By Zak Stone
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites are still in the dark after Hurricane Sandy roared through earlier week. That means closed offices, disconnected Wi-Fi, and uncharged smartphones. The extended power outage puts into sharp relief the downside of our increasing dependence on a multitude of electronics--our helplessness in the face of an unreliable grid.
But a new (albeit, expensive) piece of technology sounds like the perfect furnishing for the homes of the powerless and iPhone-deprived in situations like these. The iRock is a Swiss-made rocking chair that harnesses energy from its rocking motion to charge and play music from an iPod or other Apple devices.
"The iRock is an product that explores how furniture can interact with technology and actually support the power for this technology," reads the iRock website. "The laws of physics dictates how movement and friction constantly creates a vast amount of energy that in most cases are lost. iRock is a attempt to collect some of this energy and put it to real use." A 60-minute session in the iRock will give an iPad 3 back one-third of its life. There's even a battery to store power for later charging.
The $1,300 chair (note: not actually viable to help most everyone still affected by Sandy, we know) is the work of Zurich-based Micasa Lab, whose portfolio of five products intended to "explore modern living" includes a mobile dining room set for picnics and a not-yet-released floating lamp.
Copyright 2012 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.