Traditionally, innovation in furniture manufacturing has focused mainly on aspects such as materials, aesthetics, ergonomics or adequate use of space. Nonetheless, the increasing importance of Information and Communication Technologies in daily life suggests the integration of the features they enable in furniture.
The incorporation of new technologies to furniture goes beyond domotics, which focuses on home monitoring and automation. The goal is to offer services to the user that could be of his interest and augment the intrinsic purpose of a piece of furniture, possibly by embedding electronic devices. The main challenge to overcome is achieving a seamless adaptation of those devices with furniture, combining an appealing and functional design with an innovative and reliable technology that provides added value and makes a difference with the traditional view.
In Gradiant we are working on these new furniture concepts in a project with Cosman Fábrica de Muebles S.L. and Aluminio Mecanizado de Galicia S.L., in which several types of intelligent furniture are being developed for a variety of environments, both domestic and professional: desks, multimedia mirrors and self-organizing shelves are some examples.
The technological driver and differentiation factor of the intelligent furniture we are working with will be the use of PLC technology, in order to minimize the wiring that the embedded devices require. This is a well-known technology for Gradiant, due to its long-term relationship with Gigle Networks, now a member of Broadcom, which has pioneered this field.