Is it a seat? Is it a couch? Is it a bed? It’s pretty much all of those things and can be transformed using a simple mobile app.
The Lift-Bit is the world’s first IoT sofa, a modular digitally-reconfigurable furniture system that transforms a sofa into a chair, chaise longue, bed, lounge room, as well as a variety of other configurations.
The new sofa, designed by innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati, with the support of a Swiss furniture manufacturer, will be unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week.
The Lif-Bit system comprises a series of individual, upholstered stools, each motorized using a linear actuator, which allows it to be raised or lowered.
The height of each module can double or halve in just a few seconds. The couch can be controlled in person by hovering your hand over the seat, or using the accompanying mobile app which includes a series of predetermined 3D shapes and a tool to create new, dynamic combinations.
“Architecture has often been described as a kind of ‘third skin’ – in addition to our own biological one and our clothing. However, for too long it has functioned rather like a corset: a rigid and uncompromising addition to our body”, said Professor Carlo Ratti, founder of Carlo Ratti Associati studio and Director of the Senseable City Lab atthe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “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.”
The company is currently working to mass produce the individual pieces, which can be pre-ordered now on the website for about $900 USD each. So far, the colors available include blue, mint, red and yellow.