Most of us think Digital Rights Management (or DRM) is at least a little foolish. After buying a digital movie or book, maybe we copy it over to a new device, and suddenly the contents just go dead. Practicality has given way to market pressure, and despite the fact that we’ve already purchased this perfectly good file that has no possibility to decay, it refuses to work ever again.
But I never realized just how absurd the idea of DRM was until a small team of inventors built it into something else: The DRM chair is a seat that self-destructs once it’s been sat upon eight times.
The mechanism is fairly simple. A small sensor detects each new rear. And once that sensor is activated eight times, it sparks some sort of smoking reaction–via electrical current–to melt the chair’s joints. Moments later, the once-functional furniture is nothing more than a sanded pile of twigs.
So the next time you’re faced with a film that’s expired 48 hours after you’ve rented it–despite the fact that you haven’t even watched it yet–consider if your couch, coffee table, TV stand, and lamps fell apart with the same senselessness. It’s not that DRM is a bad idea, rather, it’s a hopelessly illogical one.