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IMEX Furniture Feature: i2i Chairs From Steelcase

When it came to designing a space where people could experience 360° video and VR content in different headsets, there were two issues that were our main concern: Safety and Comfort. We needed the room to be able to accommodate several people in headsets at the same time, but we also needed to make sure that while wearing them, they weren’t going to run into other people with obstructed vision or perhaps even tip over in their own chair. We also needed something that was comfortable enough to allow a participant to really relax into the viewing experience. Sometimes when in a headset, the user can become a little disoriented to the space around them, so we needed something that would allow viewers to wear the headset without worrying about their bearing, freeing them to focus on what they are watching.

After some searching, we found the i2i Chair from Steelcase. This model proved to have three key features that solved the concerns we had. First, the ergonomics of the chair makes it very easy to sit in and feel comfortable. Second, the chair rotates a full 360 degrees to give the viewer control of field of vision and even has a dual pivot system that allows the chair seat to move separately from the back of the chair, further extending range. The third feature, the chair’s base, solved the safety concern in two key ways. There are no wheels on the chairs, which prevents the viewer from accidentally pushing themselves around the room while they are in a headset. The second feature is that the base us very heavy, keeping the chair anchored to the floor very well. Together, these characteristics allow the viewer to sit back, relax and revolve around the 360º or VR environment without worrying about the space out of which they are temporarily stepping.

These chairs have proved to be the key component of our viewing area and one of the most asked about pieces of furniture we have in the space. If you’d like more information on purchasing these chairs or how we are using them in the space, please email us at imex@psu.edu.