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A Spooky Chair Whose “Heart” Races When A Sitter Nears

We’re not sure what’s more impressive about Ben Alun-Jones’s Affinity Chair: the fact that it glows when it senses the presence of visitors, or that it’s a chair and we’re actually kinda’ scared of it.

From afar, the chair looks virtually invisible, its acrylic and mirrored-film surface gently reflecting the surroundings. But inch near, and a matrix of embedded LEDs lights up at which point, “the chair wakes, becoming transparent, revealing hidden depths and creating an almost infinite space beneath.” Get even closer, and its “heart rate increases” (are we still talking about a chair here?), setting off a ghoulish little light show. Gulp… It’s alive!!!!

Okay, not really. Alun-Jones, a British designer and engineer, rigged the chair with an ultrasonic sensor that can detect when someone approaches. Custom electronics and code allow the lights to be programmed to react to environmental stimuli.

So it’s not that scary. But note that the film above doesn’t show us anything about what it’s like to actually sit in the thing. Maybe that’s because, like some other spooky chairs we’ve heard of, no sitter ever lives to tell.

Alun-Jones showed the Affinity Chair at the Rad Gallery in London recently. Details here.

[Images courtesy of the Rad Gallery]

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