Despite it not doing the job it is supposed to do in most cases, and to the chagrin of consumers, DRM is still everywhere. But what if DRM invaded the physical world? What if it was added to furniture?
That may very well have been what a team of designers were pondering on one boring afternoon, and the result is the world's first DRM chair (see video below the article).
The DRM scheme, unlike many deployed in real life, is actually remarkably simple (for one, you don't need an Internet connection to simply sit on the chair). A sensor is placed to measures the number of times the chair has been sat on, and once the number of uses have been used up, the chair's joints self-destruct and all that's left is a pile of crafted wooden pieces
(For the engineers out there that are dying for the details, out of curiosity or interested in creating your own version, the chair uses an Arduino board to count the number of users, a solenoid taps the wood every time someone gets up from the chair, and the joints, made from wax with an embedded nichrome wire that, when fed with electricity, melts the wax and disassembles the chair.)
The chair the designers built comes with only 8 uses, and in the video, each designer is shown sitting on it (just once). Calling this system a DRM may be pushing it though, as the only thing digital in the whole constructions comes from the digital equipment used to implement the "digital" rights management. But that's irony for ya!
The designers constructed the chair as part of the global The Deconstruction project/competition, which asks teams to create something within 48 hours that challenges competitors to re-think "the world as we know it".
And the DRM chair may just achieve this goal admirably.