Oct 15 2019

Smart furniture, the next trend

Thanks to increasing digitalisation, more and more smart devices are available for both domestic settings and offices. However, high-tech furniture for the home that is operated via apps or voice control is relatively new. Alongside intelligent speakers and a table, sofa and wardrobe with smart functions, we present a polymer profile that turns items of furniture into user interfaces.  

Eliot from Smartfurniture  

“Eliot” is a smart sit-stand table developed by Munich-based start-up Smartfurniture. It is designed to improve well-being and ergonomics. The table can be adjusted quickly and quietly to any height between 65 and 130 cm. The Eliot app also allows the user to save and assess preferred settings. It displays the table height, notes how long the user spends standing and sitting, and sends an alert when the user has sat down for long enough.

“When we were designing the Eliot table, it was important to us that it would have a striking, iconic design. It shouldn’t look like a piece of office furniture; it should also be at home in a living room – a table for every user and every occasion,” explains designer Henriette Deking, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Smartfurniture. 

“I can no longer even imagine working at a table that isn’t interactive. It works like a timer and tells me when I should stand up again. It’s also possible to set minimum and maximum heights. The relationship between user and table is important to us. It should be a good partnership.”

The start-up is now developing the idea of smart furniture further, with even more interactivity options. For example, the table will soon be able to display sitting and standing statistics or provide information about the amount of time it is in use – information that can be useful to companies when it comes to designing offices.  

LE from Braun 

The “LE” range from Braun is elegant and minimalist – it’s an updated version of Dieter Rams’ functional design from 1959. British company Pure Audio has collaborated with Braun to bring the range back onto the market in various sizes. The loudspeakers comprise a high-quality aluminium body, which is equipped with wall brackets or floor stands. 

Two units can be combined to form a stereo pair. The LE range can be operated via an app, which – alongside other functions – allows the user to fine-tune bass and treble. The devices also feature Bluetooth connectivity and internal microphones, so they can be controlled using voice assistants. A mechanical button on the body of the loudspeaker physically disconnects the Google Assistant function when privacy is wanted.  

AirDresser from Samsung 

The smart “AirDresser” from Samsung is a wardrobe that cleans clothing and can be controlled via an app. The tall, slim cabinet uses air and steam to freshen up items of clothing. Various openings are built into the unit, which cause air and steam to circulate. 

This feature is used in connection with special clothes hangers, which support the process. According to Samsung, this system helps to prevent typical wardrobe odours as well as removing dust and bacteria. Once removed from clothing, dust particles are captured in a filter. Users can simply select their choice of cleaning programme using the app.  

SmartSense from Rehau 

“SmartSense” from Rehau is a touch-sensitive polymer profile that turns items of furniture into user interfaces. It is fitted with a sensor strip and can control various receiver devices without the need for buttons or knobs. Plastic and electronics go together well, as polymers do not insulate.

This way, a simple touch can be used to adjust the height of the table, dim a light or control the position of the slatted frame of a bed. The product was developed as part of a collaborative project with the technology platform “Electronics into Polymers”. Instead of using a conventional switch, a table’s height can be modified via a profile that runs around the edge of the table, for example. 

Aladin sofas from Rom 

“Aladin cosycontrol” technology from Belgian manufacturer Rom allows users to adjust their sofas easily using an app. It’s possible to save up to four favourite positions for each of the seats in the company’s smart upholstered suites, with back- and footrests being infinitely adjustable. 

The furniture equipped with this technology is thus able to offer comfort tailored to suit individual users. The saved settings can be retrieved using the four discreet buttons on the side of each of the seats. This smart technology is integrated into a wide range of state-of-the-art Aladin sofas. 

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