If Optimus Prime and a Couch Had a Baby, Well, Here You Go

Meet the gesture-controlled, shapeshifting Lift-Bit

By The Editors
April 12, 2016 9:00 am

In the hierarchy of friend favors involving a couch, helping move one is about halfway between letting a buddy sleep on one for a night and letting him sleep on one for a full rent cycle.

But if a new concept comes to fruition, that may be a moot point.

From Italian design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati and Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra, the Lift-Bit is a “digitally-reconfigurable furniture system” that uses a remote-controlled linear actuator (think a motor that moves vertically) to seamlessly shapeshift into a chair, chaise lounge, bed, sofa or custom three-dimensional formation.

The designers of the modular “Internet-of-Things” couch — which can be controlled by hand gestures or via a mobile app — equipped the furniture with a puppy-like personality, so the piece will become “bored” when not given attention and begin transforming on its own to engage its owner.

Down, boy.

Internet-of-Things sofa” for Vitra 1:53

Made up of anywhere from two to a couple dozen upholstered cushions, the Lift-Bit can be rearranged to resemble any number of shapes, including the Grand Canyon, Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway or a volcano.

“In the future, we could imagine an architecture that adapts to human need, rather than the other way around,” says studio founder Carlo Ratti.

Added bonus? The shifting shape of the cushions will likely eliminate losing your phone down a crevice for good.

All images via Lift-Bit

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