interior

Whether in the office or in the private home - digitalization is increasingly determining our everyday lives. Interior design and furnishing are adapting to this increasing networking. Today, interior design objects that optimise the comfort and functionality of the working and living environment are increasingly in demand. In order to reach younger and digitally connected consumers in particular, furniture manufacturers must meet the rising expectations of connectivity and smart living.

Accelerated digitalisation

However, the range of smart furniture is currently still quite manageable. Much of it is still in development. As in other areas, however, the Corona pandemic is acting as a catalyst: home office and homeschooling, but also new demands on the office environment are accelerating the trend towards digitalised furnishings. 

So far, the technical progress is mainly visible in smart kitchen or garden appliances. However, as digitalisation progresses, interior design is also likely to evolve rapidly. Smart furniture could soon be an integral part of offices and homes. 

Health promotion via app

Thanks to electrical and digital equipment, furniture is already adapting to the people who use it. Electronically height-adjustable desks, cabinets or wall shelves, for example, ensure greater accessibility. Smart features expand this function. For example, digital control systems remember standing and sitting time when working at a desk. 

For an ergonomically better working posture, they help to spend more time standing. Smart mattresses, on the other hand, promise a healthier night's rest, with an app measuring the duration and quality of sleep. The temperature in the bed is automatically adjusted to the sleeper.

Digital control system for height-adjustable desk. © Smart Furniture

Digital art of transformation 

Smart Furniture could also increase working and living comfort in small spaces. Increasing urbanisation and limited space require new concepts for this. Digital multifunctional furniture appears to be a forward-looking solution. The first developments of such digitally optimised quick-change artists are controlled via app or voice assistant. 

For example, a bed can be transformed into a sofa during the day. Entire room elements can be moved very easily in this way and adapted to the respective living situation. In this way, the living room becomes a bedroom or home office in no time at all. 

Smart Surfaces 

Today, furniture is increasingly being equipped with Smart Home features. Sofas with charging stations in the armrests or tabletops with charging functions for smartphones and tablets are no longer rare. App-controlled sound systems can now be easily integrated into wall shelves or table lamps. 

Intelligent lighting systems built into furniture provide the right lighting in each case. Newer technologies turn furniture and components made of special plastics into a control surface themselves. In this way, the table height can be adjusted, the light regulated and the slatted frame of the bed controlled.

Smart bed with personalised information for better sleep. © Sleep Number

Production is also becoming smarter 

Furniture production itself is also becoming smarter. Manufacturers are increasingly relying on flexible automation for customised production. Today, intelligently networked robotics can be used to produce furniture with millimetre precision, which the customer has previously planned on an online configurator. 

Artificial intelligence could contribute to an improvement in the quality and functionality of the furnishings in the future. This could also help in the development of multifunctional and sustainable solutions for the working and living environment - another opportunity for smart creativity.

Author: Broekman+Partner

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