Skip to main content

Nissan built a fleet of self-parking office chairs, because technology

There’s a fine line between making our lives easier and making us lazy, and as of late, technology is really toeing that line. The most recent example comes from the folks at Nissan, who have unveiled a self-parking office chair because apparently, it’s now too difficult to push your own seat in when you get up. Seriously, it’s like we’re celebrating slovenliness.

The chair, which was inspired by the slightly more useful self-parking car technology, is able to make 360-degree turns, zero in on a target location, and then literally put itself away. It’s a bit reminiscent of “Night at the Museum,” only instead of formerly animate animals coming to life, this is an inanimate chair moving around of its own accord.

Named the “Intelligent Parking Chair,” these high-tech pieces of office furniture may look a little bulky, but that’s mostly because being sleek and letting you be a slob don’t exactly go hand in hand. According to Nissan, these chairs were manufactured by taking Okamura chairs and tracking them with four motion cameras stationed at various strategic angles within a room. These Wi-Fi-controlled cameras are then able to transmit information to the chairs — or as the car company puts it, “generate a bird’s-eye view to wirelessly transmit the chair’s position and its route to destination.”

Then, when you clap, the chair takes this information and acts upon it, sliding back into its original position as though you and your colleagues were never there.

“By day, these chairs are inanimate objects,” Nissan boasts. “By night, they park!”

 To be fair, you probably won’t find these chairs in your office anytime soon, as they’re really designed to draw attention to the Nissan car’s self-parking abilities more than anything else. But hey, if you ever find yourself feeling particularly unmotivated at work, you may consider trying to track down one of these guys, so that you can give “clap on, clap off” a whole new meaning.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of
self-driving cars crash

On the surface, cost-cutting is the name of the game in the automotive industry. Many automakers are slashing unprofitable, low-volume nameplates from their portfolios in a bid to save money. But, behind the scenes, major car brands are allocating more brains and dollars to research and development than ever before. They’re not designing V8s; they’re funneling the bulk of the money they save into the development of electric and autonomous technology many analysts predict will finally reach the mainstream during the 2020s. While electric cars have a bright future ahead of them, autonomous cars still suffer from a serious image issue they’re struggling to overcome.

Research carried out by CivicScience reveals most American consumers plainly aren’t interested in autonomous technology. 72 percent of the 1,900 adults the firm polled replied they’re not comfortable at all with self-driving cars. Only six percent said they were totally comfortable with the idea. Worse yet, the American Automotive Association (AAA) found 71 percent of motorists are afraid of riding in a car without a driver or a steering wheel. That’s down slightly from 73 percent in April 2018.

Read more
Waymo may take a ride with Nissan-Renault for robo-taxi services
Two people exit a Waymo taxi.

Reports out of Japan on Tuesday, February 5, suggest Waymo is prepping a partnership with the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance to develop driverless taxis and other services connected with the technology.

The companies are in the final stages of discussions regarding the partnership, with an announcement expected in the spring, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Read more
Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car
Nissan IMs concept

The Nissan Leaf was a pioneering electric car, but the design of the current-generation model appears a bit conservative compared to rival automakers' electric cars. Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs concept aims to help the company push the envelope a bit further with better performance, a different approach to interior design, and autonomous-driving tech.

The IMs concept features all-wheel drive -- with one electric motor powering each axle. Together, two motors produce 483 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, according to Nissan. A flat 115-kilowatt-hour battery pack mounted under the floor provides a claimed 380 miles of range. The car also features an air suspension system which, along with the low center of gravity provided by the floor-mounted battery pack, allows the IMs to corner sharply and ride comfortably, according to Nissan.

Read more