Yes, it's for real: the Emperor Workstation
By Loz Blain
January 13, 2009
Talk about over the top! This US40,000 contraption acts like a sedentary gamer's life-support system. Three synchronized 19" monitors adjustable to the perfect height, inbuilt 5.1 surround sound with a woofer right under your leather-coddled hiney - which is gently warmed or cooled by the seat depending on temperature, electronic posture-controlled reclining, subtle lighting, HEPA air filtration, and it gently and automatically rotates to avoid external glare. The Emperor 200 Workstation uncoils like a scorpion to let you in, then closes in around you once you sit down to lock you into workstation world. Stick a hole in the seat with some plumbing, and sit it next to the fridge, and you wouldn't have to pause your game for ANYTHING.
Devices like this are surely one of the signs of the coming apocalypse, or that the human race is almost ready to evolve into dalek-like sedentary beings, food processing tubes with excellent mouse control.
The Canadian-built Emperor Workstation replaces your desk, chair and cpmputer setup with an electric, flexible pod. You recline in a luxury Recaro leather seat (originally developed as an aftermarket car add-on) with huge postural adjustment available, lumbar supports and a climate package that vents the seat on warm days and heats it when it's cold.
As you sit down and recline to your desired position, the Emperor's 'tail' closes in hydraulically from above, housing three synchronised 19" monitors, side by side. You have to see the video to understand exactly how cool this process looks. A HEPA air purification system pumps filtered air into your workstation, and handles ventilation.
Adjustable LED highlights let you tune the lighting in a subtle fashion, and there's a full spectrum light up top to deliver a sensation of being in natural light, even though you may never see such a thing again, because the Emperor gently rotates on its base to shield your delicate eyes from any external glare that might interfere with your monitor use. All these features are tunable through your 7" LCD touch screen control pad.
A standard reasonably well-specified Mac or PC computer is built in, or of course there's the option to spec your own killer box, or even dock a laptop into the back of the seat. Audio is handled by an inbuilt 5.1 surround system with multiple speakers around the canopy and a woofer under the seat to shake your butt for you. There's a built-in power supply with up to 30 minutes of power autonomy in the event of a power failure. In such an event, the Emperor will calmly shut your PC down before its battery life runs out.
At a starting price of US$39,990, it's safe to say that if you can afford one, you'll be the only kid on the block to have one. It's also fairly safe to say that the Emperor Workstation is one of the most outrageously indulgent inventions we've seen at the Vegas CES!
The Emperor 200 Workstation is available from MWE Lab.