Stepping back in from the balcony (as your neighbor folds it up), you notice yet another blue glow, this time coming from the coffee table. Your neighbor sets the drink tray on the coffee table, and the surface lights up, surrounding the tray with bright, twinkling white lights. As the tray is taken away, the lights fade to a dull blue and twinkle subtly. Then the cat jumps on the table, and everywhere the cat steps, the table lights up, following the creature's every move.
The coffee table is called the Wave, and it uses LED lights to interact with whatever is placed on or near the table's surface. LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are bright white lights that don't use a filament (the little wire inside a bulb) like incandescent light bulbs. Instead, they have a phosphor coating that creates a white light. The coffee table lights up using circuitry and optical sensors that can read pressure and light changes when something is placed near them. The Wave is powered by a cord that is easily hidden and needs no programming or upkeep.
Not only is this coffee table attractive and responsive, it's environmentally friendly. It uses sustainable, non-formaldehyde plywood from American Maple, is finished with a water-based lacquer and uses only 35 watts of energy when fully lighted. Most of the time it's dormant, using even less energy. Depending on your table-top and shipping preferences, the coffee table can cost anywhere from $1,795 to $2,340.
On the next page, we'll tour a bathroom that has a spine.