You might want to sit down for this. No chair? No problem!
Swiss startup Noonee is creating a “chairvolution” with its new ergonomic Chairless Chair. The battery-powered locking leg device (not leg locking—semantics matter, people) allows you to sit anywhere, anytime, without the need of an actual seat.
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how sitting for too many hours in a day can lead to some pretty dire health problems. Unfortunately, standing for too long can cause other problems in the feet and ankles, as well as general fatigue. As a compromise solution, Noonee—based in Zurich and founded by 29-year-old Keith Gunura—has come up with a device that lets you sit and stand at your leisure.
The latest prototype is made from a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber—light materials that allow it to weigh a mere 2 kilograms (just under 4.5 pounds). Noonee claims you can even run while wearing it.
The seat itself never actually touches the ground—it’s secured to the body using a belt and a series of loops. Move into your desired position, push a button, and the battery-powered dampeners will lock the device in place. It takes your weight and directs it down into the heels of your shoes. A single 6V battery will apparently power it for up to 24 hours at a time.
Very cool, but it does sort of look like Forrest Gump’s leg braces had a love child with a bar stool.
The Zurich-based startup designed this wearable chair with industrial environments in mind, particularly those that require people to sit or stand in awkward positions for long periods.
According to Noonee’s website, “The Chairless Chair will reduce the impact of… non-optimal postures for both healthy workers (prevention) and those already suffering from muscle related injuries.”
Noonee even hopes to expand into rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
Keith Gunura, the founder and CEO of Noonnee, has a clear vision for where this patent-pending product could head: “We’re also thinking about people behind the counter in retail, farmers picking fruit and even surgeons in the operating room.”
It's still a ways away from a consumer-ready product, so there's no information on pricing or availability. But BMW is planning to run a production line trial in Germany this September, with Audi running another one later this year.
If the Chairless Chair works, it could be a marvelous boon to workers of all stripes, whether they sit at a desk or stand at an assembly line. And if you want an example of something else that looks absurd but promises heightened comfort, just look around to see how many people you can find wearing Crocs.