Office chair keeps tabs on the discussion

Office chair keeps tabs on the discussion

The chair is capable of measuring how heated (or not) a discussion has become.

Sep 24, 2014

A group of researchers have developed an office chair, " SenseChair ," capable of measuring how heated (or not) a discussion has become.

• Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University -- ITOH Yuichi , Visiting Associate Professor
• Research Institute for Electrical Communication, Tohoku University -- TAKASHIMA Kazuki , Assistant Professor
• Faculty of Human Sciences, Osaka University of Economics -- FUJIWARA Ken , Lecturer

SenseChair makes it possible to see if all the people attending a meeting or lecture got excited or not by analyzing changes in their centers of gravity and their weight on their chair. That is, by calculating the "synchrony" in interpersonal social psychology manifest in the gestures of the participants and the frequency of their body movements in relation to one another.

Other than showing whether the meeting or lecture was well-received or not, SenseChair can show when the persons attending the meeting or seminar got exciting through the time-series analyses making use of an objective index. SenseChair enables one to measure not only the well- or poorly-received portions of the meeting or lecture, but also what topic(s) in the meeting or seminar excited the audience. Such data is helpful not only in assessing a discussion; this type of analysis would make it possible for computers to provide participants in discussions with various types of information support. In this way, SenseChair may help produce a new IT environment where the chairs, essential factors in an office, are placed at the core. SenseChair makes it possible various applications in education support, medical counseling, and product development.

This group's achievement was presented at the Human Communication Basic Studies , The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers on August 23, 2014.


In this paper, we propose a method to sense synchrony between multiple communication persons with sitting body sway by the office chair-shaped device named SenseChair. Sitting body sway is measured by 4 pressure sensors embedded inside the seat. We conducted a conversation experiment to acquire data. Then we created Spectrogram images with Hanning window function and combined images into one image to be able to see the synchrony. We compared the image with the recorded video and confirmed the technique feasibility.

Figure 1: SenseChair

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