The design approaches the overall concept of a seat from a completely new angle. Start with the notion that some basic requirements have been forgotten by traditional designers, and address them. First and foremost the solution must meet the human body and conform to its needs, not the other way around. Second, the solution must be appealing to the senses. Providing a seating solution also presents certain obligations. The solution should if at all possible help the end user perform their desired activity with greater ease, whatever it may be.
Basic feature set overview
Basic features of the Axis series of seating solution pivot around the human axis, from its first requirement.
- Provides full spinal support
- Dynamically adjusts to the users
- Provides relief from harmful effects of long tern sitting
- Appealing Style
- Uses top of the line coverings
- User selectable coverings available
- Multiple modules and versions available
- Integrates high fidelity and expanded audio
- Allows users choice of source device.
- Integrated PC and screen optional
- Full Ergonomic Computer Integration optional
- Advanced High Performance User Interfaces optional
The system has been designed to take into account the physical needs of each of the user types, freedom of movement, and versatility of use are carefully considered. For gamers we provide, freedom of movement, audiophile quality sound, and integrated computing, opening a pathway to full immersion capability for even the average user. The system provides basic support to the human form in whichever approach they choose to do their activity. From low working areas, to the average computer, the basic solution provides a path. The current systems include the following:
Spartan I a utility low boy, mobile stool with low lumbar support and utility tray,
Spartan II provides a rearward facing unit, having minimal abdominal and lower chest support for rearward seating, optional facial support for massage, tool tray and tool modules.
Spartan III a mid height lumbar, upper back and shoulder unit,
Axis I is comprised of the Spartan II series, with the addition of the following elements, an integrated thigh and foot support, integrated elbow rests.
Axis II , Axis I plus optional retractable arm rests for both standard keyboard wrist support, and with integrated keyboards and or game controllers.
Axis III also known as Axis-Hydra incorporates a custom expanded 5.1 surround audio sound system, game audio integration, retractable arm rests, lights, keyboard/game controller arms, and acoustic massage/harmonic stimulation capability.
Longitude I integrates Axis III with a fan-less PC, overhead, or side-car monitor, foot click and eye mouse, on an optional full recline cradle for maximum comfort.
The design incorporates concepts such as proportional support, wherein the user’s weight or BMI is used to vary the basic support systems behavior dynamically. Doing so allows for the beneficial aspects of the system to suit a larger subset of users comfortably all the while fulfilling certain acoustic focal and spinal support requirements. In this case, the target user range was selected to be 4’ 10” to 6’ 4”, and in the weight range of 90 to 280 lbs. With physical strain limits upwards of 500lbs. Special XLS models may be created from the basic system by addition of a few extra reinforcement elements to accommodate the 280 to 500 lb user base.
Special considerations have been given to promoting good seating hygiene, wherein the user is strained in positive ways to promote core strength, and occasional divergent activity. The compliant floating system offers a natural feel and allows the system to conform to its user. Deep tissue thrombosis has been considered in this design by allowing maximal blood flow across the thighs. Further details are described later in this document under the Physiology section.
The aesthetics of the system have been taken from the root of nature, based on natural proportions that closely match the curves of the human body. This lends to its appeal. Ergonomic design falls out naturally from the use of the Fibonacci sequence, and is the basis for the relationships in the designs’ curves and elements. Certain elements, such as the shoulder rests are designed to provide a placebo effect. See the notes on the Modules, and Physiology sections for additional information.
This design started with the understanding that a user cannot be clamped into a system to force good seating hygiene, response to this kind of idea is less than ideal. The question became; how do you get the user to want to assume a good posture? Human nature being what it is, given the option to slouch, they will. So the approach became, let’s remove unhealthy opportunity and present a healthy opportunity. A limited opportunity! By presenting a slender profile the user is drawn into the correct posture. This is applied to both the depth of the floating seat and the central column, in doing so we establish a subtle form of coercion.
The user behavior observed was; that when they sat, the instinct to find the center, given the smaller platform was automatic. The seat was angled to draw the eye into the junction of the seat and the central column. This effect presents a subtle perspective. This is where the user aims their posterior when sitting instinctively as a result. This places the user in line with the Lumbar Pillow block. The narrow aspect of the seat coerces the user into nestling their posterior deep into the Lumbar Pillow block. As the user leans back, the subconscious kicks in aiming for the narrow support structure. There is a secondary reclining effect that allows the user to settle further, and when this happens the user will wiggle in a little deeper. At this point the user has instinctively aligned their posture.
Initially the design did not include the shoulder rests, but the average user responded to this with uneasiness. It was decided that some additional feature was needed. The shoulder rests were chose because they allow the other primary design criteria; mobility, floating seat and so forth, to be adhered to. The design had some additional benefits. These pads offer very minimal support to the average user and this is intended. The upper body still needs to essentially float, as such they are a bit of a placebo.
The design of the Leg Rest was highly influenced by larger users. The assembly was brought out from under the chair and padded to serve as the knee supports. Their function in the retracted position offers a secondary visual effect, little real support, and does not impinge on mobility. Increases to both the plop effect and larger user comfort were expected as a result. A nice placebo.
In each case a user expressed discomfort; I noted that they hesitated when sitting. When they were comfortable they were more inclined to “plop” into the system. I dubbed this the “Plot effect”. It serves as a direct measure of comfort and confidence. In some, the issue was the width of the central column. In another case the system seemed too frail by a heavier user. Another took exception to the fact that they had to go too far to contact the seat. A dizzying array of reactions began to yield a few concrete functional issues.
The design was enhanced to include most of these elements; shoulder rests, V-Head rest, elbow rests as stabilizers for heavier girth, extension of the headrest to work to achieve neck support, lift recliner, so I and the eventual user, have many to thank for the many considerations taken in designing this system.
An attempt is made to meet the human spine as compliantly and supportively as possible while reducing surface area for mobility, thermal comfort, and other considerations. The shape of under-structure has been curved to meet the spine and has been geared to allow movement in specific axis, see the section on Pillow Block Design for further details. Full support of the spinal column to the skull is one of the design criteria in certain models. Elements have been built in to address altering various aspects of the chair dynamically to meet the varying differences in users. One is the Headrest Tension integration, allowing for varying lengths of spine and skull weight. The Leg Rest is integrated into the Floating Seat to eliminate the floor reference and is length compliant along with the rest of the system. The system is also designed to adapt dynamically based on weight or BMI. In that weight applied to the seat, is reapplied to tension in the Pillow Blocks and along other vectors to add support for users based upon their weight. This is described later in the Dynamic Tensioners section.
Research with the early prototype yielded some interesting results, some of which are the basis for a few rather loose claims in need of further research. See the Developer Notes section regarding User Observations for more details. Behavior of the chair is such that it encourages core use of the body as the user is forced to essentially constantly adjust and balance due to the narrow base, compliance and narrow support system. Benefits of this are easily observed by user tests and industry research into use of balancing devices such as the large balls. Further details on this are under Developer Notes section regarding User Fatigue.
The system is designed to support an integrated 5.1 surround sound system, as such; elements of the system provide space for speakers within the structure. The spaces designed to receive speakers were created to provide good acoustic baffling, porting, and separation. The speaker cavities have also been tied together to allow for operating the speakers independently, or in a dual back to back configuration. The support structure and various modules have been designed to eliminate buzz and vibration, while transferring much of the acoustic energy into the support system for enhanced tactile and motion effects. Though untested at this time, the chair may provide enough input to be used as an acoustic massage/ harmonic stimulation device.
The design also aims to create a user-centric audio experience as close to immersion as possible, without isolating the user. All of the acoustic elements are focused in an inward orientation, aimed at the user. The head is positioned to keep users of varying sizes in the audio sweet-spot for highest fidelity and effect, while minimizing outward projection of audio into surrounding areas. This helps improve the overall environment when multiple users are present in the same space.