Meet the Chairless Chair, an exoskeleton that attaches to your legs and lets you sit down, literally, in thin air.
When the aluminium and carbon fibre device is switched, you can walk around as usual, but when you want to sit, the device uses battery-powered mechanics to channel your body weight into the heels of your shoes. All you have to do is bend your knees to the height you’d like to sit at, hit a button and, voila, you’re sitting sans chair.
Created by Swiss start-up noonee, the exoskeleton is still in prototype form and looks pretty chunky, but developers are working on creating a version so thin you can wear it inconspicuously under your pants. This current model weighs around 2 kg and can run at least eight hours on one charge. There’s no word on price as yet.
For people who sit down all day at a desk the device might not sound too useful, but it could help those who are on their feet all day working in factories, warehouses or kitchens, and who are at risk of muscular and skeletal health problems.
It’s not all about comfort either - exoskeletons are also being used to help people with spinal injuries walk, and in the future this kind of research could translate into therapeutic benefits for patients with mobility issues.