A little "light" entertainment?
Anyone who doubts Japanese technology isn't more than a few years ahead of the rest of the world had better think again. Color-changing furniture? A done deal, as the "Fuwapica" table & chairs set to be unveiled at this year's SIGGRAPH 2007 in San Diego. Fuwapica, which means "soft and flashy" in Japanese, was developed several years ago by staff and student's at the curiously named Mongoose Studio at Japan's Osaka University.
Very cool chairs! Early designs for inflatable chairs incorporated weight sensors that acted to change the color of the chair in response to the weight and positioning of the user. One wonders, though, if those who are a little self-conscious about their weight might be put off by a weight-sensitive chair. The studio's "Ice" chairs are things of beauty that resemble glowing ice cubes suffused with fruit syrups of various colors, er, flavors. Yummy!
Optical opulence The new Fuwapica Suite takes the concept even further, into the realm of thoughts and emotions. The centerpiece, literally, of the suite is a round table that features a computer, an LCD display screen and light sensors that link to each of the four inflatable chairs. Place a vase of red roses on the table, for example, and the sensors will determine their color and instruct the chairs to complement the romantic red hue. If this doesn't impress your date, what will?
Seeing is relaxing
Sources at Mongoose Studio say that Fuwapica's interactive technology is more than just a design exercise and will be available commercially within one or two years. For those who can't wait, Fuwapica Honeycomb (¥417,000) and Ice (¥179,000) chairs are available now from the Proto-Type Inc. in Tokyo. (via Big News Network , SISSGRAPH2007 and Metropolis)
Japanese Innovations Writer