Faurecia's SmartFit Bluetooth-linked seatsEnlarge Photo
When it comes to seating position, some drivers are more fanatical than others about precise adjustments. While the average driver pays little attention to seat back angle or position once a semi-comfortable setting is found, some of us spend days dialing in the optimum amount of rake and the perfect distance from the gas, brake and clutch.
Those of us who take driving seriously generally take seating position seriously, too, but here’s some good news: if automotive seat supplier Faurecia has its way, achieving the perfect position with its SmartFit seats may just be a matter of entering some data into a Bluetooth-linked smartphone.
As Wired (via Autoblog) explains, Faurecia’s app-based system prompts drivers to enter their height and weight into a program. Next, they enlist someone’s help to get a picture of themselves in a seated position, so that specific measurements ca be taken.
To accurately gauge arm length, the smartphone’s internal sensors are used for measurement, and then this information is compiled and transmitted via Bluetooth to the specially-designed SmartFit seat. The seat then adjusts to the calculated ideal position for the driver, who can save multiple seat profiles for different conditions or moods.
Want a “track day” profile that gives you maximum bolstering, while pulling the seat just a bit closer to the controls? How about a “sore back” profile that gives a heated massage, as well as additional lumbar support? From what we can see in the video, both would be possible.
Faurecia even envisions a world where specific seat options could be ordered at the time of purchase, giving buyers the ability to choose more lateral support over ventilated seats, or add extras like a Shiatsu massage function. We’re not sure that automakers would embrace that, as it potentially complicates the process of building cars.
On the other hand, Faurecia’s SmartFit seats don’t look like the kind of chairs you’d find in an average-priced car, so perhaps automakers with bespoke programs wouldn’t object to the additional build complexity.
Even simplified versions sound like a great idea to us, since we’d never have to worry about friends, relatives or valets mis-adjusting our seat again. We wonder if we can get them with an anti-theft feature, too.