Philips Unplugged


June 4, 2004

This fully wired "polyfunctional" couch from Philips Design is a signpost for the future of human interaction with the everyday objects around them. Based on Philips vision of "Ambient Culture" - an environment where intelligent systems embedded in our homes, offices and public spaces become actively involved in catering for our needs - Q4 Plugged consists of four (140 x 140cm) square stools which can be used separately or arranged in conjunction with slot-in arm-rests, back-rests and table elements to create anything from a traditional couch to a square enclosed "open boat" lounge. Q4's electrical connectivity includes a music player fitted to one unit with the control panel 'embroidered' in the arm-rest and loudspeakers hidden in another. Electrical sockets are concealed as "buttons" in the stool modules and one unit has a power lead that enables the entire couch to be connected to mains power. Accessories include a wall projector, a web screen and a table lamp for use with light-emitting polymers. Part of the "Smart Connections" project from Philips that showcases several new integrated, wearable and ambient technologies, more information can be found at

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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