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Pamper Your Butt

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I recently upgraded from the wooden kitchen chair I've used for years to a real swiveling office chair on wheels, so I'm a bit behind the curve on office chair innovations. When you spend the biggest part of your waking life sitting at a computer, what you sit on can make all the difference in your mood. Some of the gadgets developed to enhance your working comfort and health may be worth the added expense.

The Best Seat Cushion

This cushion has twelve air cells inside that inflate and deflate intermittently. The idea is that this will relieve pressure points and stimulate circulation in your butt and thighs. Yes, it's possible to  do the same thing by shifting your weight or changing position, but it sounds like it would give you a lovely massage. The Best Seat is powered by a rechargeable battery that will last 48 hours on a two-our charge. Get yours for $225 at Magellan (when they restock) or $299.99 at Hammacher-Schlemmer.

Suzukaze Seat Cushion

MFac.jpgThings can get hot under there. The Suzukaze seat cushion has a built-in air conditioner for your butt! The fan pushed 170 liters of air through the cushion per minute. It runs on 4 AA batteries, with an estimated energy cost of 5 cents a month if you use rechargeable batteries. There is also a car seat model available. Only $93 from the Japan Trend Shop.

Embody Office Chair

200_MFembody.jpgThis chair designed by Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf shapes itself to your body. Seven different adjustments let you find the position that is most comfortable. The lower back has constant support, while the upper back conforms to your shape. The seat has four layers -suspension, coils, weight-supporting rings, and a cooling mesh. It's yours for $1,495.00 (or a bit more with some options) from Herman Miller. Shipping is free.

I'm still giddy from just having a comfy office chair. Still, one of these days I'm going to splurge a bit to make myself feel really pampered while working. Meanwhile, I'll keep buying lottery tickets.

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IKEA
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Animals
Get IKEA's New Pet Furniture Collection for Not a Lot of Scratch
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IKEA

The biggest surprise about IKEA's newest product line is that it has taken this long to debut. This week, the North American arm of the Swedish furniture giant unveiled a new assortment of furniture designed specifically for four-legged customers. Dubbed LURVIG (Swedish for “hairy”), pet owners can now browse IKEA aisles for everything from dog beds to cat scratching posts—many of which have a distinct IKEA twist.

Their pet couch ($49.95), for example, folds out into a bed; another bed is small enough to slide under a human-sized mattress. Their “cat house on legs” ($54.95) looks like a retro TV and allows space for a cat to stalk you from behind a screen.

An assortment of IKEA pet furniture
IKEA

The retailer solicited advice from veterinarians on product design that would be functional while sitting comfortably within the IKEA aesthetic. “It is quite important for IKEA to have a pet range that fits into our normal furniture range,” Barbara Schäfer, IKEA’s product risk assessment leader, told Curbed. “As a pet owner I can say, so far, the normal pet products are quite ugly.” (Don't hold back, Barbara.)

The LURVIG line is currently being rolled out to IKEA stores, but you’ll have to be willing to be your furry pal’s personal shopper; the company doesn’t allow pets in their stores, save for service animals.

[h/t Curbed]

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IKEA
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Design
IKEA’s New Augmented Reality App Lets You Test Out Virtual Furniture in Your Home
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IKEA

No matter how much measuring and research you do beforehand, buying a piece of furniture without knowing what it will look like in your home is always a gamble. With its new augmented reality app, IKEA hopes to take some of the guesswork out of the process. IKEA Place features more than 2000 items in the Swedish retailer's inventory, and visualizing them in the space where you live is as easy as tapping a button.

As WIRED reports, IKEA Place is among the first apps to take advantage of Apple's ARKit, an augmented reality platform that debuted as part of iOS 11. iPhone and iPad owners with the latest update can download IKEA's new app for free and start browsing through home goods right away.

To use the tool, you must first select the product you wish to test out, whether it's a loveseat, a kitchen table, or a dresser. Then, with the camera activated, you can point your device at whichever space you want the item to fill and watch it appear on the screen in front of you.

According to IKEA, the 3D models are scaled with 98 percent accuracy. Factors that are hard to analyze from photos online, like shadows, lighting, and textures, are also depicted as they would appear in real life. So if a sofa that looks great under the lights of a store looks drab in your living room, or if a desk that seems tiny online doesn't fit inside your office, the app will let you know. It's the closest you can get to seeing how a piece of furniture complements a room without lugging it through the doorway.

IKEA isn't the first company to improve interior design with computerized images. Several hardware stores and furniture outlets offer their own AR apps. Other services like Modsy let customers pay to create full virtual models of their homes before populating them with 3D furniture. Even IKEA had a basic AR app prior to this one, but it was glitchy and not always accurate. This newest iteration aims to provide a more seamless shopping experience. And with the latest iOS update placing a greater emphasis on AR, you can expect to see more apps using the technology in the near future.

[h/t WIRED]

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