Working at Nissan would be neat. Keys to the Heritage Collection at Zama, employee lease incentives on a 600-horsepower NISMO GT-R. Maybe the occasional trip to the Nürburgring for a lap record. Oh, and desk chairs. Really, really smart desk chairs.
That’s the Japanese automaker’s latest creation. In a fit of restlessness and/or brilliance, Nissan engineers hacked the standard five-wheel rolling office chair, integrating the company’s self-parking autonomous technology. Controlled via wall-mounted motion cameras and Wi-Fi, these Roomba-esque seat pods scoot themselves, tucking tidily under a desk or conference room table. They make The Clapper look Amish.
The chairs come from Okamura, an industrial manufacturing outfit located near Nissan headquarters in Yokohama. While Okamura does have a history of transport design (it produced locomotive torque converters, then co-developed Japan's first postwar aircraft, the N-52) semi-autonomous seating isn’t consumer product, just a promotional item. Still, a fleet of self-returning chairs is one hell of a party trick.