'Self-Parking' Office Chair Can Push Itself In

At the sound of a clap
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2016 4:02 PM CST

And the strangest tech innovation of the month award goes to the engineers at Nissan for inventing an office chair that puts itself neatly back under a desk at the sound of a clap. It's true: The "Intelligent Parking Chair" has motors and wheels in its circular base that sync with cameras placed in a room. When somebody claps, the chair navigates its way back to the proper location, reports Jalopnik. (Watch the video here.) It's also more of a publicity stunt than a new product: Nissan is looking to generate publicity for its soon-to-be-unveiled technology for self-parking cars, notes Engadget. At least 10 models will have some iteration of the tech by 2020.

As a publicity stunt, however, it seems to be succeeding, because auto and tech blogs are picking up on the story. Carscoops, for instance, is intrigued: "Considering how seamlessly the chairs seem to work, we wouldn't be surprised to see a technology company try and make them a production reality." Nissan teamed with an actual chair company, Okamura, to create the seats, so that might not be too far-fetched. But Fortune has a practical concern: "It’s unclear what clap-powered chairs would do if the whole office ever burst into applause." (Tesla is starting to dabble with "autopilot" mode.)

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