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?