Are the sofa options at Ikea just simply not up to snuff for you, technology-wise? Well, what about a shape-shifting sofa that is powered entirely by an app? Introducing Lift-Bit, designed by Carlo Ratti, founder of MIT’s innovative and boundary-pushing Senseable City Lab. Touted as the world’s first digitally-transformable sofa, the Lift-Bit is currently on display at La Triennale in Milan where it is completely flooring spectators.
At first glance, the Lift-Bit doesn’t even really look like a typical sofa. It’s composed of various hexagonal, cushioned stools that meld together to form a honeycomb-esque sofa. Each of these modular pieces contains a motor that will adjust the height of a given piece, which can be controlled either through an app or your very own hand! Yep, capacity sensors within the stool will respond and adjust to a hovering hand. With such advanced shape-changing capabilities, Lift-Bit is way more than just a simple sofa – it can transform and configure to be a chaise lounge, a series of sofa-nodes, even a bed! You can even combine multiple Lift-Bits to create a large, flexible piece of furniture that’s adaptable to whatever your comfort needs may be.
“I think architecture is starting to become alive,” Ratti explained about the inspiration behind the Lift-Bit, which was created by his design studio, Carlo Ratti Asssociati, in Turin, Italy. Ratti noted he wanted to explore how a constructed environment could respond to the people around it, with the ultimate goal of seeing Lift-Bit become just one part of a flexible designed environment. After all, while people may be mobile and desire different positions, architecture and furniture is pretty much static. Lift-Bit challenges, and decidedly upends that notion. Ratti’s next step with the Lift-Bit is researching ways his creation could monitor a user’s health. As of now though, you can either pre-order Lift-Bit stools at a pricey $900 a piece, or travel all the way to Milan to experience it first-hand at the XXI Triennale International exhibit through September 12.