Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Technology

Good News For Light Sleepers

Gravity-defying beds are no longer a figment of Stanley Kubrick's imagination.

By Eric JaffeDecember 8, 2006 6:00 AM
float1-428.jpg
Concept image courtesy of Universe Architecture

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Frustrated by how much gravity dictates design, Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars searched for a way to defy convention and came up with a bed that hovers through magnetic force. Based on the black monolith from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 10-by-4-foot slab harbors a magnet that is constantly repelled by another magnet embedded in the floor. Thin cables tether each floating corner to the ground "to keep the bed from falling upwards," Ruijssenaars says.

Ruijssenaars, whose own bed hails from Ikea, envisions designing an entire airborne ensemble of Japanese dining tables, chesterfield sofas—even outdoor pavilions. For now, those seeking an antigravity beauty rest must shell out $1.5 million. Another downside: Many metal objects, including cell phones, laptops, and guests with metal plates in their heads, cannot be stored in the intense magnetic field underneath the bed. This field should not disrupt a good night's rest, however, as layers of plastic and steel almost eliminate the magnetism on top of the bed. Altogether, the structure can support nearly 2,000 pounds, and any wobbling stabilizes in a split second. Does that include movement, say, with a partner? "Of course," Ruijssenaars says. "It's a bed."

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In