The Internet of Things is rapidly transforming the concept of modern living – Amazon’s Alexa answers our questions and can connect us to near-by devices, apps show us who’s knocking at the door or if we forgot a light on, and in-home security devices are easier to install than ever before. And now, there’s intelligent furniture.
►►Acoustics Hiding in Plain Sight
Reintroducing the Smart Sofa
Smart sofa photos courtesy of Natuzzi
Introduced at Salone Del Mobile 2018 in April and resurging again for the first time in North America at High Point Market in October is the Colosseo sofa, a smart sofa that can interact with technological devices in one’s home. The furniture is part of the Smart Living project, a collaboration between Italy’s largest furniture house, Natuzzi, and LG Signature, LG’s premium product brand. Based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the Smart Living project enables furniture like the Colosseo sofa to interact with connected LG Signature devices, such as the LG Signature TV and LG Signature air purifiers or even an AI speaker or LG Smart Bulb.
The first-ever partnership between the two brands has resulted in furniture that is far more advanced than the average design of chairs and sofas that may include a charging port and/or Bluetooth enabled speakers. To enter the smart home market, Pasquale Junior Natuzzi, chief marketing officer at Natuzzi, made the initial contact with LG whose base is in South Korea.
“I personally approached LG because in the last five to six years of fully working in the industry – and deeply understanding its global context – I understood there was a big opportunity to create a new market segment where the Internet of Things could be merged into a smart furniture collection,” says Natuzzi. “I reached out to LG because they are best-in-class in the world of Artificial Intelligence and smart devices.”
Incorporating LG’s cutting-edge innovation in appliances and home entertainment products, Smart Living project designer Mauro Lipparini created a complete family of minimalist furniture items. The focal point of the collection is the Colosseo sofa, which consists of two enveloping shells of different heights and shapes that embrace the seat and backrest cushions to create a compact overall design. The square shell is slightly raised on the backrest to form a kind of private area where the end user can shut themselves away. It also features a Zero Wall space-saving system.
“When you sit on a Colosseo sofa with the Zero Wall system the seating and backrest move forward, inclining as the sofa opens so there's no need to keep it away from the wall,” explains Natuzzi. “This allows you to place the sofa directly against the wall – additional wall clearance is not necessary.”
In the Natuzzi-LG Smart Living environment, a voice assistant recognizes the voice of users and monitors the ergonomics of the sofa, changing the position of the seat according to different customizable scenarios – like reading, resting and watching TV – and also according to the specific requirements of each consumer and LG Signature devices at the same time. To easily monitor and control the sofa, Natuzzi adds that users can download the LG Signature app on their smartphones or tablets.
From an inanimate object, the Colosseo sofa becomes what Natuzzi dubs “a kind of relaxing robot,” offering different recline options and the customized adjustment of seat cushions, the backrest, headrest and footrest. Available in fabric and fine Natuzzi leather, Colosseo comes in over 200 colors and its seat modules can even be integrated with open storage units that can act as an armrest or shelf.
“We have always combined research, creativity, skilled craftsmanship and technology in a process that has been perfected through years and years of work,” says Natuzzi of the design. “Only through this, we are able to introduce new projects that are years ahead of anything else on the market.”
Natuzzi visited the LG Science Park in Seoul to experience first-hand just how LG Electronics represents technological innovation. “LG is marching ever closer to having a smart house that does everything from cook to clean on our behalf,” he remarks. “From our side, we have a manufacturing know-how that allows us to create innovative solutions and realize motion furniture without compromising the design. The merging of the two is what makes this collaboration successful.”
While no specific release date has been revealed, Natuzzi adds that Colosseo should be made available this winter, and that one can expect more collaboration and research between the two companies on the merging IoT and interior industries.
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