Lexus, having run out of other car bits to revolutionise, has decided to tackle the venerable seat. As in, what you sit on. And we’re not talking extra cushioning or some sort of intricate, Bond-inspired ejection system. No, Lexus has decided to make its own spider silk for this baby, so you can enjoy your own, uh, web of comfort.
The automobile manufacturer took the wraps off its “Kinetic Seat Concept” a few days ago at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The idea behind the souped-up chair is that it will better stabilise your body against driving forces, reducing “the burden”, Gamgee-style and inevitably increasing one’s comfort as you drive the ring into Mordor:
In humans, the spine acts to stabilize the head. It allows the pelvis and chest to rotate in opposite directions, stabilizing movement of the head even while walking or jogging. In order to recreate this movement in car seats, the seat cushion and back rest were designed to move kinetically with occupant weight and external forces. Thus, simply sitting in the seat helps stabilize head movement caused by vehicle motion, keeping the field of vision steady.
As for the spider silk, Lexus appears to have gone all out in the chemistry department. While the company’s press release doesn’t go into molecular detail, it certainly sounds like a lot of effort has been poured into its creation:
The threads at the back rest of the spider web-pattern construction are made from environmentally-conscious synthetic spider silk materials instead of petroleum-derived materials. The main component of this material is protein, which is created through microbial fermentation, then spun and processed into a new material offering superior shock absorbance properties.
Now all Lexus needs to do is figure out a way to craft synthetic cheetahs to replace its engines. That technology is probably a fair way off, I imagine.