Oddly Enough

Are you sitting comfortably? Ask the chair

BERLIN (Reuters) - Getting back pain from sitting still for too long or in a bad position could be a thing of the past thanks to a chair developed by a German scientist which makes noises to tell users when they need to move.

Risto Koiva invented the “Intelli Chair” after researching “sonification” -- the use of noise to convey information -- with his colleagues at Bielefeld University in northwestern Germany.

“Four touch-sensitive sensors in the seat of the chair and another four in the back of the chair detect how the user is sitting,” Koiva said. “The data they collect is sent to a computer via a bluetooth module.”

If the chair detects that its occupant is sitting in the wrong position or has remained seated for too long, it makes a noise to tell the user it is time to change position.

Physicist and computer scientist Thomas Hermann said the Intelli Chair was mainly intended for use in a home office, but could be useful elsewhere.

“It could be used in school classrooms, or in big offices to optimize workflows by determining when employees need to take a break,” the 40-year-old said.

Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Steve Addison