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DRM applied to furniture manufacture

by Mark Tyson on 4 March 2013, 13:00

Tags: PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabthb

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DRM (Digital Rights Management) is something that we often just have to put-up-with in software and digital media files. European courts have sometimes tried to protect our rights to do what we want with our purchases and defend us from heavy handed DRM and licensing practices but this restrictive software doesn’t seem to be going away. Imagine if other industries could use DRM to restrict your usage of the products you have bought, how ludicrous that might be?

To take part in a global design competition a team of designers decided to make piece of furniture that featured a usage restriction system akin to DRM. Below is a video of the DRM Chair. This chair was built to allow only eight uses before self destructing.

The DRM Chair has structural joints made of a meltable plastic material. A pressure sensitive counter in the chair detects when it is sat on. The designers could set the self destruction counter to anything but they chose eight simply so everyone in the design group could have one sit. An Arduino computer triggered the chair’s joints to all be melted following the eighth person’s sitting session.

Who needs chairs anyway?

At the weekend TechCrunch published an interesting article singing the praises of “walking desks”. I’ve spent time on a regular treadmill and found the experience extremely boring so I’m sure a computer workstation at the end of it would make time upon the treadmill much more engaging.

The TechCrunch writer Gregory Feinstein said of his experience, using a walking desk for a month, that there were very few drawbacks and a lot of positive aspects to the experience. The best things about the walking desk, according to Feinstein, were calorie burn and fitness improvements. He doesn’t really mention his work performance, though I have previously read some philosopher praise the value of “walking thoughts”.

The minor negative points of using a walking desk that Feinstein found were; walking like a T-Rex so you can operate the computer while trotting along, the computer microphone picking up the treadmill sounds, piles of crumbs behind the treadmill due to eating lunch at the desk...

Perhaps Marissa Mayer could have equipped Yahoo homeworkers with treadmills sensing their presence at the computer, rather than simply banning teleworking?



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Sometimes I wonder if the human race even deserves to exist. All that we face as a species and there are Highly educated Trogladites working on projects like this. :(
DRM chair? Like the idea lots ... not, I hasten to add, as a product in itself, but as a clear man-in-the-street example of why a lot of current DRM schemes are ridiculous. Presumably - like other DRM schemes - some nasty "pirate" promptly 'hacked' the chair by removing the power from the Arduino. :p
At the weekend TechCrunch published an interesting article singing the praises of “walking desks”. I’ve spent time on a regular treadmill and found the experience extremely boring so I’m sure a computer workstation at the end of it would make time upon the treadmill much more engaging.
Please someone, send TechCrunch a link to that episode of World's Craziest Fools that dealt with treadmills. Looking at that picture conjures up an image of class action suits being bought in the States by folks who have destroyed their dental work while slipping on the treadmill.

Plus, that'll cost money to run - far better to make the poor human-hamster power their PC by treadmill generator and fire them if they can't get their work done.
Perhaps Marissa Mayer could have equipped Yahoo homeworkers with treadmills sensing their presence at the computer, rather than simply banning teleworking?
As you say - "perhaps". But then again, it might have been more productive (and easier) to hold the teleworker's managers responsible for ensuring their staff are actually getting the work done. You know ... that thing called "people management".

If my boss wants to check on me all he has to do is phone/IM me - if I answer then I'm working, otherwise not. Simple! With a double check of "giving me stuff to do" and if I do it then I'm definitely working.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7QxK3-pANw

May sum up why using a treadmill is a bad idea at work!

"Presumably - like other DRM schemes - some nasty "pirate" promptly 'hacked' the chair by removing the power from the Arduino": Brilliant!!!
Andehh
Sometimes I wonder if the human race even deserves to exist. All that we face as a species and there are Highly educated Trogladites working on projects like this. :(

I think the fact that someone even thought to do something like this is what makes us amazing as a species. Our inquisitive nature, our creativity, our willingness to try new things just for the hell of it. Those are the qualities that, ultimately, will save us from extinction.

Okay fine, it's not curing cancer or saving starving children or solving globla warming. But it's cool and interesting and put a smile on my face and probably on the faces of most of the people who read this article. Personally, I think that alone makes it worthwhile! :)
Polar bear on treadmill is much funnier - and yes sometimes I also despair of the world till I see some of the yummy mummies on the school run!