At first glance, the Seed Pod is a dead ringer for the pod in David Cronenberg’s version of The Fly, meaning paranoid sci-fi fans will be scanning the walls for any tiny winged intruders before stepping inside. Thankfully, there’s no need. The technology in the Seed Pod only transports you to your own personal calming space, rather than another place entirely. It does this using ambient lighting and transducer speakers in the floor, which combined with the design of the interior, fills the pod with sound that you can actually feel through your feet. The speakers connect to your device using Bluetooth.
The five LED lights change color and also use Bluetooth for customization, and are subtle, not distracting. The seats are hard, but the ergonomic design is very comfortable, right down to the curve of the pod matching our relaxed posture. It’s all incredibly effective. The noise and bustle of the DesignJunction show in London, where we saw the Seed Pod, was muted once we stepped inside. The world outside didn’t disappear entirely, a sensible design choice which takes away any chance of the pod becoming an unsettling or unearthly place, like a sensory deprivation tank.
It was instantly relaxing, as proven by the amount of time other people would spend inside. They would sit down, and simply wouldn’t get up again until prompted to do so.
Seed Pods are modular. The complete pod seen here is suitable for inside our outside use, and has a port in the ceiling to let in natural light. The entire top half can be removed, so the pod becomes more like a cup; but this removes the isolating, calming atmosphere produced by the enclosure. In the future, it will be possible to add custom cushioning to the seats, although with that option fitted, we doubt anyone would leave for hours.
Where would you find a Seed Pod? It could be purchased for your own home and garden, but its uses outside of this are far more interesting. At the moment Seed Pods are used in hospitals, offices, and even prisons. Anywhere a time-out would be beneficial. It’s an easily moved, space-efficient booth, so in the future, it could be found at festivals and other large events. From our point of view, the thought of a few Seed Pods on the show floor of CES or another massive event, where tens of thousands of people regularly jostle for space, is very attractive.
A basic Seed Pod costs 15,000 British pounds, or around $26,000, and if you want the lights and audio inside, like the one seen here, the total will be closer to 18,000 British pounds, or about $24,000. Expensive, but having felt the potential benefits of the sanctuary one provides, a worthwhile investment.
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