Design:

How to Find Furniture Items for Techies

When I moved into my first apartment, I didn’t care what kind of furniture I had. My parents got me a futon, I parked my bicycle where the dining room table should have been, and I stuck my mattress on the floor: Bachelor Pad 101.

But as I’ve grown up and become a bit more sophisticated, I’ve started to care about my furniture. It happens to the best of us, I suppose. But what do we do when we want to merge our furniture with our love of technology? Well, science has answered that question, and answered it with vigor.

Go online

If you’re looking for high-tech anything, the Internet is a great place to start. One quick search and you’ve got millions of hits.

People might wonder: how high-tech can furniture get, really? I was astounded by what a search came up with, and you probably will be too. But how do we narrow down what we are going to buy for our techie friends?

Price

This is always a big consideration in gift giving or home decorating. How much are we willing to spend? And will it fit in with the space?

Think about this: someone makes a couch that looks like it belongs on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Would this couch really fit in with a tiny living room decked out with IKEA end-tables and a bookshelf made of cinder blocks? Probably not.

But what would go well in a room like that is a couch with built-in wooden end-tables that include charging docks for a variety of electronic devices.

Function

Returning to the bridge of the Enterprise, is Captain Kirk’s couch useful (or comfortable)? Obviously, there’s a subjective element here, but it’s important to look at furniture in terms of what you can use it for.

If it’s too high-tech, it loses its purpose. Case in point: a bed shaped like an egg is not going to be good for the claustrophobic among us. We’ll end up sleeping on the overly-curved ultra-modern couch, and that just makes for a bad night.

Also, I wouldn’t recommend investing in anything high-tech if you’ve got small kids. From pulling over the TVs to throwing Barbies through a projector lens, kids can wreck anything. Keep it simple while they’re little, or buy the high-tech furniture for the home office that they’re not allowed to enter.

Another thought to remember when looking at high-tech furniture is reliability. If you’re willing to shell out the big bucks, do your research and make sure it works. Coffee table with USB port that transforms into a giant tablet? Yeah, awesome, until you put your mug of coffee down and the heat sensor goes haywire, and suddenly you’re stuck in an endless loop of Angry Birds.

Perhaps I’m a pessimist, but you get my drift. Just because something is new and cool doesn’t mean it’s going to work.

Style

Someone who loves TV and gaming will probably find the canopy bed with a built-in HD television screen absolutely amazing. The person trying to enhance his sleep will like curling up in the egg-bed.

If you’re buying for yourself, consider what you need out of your furniture, and how this high-tech option is going to help you get it. If it doesn’t meet your needs or lifestyle, move on.

Also, consider the rest of your home. Most of us aren’t going to be able to techie-trick-out our entire pads at once, so we have to buy bits and pieces. Don’t make your home look odd and unbalanced by having, say, a completely integrated touch-screen desk that you’re eating your Ramen noodles off of.

I’m not judging; I’m just suggesting you prioritize a little.

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From ThinkGeek:

Millions of years ago, if a geek wanted to play videogames, he had to take a pocketful of quarters to the mall where darkened rooms filled with 6-foot-tall cabinets bleeped and blooped in glowing 8-bit goodness. Before we measured the quality of our games in voxels, we had to use our imaginations and believe that jagged white lines were massive hurtling asteroids, and that a triangle was your intrepid starship attempting to navigate the void. We fantasized that a simple white line was Bjorn Borg, and that a single pixel of light was a tennis ball being smashed at Jimmy Connors’ racket, or that shooting the head of a centipede would turn it in into a mushroom.

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