- This space-age chair was designed to celebrate the release of Starfield
- MailOnline is testing a futuristic game made with NASA-inspired technology
For gamers looking for the ultimate immersive experience (and back pain relief!), this space-age chair may represent the final frontier.
A seemingly unexpected collaboration between mattress manufacturer Tempur and Xbox, this unique “dream chair” was designed to celebrate the release of Starfield, a role-playing game set in the far future.
With a design inspired by Starfield’s retro “NASA punk” aesthetic, the giant gaming chair might not fit in your living room, but would feel right at home in the cockpit of a spaceship.
However, the model is not only space-age, but is also made from a material that was originally used to cushion launches on space shuttles.
The chair briefly landed at Westfield Stratford this week and MailOnline got an exclusive sneak peek at whether it will live up to its great reputation.
What is starfield?
Starfield is the first game released by Bethesda Game Studios – the team behind Skyrim – in 25 years.
It is a role playing game set in the distant future.
Players can explore more than 1,000 planets in their own designed spaceships.
The game features detailed exploration, combat, foraging and leveling mechanics.
The developers say that the massive game can take 30 to 60 hours to complete.
The design of this gaming chair is really impressive at first glance.
In fact, it is more than just a simple chair.
The entire arrangement was designed by Nichols Alexander – whose other notable creations include a 23-foot (seven-metre) Jeff Goldblum sculpture – and is full of intricate details.
The chair sits in front of a wide console painted in the typical color scheme of video games.
From the “etched warning” on the back of the chair to the dozens of switches and dials (which, as I recall, would do nothing no matter how many times they were flipped), it’s clear that real passion and care went into it. There was development.
The chair itself was gently pulled out of the console and absurdly large wraparound screen before rotating out. A movement aimed at facilitating access for less mobile users.
Of course, as a lover of sit-down video games, I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself.
Despite the blocky, angular design, the chair was almost as comfortable.
The material seemed firm at first, but soon softened while remaining quite supportive.
Control levers on the armrests control the movement of the chair, one to move the seat back and forth and the other to recline or sit.
While there aren’t any games to play on the giant screen, just a loop of gameplay footage, I had a lot of fun whirring the chair’s amazingly fast motors under my feet.
The Tempur foam pads that make up the chair’s construction conformed well to my back, and — while it wasn’t exactly a shuttle landing — the foam absorbed all the impact of any sudden lean I attempted.
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While it may seem odd for a company that sells mattresses, Tempu has a pretty good feel for making a proper space chair.
In the early days of space travel, NASA faced a serious problem. The gravity generated during liftoff was too much for the astronauts to carry in ordinary chairs.
In the early 1970s, scientists created an entirely new type of material consisting of billions of “high-density viscoelastic memory cells” that appeared to “exist between a solid and a liquid state.”
The material has a structure full of open cells that gradually responds to body heat and pressure, softening where needed to conform to the astronaut’s body and firming elsewhere.
In the 1980s, NASA published the formula for this technology, which the Danish company Dan Foam APS took and produced the same tempura foam used to make gaming chairs.
The company was recognized by NASA for popularizing space technology at a joint press conference in 1998, where founder Tempur was recognized by NASA Administrator Daniel S. Golden is his millionth pillow.
So can I say that I have 50 years of aerospace technology experience? Or was the seat below me somewhere between solid and liquid?
This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I have to say that this is probably the most comfortable gaming chair I’ve ever sat on.
Starfield is expected to take 30 to 60 hours to complete, welcoming any player to get lost in space from the comfort of their own home.
It didn’t actually take me into space or even outside a shopping center, but it’s probably the closest I’ve come to zero gravity without leaving the M25.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your gaming setup, unfortunately there’s only one of these in the world, and it’s not for sale.
If you want to try it for yourself, you can find it at the Tempur Westfield Stratford store in London from 9 to 29 October. The chair will then go to the winner of a charity raffle.