LIFT-BIT: A SOFA LIKE NO OTHER
International design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati, with the support of Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra, has developed Lift-Bit, the world’s first Internet-of-Things sofa. A full-size prototype will be on display during the next Milan Design Week.
Lift-Bit is a modular, digitally-reconfigurable furniture system that allows a sofa to turn into a chair, a chaise longue, a bed, a lounge room, and other configurations. The system is composed of a series of individual, upholstered stools. Each element is motorised using a linear actuator, enabling it to be raised or lowered.
The hi-tech sofa can be controlled in person, via a simple gesture (just hovering your hand in the air over the seat), or from a distance, through the use of a mobile app. The app includes both a series of predetermined three-dimensional shapes and a tool to create new, dynamic combinations. Paying homage to radical British architect Cedric Price’s 1970s ‘Generator Project’, the Lift-Bit system can even become ‘bored’: when not used for a long time, it will start shape-shifting on its own to engage users.
Professor Carlo Ratti, founder of Carlo Ratti Associati studio and Director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says, “Lift-Bit draws on the potential of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to transform our interior landscape, giving form to an endlessly reconfigurable environment. In the future, we could imagine an architecture that adapts to human need, rather than the other way around — a living, tailored space that is molded to its inhabitants’ needs, characters, and desires.”