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Home: Chair
Piezochair   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Office furniture that, eventually, saves your firm money.

Go to your desk chair.

Sit down.

Think about how many times you sit down or get up in a day. And how many times you sit in your desk chair and rock back and forth. I mean, honestly, it's gotta be in the hundreds, no?

There is no reason that this effort shouldn't be harnessed. I mean, after all, your company owns you anyway, so shouldn't it own the power that your own fidgitiness generates?

Enter the piezochair, stage left. A set of piezoelectric strips within the upright cylinder of the chair, the wheels, and the rocker axis below the seat all would be wired to a thin, unobtrusive cable which runs down the center of the support cylinder and into the floor through a small hole.

Connect the power cable from the chair to your building's existing electrical system, and every time you move, you save your company a fraction of a cent.

Within the chair would be a spring-wound spool of cable, so that your chair isn't held in place by the length of cable - 15 feet oughta be more than enough. As you roll back towards the chair's "home," the spool winds the cable back into the chair automatically. The spool, of course, would also be piezo'd.

In small firms, this would make almost no difference in electricity costs, but in large companies with thousands of employees in a single building, this could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings every year, in addition to the standard claptrap about dependence on foreign oil, environmental savings, yadda yadda. But those hundreds of thousands mean you can finally have a legitimate gripe about not being allowed to turn on your office heater.

It could be used in schools with budget cuts: "Tommy! Quit fidgeting so little!"

You could use it in your home to save a few cents here and there: "Kids! Time to spin the cat!"

On the side, truly energy-conscious companies might encourage more coffee drinking, which would be a boon to Columnbia and Ethiopia's economies.
-- shapu, Aug 17 2004

Say... three of four decades before the system actually breaks even?
-- Cats Whiskers, Aug 17 2004

I'd put it under 15 years, meself. I haven't done the math, and it depends on a lot of outside factors. But then, new movie theatres don't break even until their fifth year, usually, and people still build them...

EDIT: And this could always be done with gub'ment subsidies, which would speed the break-even time.
-- shapu, Aug 17 2004

Imagine you run your own company. OK, now imagine someone suggests a system that will shut down the whole company for weeks to implement and will take 15 just years to break even. What do you say to them?
-- harderthanjesus, Aug 18 2004

"Will I get a tax break?"
-- shapu, Aug 18 2004

random, halfbakery