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Floating Magneto-Office

Office floors made of huge magnets, with the bottom of all furniture outfitted with magnets of the opposite orientation
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There should be office buildings made with floors of powerful magnets. All office furniture, desks, chairs, etc., could then be equiped on the bottom with magnets of the opposite orientation from that as the floor. The effect would be a futuristic, floating office space. Maybe even special shoes could be made so people could float around, as if on skates, right along with their furniture. This might work also, especially because of the expense involved, as cool executive offices or homes for the rich.

Moving stuff around in the Magneto-office would be easy (almost ridiculously so, as anchors or something would probably be needed to keep some stuff put). Also nothing would need wheels. Just kick off something or swing around and your chair will glide along with you, hovering centimeters from the floor.

[I imagine computers and other magnetic-sensitive equipment would need to be kept high up, away from the pull of the magnets. As cool as such an office would be, though, I'm sure a way could be devised to keep all this stuff safe.]

smizzou, Jun 22 2001

Giant Air Hockey http://www.halfbake...iant_20air_20hockey
This might be better implemented using GAH technology [hippo, Jun 22 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Reminds me of the high security prison in the movie Face/Off, with Travolta and Cage, where inmates are forced to wear magnetic ski boots. In an office environment, would an employer forcing an employee to wear magnetic boots serve as an incentive or disciplinary method?
quam, Jun 23 2001
  

       The bad thing about strong magnets is that if they are going to have a good enough effect, as you would need in the Magneto Office is that they generate a magnetic field, that in length is baad for the human body.. Not all would get reactions, but in time some can develop for example Electrical Allergy..
Cretah, Jun 23 2001
  

       Physics, schmysics. Coolness is key and my office is in need of some serious click-and-turn! Gizmos employing repelling force tend to wobble outside stationary guide-forms. So we'll need gyroscopes. Lots of 'em. I'm suddenly liking this even more!
The Military, Jun 23 2001, last modified Jun 24 2001
  

       The problem with this, as anyone who's ever played with magnets trying to get one to hover knows, that the furniture etc. will just flip itself over and stick to the floor. (There's even a theorem showing that you can't fix this problem just by adding more magnets.)   

       One fix is to add gyroscopes to everything as TheMilitary suggests. While this is a fine idea, leading to lots of whirring buzzing furniture, I have an even better idea.   

       Instead of using plain magnetic repulsion, use the Meissner effect, which is basically that magnets are repelled by superconductors. The furniture, etc., will still have strong magnets on it, but the floor will be superconducting --- presumably cooled with liquid nitrogen. Anything involving lots of cryogenic gases is cool in my book.   

       (Next problem: how to keep the furniture from sticking it each other.)
wiml, Jun 25 2001
  

       To keep the furniture from sticking, you could make the floor magnetic, and the furniture superconducting. But then it's the furniture that needs cryogenic cooling...
egnor, Jun 25 2001
  

       As really cool as it sounds like this would be if it worked, I have to vote no on it. Magnets, especially powerful ones, are the enemy of all stored/saved media. Or so my computer-animation student buddy has trained me to think. She's nearly phobic about freezer magnets, I think she'd have a heart attack at the thought of a magnetic office.
cloaked!stoat, Jun 25 2001
  

       Instead of gyroscopes, use the Weeble-effect. Dangle heavy weights from cords/poles from the bottom of the furniture.
nick_n_uit, Jun 25 2001
  

       At the moment, contemplating the innate advantages of whirring, buzzing furniture has me blinded to the CRT issue.
The Military, Jun 26 2001
  

       So ditch your clunky old CRTs and magnetic media in favor of shiny new LCDs (or OLEDs) and optical media.
egnor, Jun 26 2001
  

       The Giant Air Hockey office would be cool though. See link.
hippo, Jun 26 2001
  

       Couldnt we hold the furniture up with jets of high presure air (or water... cant rule out water...). Some sort of central computer could be responsible for controlling thousands of small vents all over the floor...
RobertKidney, Jun 26 2001
  

       What if the floor was covered in a tiny grid of electromagnets (like the holes on an air hockey table) and the floor had several supercomputers controlling which parts of it were electro-magnetic. That way, only the parts that were under furniture would turn on to keep the furniture just a millimeter or two off the ground. This could be done using the inductive coil method used to detect when cars pull up to a traffic light. Also, it would prevent large magnetic fields from destroying storage media. And it could prevent furniture from sticking to each other creating a virtual boundary against each item, and not allow two items to intersect. If you could control the magnets really really fast, you wouldn't even need gyros to keep everything stable.
MuddDog, Jun 26 2001
  

       mmmmm floaty, air hockey, super cooled, superconductive office space. Do you think that this could be used in some way to make sports more interesting ( like life size air hockey persay?)
kaz, Aug 01 2001
  
      
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