Robotic furniture turns tiny spaces into multiple rooms
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, July 24, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 24, 2017 9:02AM PDT
As high real estate prices and shrinking spaces become the norm in Vancouver, a new line of furniture is offering a way to morph your bedroom into a living room, or your office into a gym, all with the touch of a button.
Ori Systems, a start up company from Boston’s MIT, has teamed up with Bosa Properties to test out its robo-furniture. The company chose Vancouver for a pilot project because of the high cost of housing in the city.
"We create a solution, a robotics solution that not only divides your space but actually creates a bedroom when you need it, creates an office when you need it, creates a walk-in closet. So it makes that space adapt to your activities," explained Hasier Larrea, Ori CEO.
The system is voice activated with Amazon's Alexa or Google Home, or with an app, and it can make 550 square feet feel like a whole lot more.
The systems, which cost $10,000, are installed on site and plug into a conventional electrical outlet. Bosa Properties currently has the only test unit in Canada.
"More and more people are needing to crowd into city centers. Suites are getting smaller, affordability is a constant topic of conversation," said Macartney Greenfield with Bosa Properties, “I think it’s phenomenal.”
And with more micro-suites in the works, the Ori technology could become the furniture of the future.
Reliance Properties is building micro-suites on Davie Street in downtown Vancouver. It's approved for 320 square foot units, but the city has been experimenting with smaller.
"Somewhere between 250 and 300 is a really good sweet spot for a micro studio," said Jon Stovell, Reliance Properties president.
The company has already built microsuite projects in Victoria and Surrey and flexible furniture systems may have more people considering micro-apartments as an option.
Ori Systems in currently taking pre-orders for its first production run of 1,200 systems which will be sold to developers.