What if you took your chair and placed it onto your body? Would it then be called a wearable chair? But, how does one wear a chair?
These are the questions being answered from a new product from Japan. They are redefining the phrase “wearable technology”.
Archelis which is the child of Yokohama, from Nitto and Chiba University, is a wearable chair. Archelis means a walkable chair in Japanese. The design is straightforward. It is a titanium frame embraces the back of the worker’s leg with a belt strapping around users’ torso. Users can stand and walk like normal, however, it is convenient when they want to sit. All they have to do is pushing a button that locks the frame into place at the desired angle. The weight of the body is transferred through the frame to the floor or the heels.
You may consider that it is weird. Why not simply sit on a chair and stand on your feet? The driven purpose of Archelis is to served surgeons or workers who force to stand for hours. The fact is that workers at Audi’s manufactory plants have to stand for nearly eight hours a day. Therefore most of the time they have to suffer from an uncomfortable position. Archelis helps increase work condition as well as work efficiency. Besides, Archelis reduces fatigue by allowing surgeons to sit down during long surgeries. However, workers and surgeons are not the only group that can benefit from Archelis. Archelis is helpful in any situations in which chairs are occupied and people have no option but to stand; for example street performers who act like statues. A plus for Archelis, it requires no batteries or power to operate.
Besides, Archelis is not the only exoskeleton which acts like a chair. In 2014 a Swiss start-up, Noonee, also developed the same concept called the chairless chair. The chairless chair doesn’t look like a chair at all. According to a study called “Fit for Work Europe,” research has shown that standing for a long time can be bad for the muscles and joints. Poor posture, repetitive movements and physical strain can result to Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Thus, the chairless chair was born with the idea of wanting to sit anywhere and everywhere. It is also used for workers who have to stand for a long time. It attaches to a person’s hips and thighs. One presses the button and it immediately transforms itself into a chair. The chair can support up to 100kg of weight from each person’s leg. The point is it just weighs only 2 kg and doesn’t affect any mobility. Users are even allowed to run.
There are two versions of the chairless chair. One version connects to a pair of boots to prevent the device from touching the ground. The second version uses the device with a special foot wear. The battery life of chairless chair is at least 8 hours after a single charge.
The wearable chair has a confidence to satisfy people who force to stand for a long time despite the rather strange aesthetics. Who knows? In a few years may be we will all be walking around with wearable seats.