Robotic Furniture Transforming Urban Living

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “Robotic Furniture Transforming Urban Living”

It’s no fun living in a cramped apartment, but what if you could make it feel considerably larger with the press of a button? Furniture trends and smart home trends are colliding to accommodate small-​space urban living. Here is one you'll start to see influencing consumers, from DigitalTrends​.com.

"The remarkable “robotic furniture” system, designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab spinoff Ori in partnership with Swiss designer Yves Behar, incorporates an automated system that lets you quickly transform a “giant closet” for different uses, including a workspace, dining table, bed, entertainment center, and storage space," Trevor Mogg writes.

Given the fact that the new AudienceSCAN survey found 35% of adults described their lifestyles as City, Urban or Metropolitan, there is an opportunity for apartments and furniture stores to start catering to the tiny-​space movement.

"It’s now ready for pre-​order, with the initial production run of 1,200 units heading to major cities across the United States, among them New York City, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston. Delivery is expected to begin toward the end of 2017, though only property developers can purchase the system for now."

Targeting city folk would be a smart move for furniture retailers. The new AudienceSCAN study showed 20% of City Dwellers intend to purchase bedroom furniture in the next 12 months, and 14% will buy dining room furniture.

"So you what do you get for the $10,000 that the system is thought to cost? Well, it’s essentially a giant, highly functional wooden box. You control it either via a smartphone app, the small control panel fixed to the unit, or by calling out instructions to smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo — “Alexa, tell Ori to open my bed.”

Furniture stores and apartments can show off smart home technology offerings as well as small-​space offerings. The new AudienceSCAN data revealed 23% of City Dwellers have used their mobile devices to watch a video about a product they're considering in the past 6 months.

"It’s a clever and rather cool way to make the best use of space in a small apartment, with the unit even able to move across the room to create a bedroom, living room, or work area. When you start your day, your bed slides into the bottom of the unit, freeing up lots of space in the process. The press of a button will then shift the unit slowly along, creating a larger space around your sofa and TV to make a living room. You can work at a desk that emerges from inside. You can display stuff on it, store stuff in it, and hang stuff on it. And when your day’s done, your bed — in the same messy state that you left it in that morning — slides back out."

Placing ads on social media sites could bring this digital-​minded audience into stores. The new AudienceSCAN results said 35% of City Dwellers took action based on ads on social networks in the past 30 days.

"It can be installed in both existing buildings and new projects, and it’s electric powered, so just plug it in and you’re good to go. Speaking about the unique system last year, Behar said, “Many people living in urban environments no longer have the luxury of space, or they are choosing to live in a smaller footprint."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.