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An Office Chair With Built-In Video Instruction Manual

Steelcase’s ergonomic Leap office chair has a QR code on it that launches a video teaching you how to adjust it perfectly to your posture.

An Office Chair With Built-In Video Instruction Manual

I can’t remember the last time I saw an application for QR codes–those blocky black and white images you scan with your smartphone camera–that seemed in any way useful for normal human beings. (No offense to the guy who got one tattooed on his chest, but that ain’t normal.) So my hat is off to Steelcase for coming up with one in their Leap office chair, which has a QR code embedded tastefully in the armrest that, when snapped with your smartphone camera, launches a handy video teaching you how to configure the chair for optimal ergonomics. Here’s the video:

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Granted, the clip is not exactly scintillating viewing material, but that’s not the point. The point is that every one of those damned “ergonomic” office chairs littering every office on earth (like the ubiquitous Aeron, or its many knock-offs) has about half a dozen rods and knobs sticking out of it and no obvious way of telling what the hell any of them do. Am I the only one who has plopped my ass into one of these things in a meeting, tried to adjust it, and accidentally sunk down to midget-height in front of my colleagues?

Steelcase’s Leap doesn’t look much different from any of the other “task chairs” currently cushioning the tushes of the world’s knowledge workers, but this simple, humane addition of a QR code sets it apart by miles in terms of usability. “We’ve spent years researching how people work and providing solutions that offer unprecedented levels of ergonomic support, but if the end user doesn’t know how to properly adjust their chair, those benefits aren’t fully realized,” says Mary Underwood, Seating Product Manager at Steelcase. “With the addition of QR codes, it’s almost like having a personal assistant ready to show you how your chair works.”

Steelcase plans on including similar QR codes on its other task chairs as well, and the Leap will be released this fall. So lobby your office manager to get some now, before you head into the conference room to request that raise you’ve been wanting and accidentally make a fool of yourself.

[Read more at Steelcase.com]

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About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets

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