You’ve likely experienced home theater seats that shake, rattle, and roll in sync with the movie action; there are chairs equipped with motors that adjust to your perfect comfort settings; and you may have even run across furnishings featuring illuminated cup holders, nifty storage bins, and charging stations for your mobile devices. What you probably haven’t seen—until now—is a truly smart home theater chair. Sometime early this year, Leggett & Platt (LP) Smart Products, in collaboration with Elite Home Theater Seating Inc., will release a line of home theater seating equipped with sensors that will enable you to effortlessly dim and brighten light fixtures, adjust a thermostat, and activate A/V gear. Without even picking up a remote control or tapping a button in a mobile device, you can alter the room environment precisely to your liking—and all you have to do is settle into your home theater seat. A completely different scenario can unfold when you exit the chair.
To describe the process more accurately, it’s really a home automation system that transmits the commands to the lights, thermostat, A/V equipment, and other gear. The chair is basically a smart device that triggers the automation system to react. Communication between the chair’s integrated LPSense and LPConnect technology and your chosen automation system occurs wirelessly using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or ZigBee technology. According to LP Smart Products, the smart seating from Elite will be compatible with most home automation systems, enabling home systems integrators to personalize and customize the effects precisely to a homeowner’s liking. The personalization can extend to the chair itself. For example, when the chair detects that you’ve sat down, it can recline to your favorite position and extend the footrest. If the chair is equipped with a massage unit, its settings can also be automated, and even be used to notify you of happenings around your house. For example, should someone ring the doorbell, an appropriately programmed home automation system can signal the chair to vibrate slightly.
No word yet on how much the smart home theater seating from Elite will cost, but LP Smart Products assures us that the upcharge will be on par with what you’d expect to pay to add a motor or a massage unit to a chair. The Elite line will be the first smart theater seats to hit the market, but LP Smart Products plans to collaborate with other manufacturers, making this technology easy to find and enjoy in the near future. EH