Jaguar Land Rover's 'Shape-Shifting' Seat Will Make Your Body Think It's Walking
It'll rock your pelvis from side to side to negate the effects of sitting too long.
Driving is fun, but driving for extended or repetitive periods of time can take a toll on the body. Weakened muscles in the legs, hips, and gluteus can increase the chances of back pain or spinal injury, and if you have both a desk job and a long driving commute, this scenario becomes almost unavoidable. That's why Jaguar Land Rover is working on a way to keep the body active during long drives, with a seat designed to rock the hell out of you...err...move the pelvis from side to side.
A prototype seat currently in development at JLR uses sets of actuators embedded in its foam base to ever so slightly change the angle of the seat on a constant basis. It says this constant pelvic oscillation can trick the brain into thinking that the body is walking, and keep muscles engaged to prevent them from shriveling with disuse.
"The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects," says JLR's chief medical officer Doctor Steve Iley. "We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe."
JLR didn't announce plans to implement this seat technology in any current or future models yet, as it is presumably in the midst of verifying that it helps maintain occupants' physical fitness. It's a shame they can't expedite the test using industrial robotic butts as Ford does, but with how rarely sci-fi films depict cyborgs or androids complaining of back pain, keeping humans in the equation may be for the best.
All that aside, it sounds like a pretty neat and possibly healthy idea.
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