The design is inspired by Formula 1 cars and spaceships.
Modern racing games are remarkably realistic. Titles like Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, Project CARS, and Assetto Corsa feature photorealistic graphics, accurate car models, and true-to-life driving physics. They let you live out your fantasies of driving a high-performance supercar from the comfort of your living room. If you want the most immersive experience possible, you'll need to invest in a racing wheel and driving seat. Aston Martin sells a racing simulator inspired by the Valkyrie hypercar, but it's nowhere near as advanced as BMW's new innovative racing seat concept called the "Rival Rig."
Designed by the BMW Group's innovation studio Designworks, the Rival Rig comes with an assortment of luxury features designed to improve the user's comfort and physical health during long online eSports gaming sessions.
Using a combination of AI sensors, pneumatic air pads and electro-mechanical actuators, an Adaptive Seating system can analyze the player's movements and adapt the seating position accordingly to reduce stress. For example, if there is too much pressure on the gamer's arms, the arm rests will lower automatically. If it detects the gamer's body temperature is too hot, a Microclimate Control System will blow cold air to cool them down. There is even a massage function to help relax gamers after an intense virtual race. Selectable modes adapt the seat for different postures: ease mode offers a relaxed posture, while boost mode brings the seat forward and is designed for intensive gaming sessions.
In terms of design, the Rival Rig is inspired by Formula One cars and spaceships and features an abundance of LED lights designed to reflect what is happening in the game.
"The Rival Rig by BMW and Rivalworks, more than any other project before, was about pushing the boundaries of human capabilities," said Holger Hampf, President of Designworks. "What we wanted to achieve is a gaming rig design that takes both technology and aesthetics in this field to the next level. Our goal was to create the most comfortable seating, hand posture and head movement situation, that allow the gamer to fully immerse herself or himself and experience a sense of weightlessness. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for a designer to work on a project like this as we were able to play to extremes in terms of technology."
For now, the Rival Rig is just a fancy design concept, but the design is open source, making it possible for a third-party company to improve the design and make it a reality, which we hope someone does.