Smart Office Chairs

Smart Office Chairs

Some office chairs are a lot smarter than others, and that’s not just a matter of appearance.

To show off some of their autonomous self-driving technology, the NISSAN motor company have installed some of their smart technology into office chairs. It is both clever and amazing to see chairs that can put themselves neatly back in place with a mere clap of the hands.

NISSAN’s Intelligent Parking Chair gained a lot of attention, not to mention a lot of credit in the advertising world. It highlighted the accuracy and reliability of their intelligent parking technology to put it into a situation where inch-perfect positioning was required. But, of course, this was a publicity stunt for their self-parking cars.

The practicalities of intelligent parking chairs are highly limited, given the necessity to have all the technology of the chairs themselves, plus the cameras and computers needed to position them. However, this could change as advancing drone technologies continue to push the boundaries of affordable autonomous movement systems.

For now, it would be far cheaper to employ someone to do nothing but put chairs away for 5 years than to deploy all the technology required to kit out one good-sized office with intelligent parking chairs.

The parking chair that puts itself away wasn’t the only smart chair that NISSAN showed us. The more interesting, to me at least, was the ProPilot chair that turned long queues into something comfortable and fun.


The ProPilot chair uses the same technology that powers the ability for a car to cruise along in traffic maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles. One might still be very hard-pressed to call such smart chairs practical, in terms of the expense of the technology, but it is certainly impressive, and a lot of fun.

For now, in terms of real-world practicality for the working office, it seems that “smart chairs” are either about the smart design of a great ergonomic chair, or the smart appearance of a beautifully designed chair.

Posted by Paul Randall
22nd June 2017