Friday, April 5, 2013
Watch this smart foam chair 'grow' and unpack itself
Sometimes we dream. We dream of a world with no more flat-pack furniture, no more obtuse construction manuals and no more missing screws. Smart foam tech might get us closer to those admittedly small-time dreams. Using cross links within the foam's particle arrangement, regardless of how much the structure is compressed, it'll spring back to the predesigned shape. Designer Carl de Smet adds that the product would expand at a set temperature getting a little doughy in the middle, then more solid at room temperature.
He also demonstrates another smart foam structure which changes when a current is fed through it. Electricity provides the heat that transforms the rolled-up structure into a flat one, with the current experimental version taking around five minutes to completely settle. Commercial products which are apparently only about a year to 18 months away and as de Smet details in the video, could land on store shelves in a compacted rolled-up form for "unpacking" back home. These early examples can even be adjusted, if for some reason you suddenly decide you wanted a coffee table, not a chair. Sit back and see how it literally unfolds after the break.