Attendees at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas jammed the booth of a little-known furniture manufacturer yesterday, lining up several bodies deep to sit in audio-enhanced recliners to watch movies on big-screen televisions.
The company, aptly named Repose, offered badly needed relief to showgoers by placing 30 of the chairs on the show floor so attendees could watch television while feeling the rumblings of the audio on the TV screens. The company said it was turning away visitors at times and was drawing more than 2,000 visitors a day to its booth, many of whom wanted to stick around for long periods to “test” the chairs.
“We had to wake up five of them yesterday,” said Roman Zavala, a sales representative who worked the booth for the company.
The company’s chairs, which enable customers to experience movies and interactive games through sound and feel, incorporate two audio speakers in their headrests, as well as a sub-woofer and “shaker mechanism” beneath the seat pads. Wireless 2.4-GHz signals from the television deliver audio to the chairs that is then enhanced by the so-called “shaker boxes.” The shakers enable users to feel loud noises, such as on-screen explosions.
“If we just had speakers in the chairs, you’d feel a little bit of bass, but these chairs offer much more than that,” said Ermon Rush, East Cost operations manager for Repose.
The chairs, which are said to work with any television audio system, are designed for the “ultimate” home theater experience. Depending upon features, they range in price from $199 to $3,500.