Sofa that lets you float in the clouds

magnetic_floating_sofa_kootouch_content.jpg

I have always, always dreamed of taking a nap in the clouds. As a kid, I even considered breaking a plane window so I can try it. Cloud Sofa, a concept design by D.K. Wei, imagines a soft cloud-like chaise lounge that floats by magnetic force. [Image and design by Kootouch]

About Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.
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23 Responses to Sofa that lets you float in the clouds

  1. Xavi says:

    I don’t understand it!! It is done with Photoshop. I’m sure.

  2. HeatherB says:

    I thought about breaking the plane window as well Lisa.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can’t find a link now, but a few years ago I saw in a gallery a North-Face-style puffy jacket (all the rage at the time) filled with just enough helium that it would float in place when not worn. This reminds me of that piece, except, y’know, not possible.

  4. echolocate chocolate says:

    This would be a lot more practical if they just used magic instead of magnets.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There should be a distinction between “designers” and “dreamers”.

    Sure there is – don’t ‘designers’ just slap crystals all over some gadget?

  6. Anonymous says:

    It could be cable-stayed, but that’d probably ruin the look:

    Compare:

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/magnetic-floating-bed-oh-your-god-184990.php

  7. TJ S says:

    @ the negative-Nancie’s in the room:

    There are cheap, automatic control systems for maglev around now. Just go over to thinkgeek and look at the levitating globes that can be had for <$100 (for an 8″ globe).

    Obviously, you’re dealing with a lot more weight and distance here, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be possible to have a dynamically controlled electromagnet built into the floor, to suspend a magnet wrapped in comfy foam/fluff/etc with a person on top.

    It would likely have to be an expensive, high-end installation process, something only the uber-rich would have in their homes, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don’t try this at home with a pacemaker…

  9. OLGA says:

    I WANT IT!!I DONT CARE HOW IT WORKS!!!BUT IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is possible. But i dont think anyone is smart enough to accomplish it for atleast seven and a half million years.

    Cheers

    ps. visit Iceland whilst its still cheap

    or ill punch you in the gut

  11. Moriarty says:

    I have a concept design that uses magnetic force to create a limitless waterfall of beer. Haven’t worked out the details yet, but the photoshopped concept art looks delicious!

  12. johnhuff says:

    The comments above are some of the wittiest, most intelligent ones I have ever seen on a blog. This site must be a magnet for smart people.

    BTW, if you want to see the original, patented and trademarked Floating Bed, go to http://www.floatingbed.com/

    It is real, available now, and many people have them and rave enthusiastically about them. It is the most comfortable thing in the world to lie down on. It is a high end bed, but it does not cost an arm and a leg (which might literally be the unfortunate case with the above design).
    Cheers!

  13. slugabed says:

    “I don’t know what happened, I just set my ipod down on the sofa here and now it won’t play music anymore”

  14. jimkirk says:

    http://www.magnetsales.com/Design/Calc_filles/PullAndPushBetween2RectMagnets.asp has a calculator or the repulsive or attractive force between two rectangular magnets.

    I estimate the size of magnet in the picture as about 18 by 36 inches and three inches thick.

    Using a Neodymium 48 magnet (13,800 Gauss), this would be a dangerously powerful magnet (a couple of 1 cubic inch magnet can break bones).

    At a distance of 24 inches the repulsive force is about 40 pounds. Hardly enough to levitate the 540 pounds of magnet.

    Looks like you could levitate about 9 inches with a person and upholstery. That’s pretty impressive, but a scary amount of magnet to be near.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “Sitting on an American Levitation couch is harder than standing up in a birchbark canoe,”
    said Fern dryly. “Throw yourself into one of these so-called chairs, and it will bounce you off the
    wall like a stone out of a slingshot. Sit on the edge of your desk, and it will waltz you around the
    room like a Wright brother at Kitty Hawk.”
    Constant touched his desk ever so lightly. It shuddered nervously.
    “Well — they still haven’t got all of the bugs out of it, that’s all,” said Constant.

    -The Sirens of Titan

  16. jimhsu says:

    “There is a well known physics proof that you can not suspend magnets statically, so as soon as that system gets the tiniest bit out of equilibrium (translation: instantly) the magna-mattress will flip over and slam shut to the base with 150lbs of force initially but increasing quadratically as the distance closes.”

    Unless if the magnet is rotating. Though they might be … inconvenient to the user.

  17. dculberson says:

    They’re using Hotdymium 69 which has an enormous attractive force – but it’s turned around backwards allowing it to levitate. Unfortunately there are side effects including burning when you pee and sores around your mouth.

  18. DeWynken says:

    Ah..another magnetic couch for banging porn stars on!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think magnetic force means what you think it means.

  20. Cowtown2 says:

    I’m reminded of my childhood attempts to build a maglev LEGO train. Gravity is a bitch until you put in something to center the mass. Although… it would make a hell of a youtube video to see the model dumped to the floor as the cloud part falls over the edge of the magnetic field and then tries to align its north pole with the base’s south.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I think that a certain “designer” needs to lay off the photoshop and head back to physics 101…

    “Concept” pieces are all well and good; but they should stick to the realm of “might be rather tricky to fabricate, possibly even requiring new materials” rather than “will require the discovery of entirely new laws of physics”

  22. Dave Faris says:

    Probably harder to get out of than a hammock.

  23. Anonymous says:

    There is a well known physics proof that you can not suspend magnets statically, so as soon as that system gets the tiniest bit out of equilibrium (translation: instantly) the magna-mattress will flip over and slam shut to the base with 150lbs of force initially but increasing quadratically as the distance closes. I’m certain there will be enough force in the end to uniformly disperse the occupant in a red ring about 18″ high all around the walls of the room.

    There should be a distinction between “designers” and “dreamers”.

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