• Stylish Gaming Chair, or the Next Evolution in Automotive Seats?

It’s one funky looking seat

We’re approaching auto show season, and as such, we’re about to get all of the new car and concept debuts that our hearts desire. However, every year, without fail, there’s at least a few automakers that show up to one auto show or another with something that is just stupid, lazy, or a flat out gargantuan waste of money. I’m probably one of the harshest critics in the world in this department, so naturally, I’m already looking for things criticize at the Paris Auto Show later this month. So far, I haven’t found much, but Lexus just announced a new Kinetic Seat Concept that could very well be one of those things. I’m not dogging it yet since I haven’t actually sat in one, but let’s take a look at what we already know about it.

The idea behind the seat is that the seat itself moves with you, absorbing the kinetic energy that typically moves our bodies – or more specifically our head and neck – when we drive. According to Lexus, this helps to keep the field of vision steady, reducing the burden on those inside the car and making it more comfortable overall. As you can see from the images, the seat is composed of a frame and a web-like material that serves as the upholstery. Shaped like a spider web, this material apparently makes sitting in the vehicle for long periods of time more comfortable.

The material that makes up the cushion and backrest is being called “synthetic spider silk” by Lexus and is actually derived from petroleum. Created through microbial fermentation, the material becomes a protein and is ultimately spun and processed into the material you see here. It apparently offers superior shock absorbance, but we’ll hold judgement on that until we actually get to experience the seat for ourselves.

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Stylish Gaming Chair, or the Next Evolution in Automotive Seats?
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So what do you think? This is a pretty funky looking seat, don’t you think? I think it looks pretty cool, and I understand the concept behind it, but I don’t exactly see how it fits into a real-world situation. I doubt something like this will ever make it into a production vehicle. The idea could pose some benefits should automakers work to integrate it into the common vehicle seats we use today, however, I wouldn’t count on seeing anything similar in the foreseeable future. To be honest, it seems to me like the seat would be restricted to certain weight limits, and could potentially be a safety issue as well. With that said, I’d be curious to see how it works out in a crash test. In the end, this is probably one of those concepts that will turn into nothing after the show, but at least it’s cool to look at. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Lexus today announced it will debut the Kinetic Seat Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, as a standalone display. Other highlights of Lexus at the show will include the Lexus UX Concept car, the refreshed Lexus IS in European premiere, the new Lexus NX Sport Edition, and the brand’s new flagship coupe, the LC.

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. This reduces the burden on occupants, improving ease of driving and comfort.

The seat frame “upholstery” comprises a spider web-pattern net with threads that spread out radially from the center of the back rest. The net is sufficiently flexible to closely fit body shape, dispersing the load to help make it possible to sit comfortably for prolonged periods. The center of the back rest is at shoulder blade height, which induces rotational movement of the chest around the seat’s pivotal axis. This helps to stabilize the head and thus helps to ensure a high level of support. The seat has also been made slimmer, making the overall car lighter in weight.

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.

The Lexus Press Conference will take place on September 29 at 13:30 pm CEST at the Lexus stand in hall 4. Follow it in real time at http://livestream.com/LexusInternational

*QMONOSTM material developed by Spiber Inc.

Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers seven F SPORT models and two F performance models. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 236 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.

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