BMW loves a wild game concept, and even if they never see the light of day, I’ll admit I’m also happy to baffle them. Vehicle manufacturer Designworks ’innovation studio worked with Asus on the extreme concept of ROG Face Off gaming laptops, and now its engineers have focused their attention on the world of gaming chairs with this: the concept of Rival Rig game chairs.
Or maybe gaming throne is a better word for whatever that is.
The Rival platform is extreme in the exact way it was expected to be a chair dreamed of by a high-performance carmaker. It is equipped with a "microclimate control system" and "adaptive seats", all powered by an AI-controlled sensor mesh, pneumatic air bearings and electromechanical actuators.
It is said to be adapted to the health of the players and its main objective is to offer a comfortable and performance-oriented design for an optimal sports game. It is designed to change and shape the player, led by a lot of data collected by its many integrated sensors.
"The BMW and Rivalworks Rival Rig, more than any other previous project, was about pushing the boundaries of human capabilities," Designworks President Holger Hampf said in a press release (via Golem). "What we wanted to achieve is a design of gaming platforms that takes both technology and aesthetics in this field to the next level. Our goal was to create the most comfortable situation of seats, hand postures and head movement, allowing the player to completely immerse himself or herself and experience a sense of weightlessness.It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a designer to work on a project like this as we have been able to play to the extremes in terms of technology ".
When it doesn’t do everything, it’s also basically open source design, meaning third-party software and hardware is welcome.
When it comes to physical design, it seems that the age of the space is suitable to suit your usual gaming hardware. According to Hampf, the chair was influenced by spaceships and Formula 1 cars, though I don’t remember Lando Norris ’McLaren MCL35M ever having so much RGB lighting.
The large lights on the back of the chair should be at least appropriate to the tastes of the players. The lighting is also reactive, meaning it will reflect what’s going on in the game.
Hampf notes, "The main design choices we made for the platform were influenced by the aesthetics you normally find in games." I’m not sure what games these people are playing (not Stardew Valley, of course), but “usually” can be a slight generalization.
Either way, it’s a mix of practicality, ergonomics and striking, because we could design. I guess this chair will never see the light of day, but hey, if it even does a little bit from concept to product, I guess it’s a well spent time.
At the very least, it's fun to look and dream about what it could be: to imagine, an AI whose main responsibility is to keep me from shrinking all day.