Whether it be spending an extra 20 minutes in bed or relaxing on the couch watching a game, we crave comfort. There is nothing that many would like more than to just sit next to a fire and think about absolutely nothing, bringing us that comfort of the world’s problems sinking away. Connecting multiple layers of seemingly unrelated items into one thing has brought comfort to many as well; the smartphone combined a cellular device, a camera, and an internet-using computer into one small box, and we can’t imagine a world without it now. What if we could combine physical comfort and connection? Can we connect the internet to a bunch of physical ‘things’, especially the furniture that brings us this comfort?
We can. ORI, a Boston-based company focuses on reducing the amount of space that furniture takes up. They do this by utilizing the IoT, where they can connect hardware to the internet in unconventional ways. With ORI, the user can move their furniture not with strength but with your phone. One button can change a cabinet into an office and vice versa. In an increasingly urban world, space is ever so valued, and changing one room into both an office and a bedroom when necessary seems like a great solution?
What’s the point of this? Why must I have my furniture connected to the internet? It’s just a bed, it’s just a cabinet, and it’s just a table. Why would I put the possibility for it to be hacked? Although this could open up a new level of comfort, have we gone too far?
I’d say so. All this furniture could just be replaced with better furniture engineering and wheels. We already have pull out couches which can turn into a bed, and a cabinet isn’t too far off. Wheels have their problems, but opening up furniture to the internet can bring a whole can of worms that we are not ready for. If someone halfway across the world can hack your bed while you are asleep, there are a million ways to get injured that a standard bed would not do. Although ORI has some innovative ideas, I’m concerned about the specific problem they are trying to solve.
ORI’s furniture can utilize space to the fullest with ease, but is it worth it? The extra level of comfort isn’t equivalent to the myriad of problems that will inevitably come.
Hi! I’m Aniket! If you have any questions or thoughts about this article, let me know!