Most of the time on MakeTechEasier, we like to talk about technology as it relates to computers and smartphones.
Technology, however, isn’t limited to electronics and microprocessors – the definition of technology is really just “the application of scientific knowledge“, and the application of scientific knowledge is what’s brought us to the subject of today’s article: the wearable chair.
Full disclosure: I presently work from home and write to make my living. However, I’m not unfamiliar with the on-your-feet industry in fast food, retail, etc., and I’m sure many of you aren’t either. Let’s talk about the wearable chair and what difference it could make moving forward.
What is a wearable chair, and how does it work?
The news that spurred the release of this article comes from the announcement of the Archelis. The Archelis (which literally translates to “walking/walkable chair”) is a Japanese creation, intended for people working in high-end professions, namely surgery.
However, the Archelis isn’t the first wearable chair to make the news recently. In March of 2015, Wired reported on an innovation being made in manufacturer Audi’s factories – the implementation of a “Chairless Chair” created by the Swiss company Noonee.
The image above shows Noonee’s tech at work, allowing a worker to sit, without a chair, while working. Most wearabale chairs will work like this – by making something similar to (or what can just be outright called) an exoskeleton for the legs, people will be allowed to support themselves and assume a sitting position without the need for a chair.
Of course, gravity is still at play here. Wearable chairs focus the weight of their users at their ankles and feet. It’s not exactly the same as resting yourself on a comfortable chair. The experience is described to be more akin to a barstool, but for workers like surgeons or manufacturers, any kind of additional comfort is more than welcome.
These are two separate projects intended for two separate audiences – the worker at the manufacturing plant and the surgeon at the hospital. However, the tech behind them, the application, is incredibly similar. As this technology seeps into the mainstream, and I’m sure it will, you may find yourself with a few questions.
Let’s talk about those for a minute.
The Big Questions
Who is it intended for?
The two companies mentioned above are targeting their products towners factory workers and surgeons. These are both strenuous, high-accuracy jobs that require an extended amount of time on your feet- fatigue, as well as potential back problems, are very real concerns in this line of work. That being said, however, most jobs are also strenuous and require a lot of time moving around, on your feet. This technology may be aimed at a particular few audiences for now, but if you’ve ever had to stand for long periods of time, working, without a chair in sight, you’ll understand the need.
Can I use it?
Once it’s out, absolutely. Nobody can stop you from buying a wearable chair and using it yourself. It may be frowned upon in certain work environments – you can get in trouble for sitting down while working fast food or retail, for instance, but that’s mainly due to how people perceive sitting around. I think it’s reasonable to expect a lot of opposition to this tech early on, especially in industries that treat their employees poorly to maintain a company image.
However, innovation usually wins. It may take a while, but I believe that wearable chairs will be accepted into society as just another part of working life.
How much will it cost?
That’s anyone’s guess. I can’t find pricing information on either of the products covered here. Due to the age and utility of this new technology, however, I’d expect it to be reasonably expensive, at least somewhere near the $100 USD range. Note that this is an estimate made in February of 2016, whether I’m right or wrong, only time will tell.
Do you work a job where this kind of tech would be handy? Sound off below and let us know what you think.
Image Credit: Audi/Wired for Chairless Chair Demo, Assorted images of both products from their websites.