These day, it seems like practically anything in our homes can be connected to our smartphones. From lightbulbs, coffeemakers, beds and pillows. Pretty much if you can name an appliance, odds are that someone has a solution to add internet connectivity and smart capabilities to it. Enter Lift-bit, an app-controlled smart modular seating system.
Lift-bit is a joint effort project between international design firm Carlo Ratti Associati and the Italian Opendot fab lab. Together, the two companies have managed to create a unique and multi-functional piece of home decor. The seating system is based around modular and digitally reconfigurable design that allows a sofa to transform into a chair, a bed, reading chair or anything you can imagine.
Design-wise, each individual Lift-bit unit essentially just resembles an ordinary stool. Wrapped in upholstered fabric, the seats are packed with various sensors machinery to ensure a rapid transformation between each configuration, as well as gesture control. At its lowest height, Lift-bit stands one and a half feet tall, which extends up to just over two and half feet. It comes in four color options as well, so you’ll get your choice of turquoise, yellow, red or blue. Units can be mixed and matched as well, to provide additional flair.
The seating system pairs with a companion smartphone or tablet app that allows you to customize your array of Lift-bits in any manner you see fit. The mobile app connects to stools through a mesh networking system to seamlessly control any number of Lift-bit units. Included within the app are a variety of predetermined seating arrangements, as well as a tool which allows you to create your own presets. This functionality can currently be demoed on Lift-bit’s website, which lets you play around with the configuration interface.
Lift-bit also includes hand-gesture control, which allows you to configure the height of each individual piece without digging your phone out of your pocket.
As of now, there’s no word on when Lift-bit will be shipping. However, it is currently available for preorder for $459 per unit. Which means that you’ll have to spend quite a bit if you’re interesting in outfitting your home with them.
Imagine a piece of furniture you can remotely reconfigure with an app. Imagine a sofa that reacts and autonomously adjust its shape when you get close to it. Imagine a seating system that can change form in infinite numbers of ways — and seamlessly turn into a bed, a chaise longue, a group of armchairs, or a playground for kids. All of this is Lift-Bit — a project designed by Carlo Ratti Associati together with Opendot fab lab.