On April 1 of 2017, the Wayfair furniture company announced the release of their new smart sofa, Sofia.
The website touted the benefits of the new smart furniture: “Sofia pairs with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth technology and cable TV to enable couch-based, voice-enabled access to a wide range of mobile, IoT and other ‘smart’ devices in the home.”
In the end, the whole thing turned out to be an elaborate prank for April Fool’s Day. But actually, the concept of smart furniture is no longer a joke.
Artists, designers, and companies are competing to come out with the most advanced furnishings for your home that do more than look good and feel comfortable – they communicate with you, and other your home’s other devices, keeping your entire home connected and ready to anticipate your every need.
Here are 5 pieces of cutting-edge furniture that you can have in your home now, or will be able to buy in the near future.
This IoT sofa from Italian architect Carlo Ratti is made up of any number of honeycomb-shaped modules, and can change shape based on commands given from your smartphone or tablet. The separate pieces communicate via WiFi, and connect simply by being placed next to each other.
You can raise or lower individual modules, which have motors in them to control their height, and can be shaped to suit your mood. If you don’t have your device handy, they can also be controlled with the wave of a hand. And if not adjusted for along enough time, they “get bored” and start creating new designs on their own.
Buro Data Desk by Opendesk
Back in the day, people would keep papers and other sensitive information locked away in their desks. There were pros and cons to this, similar to pros and cons of information storage today – mostly surrounding security and sharing. Enter the Opendesk Buro.
A computer that’s built into a desk and acts sort of like a fixed cloud storage space – but only for those sitting at the desk. Bring your laptop or other device, and you can access data stored within the desk. With unique keys, different people can be given different levels of access, and the ability to view only certain files. Buro can also ask people to hold your calls, vibrate for email notifications, and become a standing desk if you’ve been sitting too long.
IKEA wireless charging furniture
IKEA has been selling furniture that will charge your smartphone for a couple of years now, but it’s still astonishing. Built into tables, desks, drawers, and lamps are wireless charging pads that will fill up your device without you having to give it a thought.
Much of the furniture is also customizable. You can choose how many charging spots to install, so you can put more in guest areas like the living room, or just one if it’s for a bedside table.
Stop snoring with this smart bed
The 360 Smart Bed is the absolute latest in somnolence technology. With a responsive mattress that adjusts to your sleeping positions, a computer that tracks your sleeping patterns to wake you up at the perfect time, and the ability to know how often you wake up during the night, the 360 Smart Bed will help you get a better night’s rest.
It can even help someone’s sleeping partner! The smart bed can detect snoring, and raise the mattress beneath someone’s head to help clear their airways and stop snoring. It helps them sleep more soundly – and their neighbor, as well.
In all the science fiction movies, the characters would step up to the mirror in the bathroom and information would flash across it like a computer screen. As it turns out, the future is here.
There are a number of smart mirrors on the market that can display time, date, weather, and information from your smartphone, but there are also a surprising number of do-it-yourself kits available for the handy or tech savvy. If you ever get bored in the bathroom, some of the models from this two way mirror company even turn into televisions.