Check out this apartment with ‘robotic furniture,’ and walls that move

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?

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.

The system first came to our attention in 2014, when it was known as CityHome. The team released a refined version last year.

The exciting news is that 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.

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.”

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.

The unit comes in two sizes — “full” for a full-size bed and “queen” for a smaller bed — and is flat-packed and assembled on site. 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.

“What Ori does is to maximize the functionality of a space; with robotic technology it creates a beautiful and transformative living and working environment that is unlike anything the world has seen.”

Emerging Tech

Words are so 2018. The Peeqo robot speaks exclusively in GIFs and video clips

Move over, Amazon Echo! Peeqo is a cute robot that will answer your spoken word questions by displaying a specially selected short video or GIF. Because, you know, it’s the year 2019.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on robot vacuums in time for Valentine’s Day

Treat yourself this Valentine's Day to smart home tech that will make your life so much easier. Amazon is slashing the prices on robot vacuums like our recommended favorite Ecovacs Deebot N79S. Ditch the cables with a self-cleaning robot…
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Smart Home

Google Home and Amazon Alexa are asking smart home device makers for user info

Google and Amazon want to establish a "continuous flow" of information between their servers and your smart home devices, but companies like Logitech have begun to speak out for user privacy.
Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.
Smart Home

Language barrier? Psh. Here's how to make your Google Home an ace translator

You can now use interpreter mode on your Google Home devices. This means, you can use your Google Home device to translate conversations in real-time. Here's how to use interpreter mode.
Smart Home

Ring adds color night vision to wired security devices and HDR to wireless ones

Ring rolled out color night vision to its wired security products with cameras such as the Spotlight Cam Wired. At the same time, Ring added HDR control to its battery-powered security devices including the Video Doorbell 2.
Smart Home

Check out the largest pools in the world - and how you can get there

From Egypt to Singapore to California, here's a pictorial breakdown of some of the biggest and largest pools in the world. Many of these pools are so big that you can even kayak and windsurf on them.
Smart Home

Consumer groups call out retailers in a bid for better IoT security

Consumer groups posted a "Dear retailer" letter on February 12 that called out Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Target, shaming the companies for selling insecure smart home devices.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Walmart drops a killer Instant Pot deal for Presidents’ Day weekend

With the Walmart Presidents' Day sale going on right now, you can actually pick up the Instant Pot Lux60 6-quart programmable pressure cooker for just $69 -- $30 off its normal price.
Smart Home

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents’ Day sale

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents' Day sale. Whether you're taking your first step in configuring a smart home or expanding to every room, Walmart has excellent sale prices for all the key components.