Smart furniture that anticipates the needs of the user

The concept of Smart Furniture was the key topic of a round table organised by Actiu at the Hábitat Valencia Trade Fair, at which we participated, together with other industrial designers, to debate on the future of furniture and the competitive opportunities that are opening up in the office segment.

Alegre Design provided its perspective on Smart Furniture, understood as furniture that makes life easier for users, anticipating their needs.

In other words, it uses technologies – data collection, the Internet of Things and big data – to compile information which is integrated in the furniture design process, improving the user’s experience of everyday objects.

In this respect, the design and creation of furniture have been influenced by technology in recent years since, not only is it necessary to consider commercial and production aspects but, during the product conception stage, consideration is also given to the input received regarding the uses given to the product by its users. This means that the needs of the user are not only covered, but they are forecasted and anticipated.

The study of user routines enables information to be transmitted to the design process and the final product. An example of this is our chair, TNK Flex, the most advanced version of the TNK platform, which has evolved hand in hand with the experience of the user and the development of materials to incorporate smart fabrics, a suspended seat and haptic back.

The ultimate aim is to design products that can be updated, after their market launch, with small changes, after analysing the uses and routines of the user, thanks to a guide providing recommendations for use. Thus, if the life cycle of a product is ten years, it can be updated every six months or every year.

At present, we expect a piece of furniture to accomplish its basic function perfectly, or even to improve on it. In the future, in addition to this, we will expect it to offer services, in the same way as a smartphone. Apart from making calls, today’s mobile telephones concentrate innumerable services in the palm of your hand.

Our Smart Furniture philosophy involves learning from the past to improve the present and anticipate the future.