Sofa so Good: the Future of Furniture Technology


Are you sitting comfortably? No really, are you? Since mankind moved out of the Stone Age and onto the chaise lounge, humans have been finding increasingly satisfying ways to park their derrieres. With the digital revolution however, furniture has faced an upgrade that’s more than just updating the upholstery. Technology has embraced storage space and seating to help shape the next generation of sofas, chairs, wardrobes and desks.

How? Let’s find out.

Swipe right for your sofa

Your sofa’s torn at the edges, there’s a spring or seven missing and it’s started to smell like warm ham. You need a new one. Traditionally, you’d have to travel to the nearest warehouse to test out several. Aesthetically though, how do you choose a sofa that goes best with the wallpaper? Sure, you’ve measured up, but will it really fit the feng shui of your living room? Here’s where IKEA come in.

The Swedish furniture giant has released an app that uses augmented reality to determine how your new purchase might look in the home. Simply scan in your living room and your potential purchase for a peek at how it’ll fit next to the telly. An intelligent software program that accurately judges distance, measurements and even how fabrics will look in your home’s light, it’s the next step in buying a new sofa from the comfort of your old one.


Small apartment, big advancements

Such tech might be crucial if you’re tight on living space. Confined apartments and small properties demand greater scrutiny when planning where the telly might go. Good news then that IKEA – them again – has ploughed funds into research to accommodate those who are tight on space. How? Why, robots, of course.

In conjunction with Ori, IKEA has developed Rognan, a foldaway robotic storage system that utilises hidden spaces that disappear neatly away when not in use. A studio apartment that bends to the whim and dimensional needs of the occupant, it can shift the entire room’s contents from one wall to the next, bringing flexibility to the abode with less than generous measurements. It’s a smart answer to urban living that’s big on cost but small on square metres.

Step in to my office

It’s not just home comforts that are feeling the benefit of modernity. Work spaces have had a technological face-lift, with the office at the forefront of tomorrow’s tables and chairs. How about occupancy sensors? Built-in to detect whether a workstation is being used, it’s designed to power down any products, such as computers and lighting, to save on running costs. In these ecological times, it’s a cost-saving exercise that cares for the planet too.

Another innovation? In this digital age of ubiquitous smart technology, devices need constant battery life. Furniture has stepped up, with wireless charging an integral part of desks in offices across the country. (The same principle applies to home products too.)

As for seating, the world of office chairs has extended beyond mere functionality. The modern office seat is an ergonomic feat of engineering and lumbar support that accommodates a myriad of backs and body shapes the world over. The rickety old chairs of yesteryear’s primary school won’t be returning to a classroom near you any time soon either.

It might have taken longer than most industries, but technology has finally caught up with furniture. As the smart revolution marches on, it’s good to know that we can get a good view from the comfort of our even smarter sofas.

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Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.