[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 20-Sep-2012
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Contact: Aitziber Lasa Iglesias
a.lasa@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa

TECNALIA develops smart furniture

Through cooperation with several furniture-manufacturing companies, the project WoodTouch develops new concepts of tactile interaction with furniture

This press release is available in Spanish.

IMAGE: This is smart furniture.

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TECNALIA has taken another step in the manufacture of furniture of the future. Along with GRUMAL, companies, NUEVA LINEA, ELSON ELECTRONICA and EKOLEDS,, and framed in the WoodTouch project, it has developed a new concept of touch interaction with furniture and wood surfaces, this concept could be used to add intelligence to the furniture around us in the future.

Can you imagine connecting the heater or turning off the lights by gently stroking the headboard in the bedroom? Or why not use, for example, wood as a home automation control touch pad? It is now possible.

The project called WoodTouch uses the warm feel of wood to change the furniture into the new intelligent control system and therefore have under our control all our home electrical devices in a simple and intuitive way. TECNALIA has developed it in collaboration with a group of companies in the furniture industry thus creating a new relationship concept with home furnishings by which the furniture itself acquires new functions.

It is the combination of a traditional sector such as manufacturing of household furniture, with the latest technology. Thus, new business opportunities are created for a sector that is currently undergoing moments of difficulty, but thanks to this revolutionary idea, this can be twisted to look on the bright side. For the time being, GRUMAL, NUEVA LINEA, ELSON ELECTRONICA and EKOLEDS are the first companies to use this technology and reach the market with this innovative solution developed by TECNALIA.

IMAGE: This is smart furniture, Bulegoa.

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You may light a room, turn on the heating or regulate the intensity of various electrical devices connected to the mains power system, without the need to press a button.

The furniture that incorporates this technology offers a quality appearance and has a wide range of finishes apart from a potential area where users can control various applications by touching the warm wooden surface of their furniture.

This innovative idea meets the growing demand for simple interface means with which to interact with household electrical devices. Taking into account the fierce competition in the market, the project aims to prove that the furniture itself, in addition to being a decorative element and support, supplies additional functionality.

The project involves two companies in Azpeitia (Spain): GRUMAL, which belongs to the Mondragon Corporation Furniture Group and NUEVA LINEA, reputed manufacturer for design and innovative furniture. Also involved: ELSON ELECTRONICA, dedicated to the production and development of electronic equipment; the firm from Bizkaia EKOLEDS and the technology research centre TECNALIA.

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