In Abu Dhabi Men’s College Library there are two things which look like the front of jet engines, except that they are green and orange. And you can sit inside them. In the middle of the busy library, with students and faculty walking backwards and forwards, the occupants of these two strange devices of cutting-edge technology sit in a world of their own, listening to their own programs, interacting with the internet or watching a podcast.
The Sonic chairs (http://www.sonicchair.de/english/index_engl.htm ) are individual sound pods, where the listener can relax in his or her own privacy and allow the lecture or commentary to surround them. As well as individual speakers at ear level, the whole seat acts as a sound membrane, allowing the lower frequencies to vibrate into the listener’s body, giving the feeling of a live performance.
The Sonic Chairs have their own individual iMac touch screens and volume controls, so that the listener can create his or her own learning environment, with no background noise to disturb their concentration. Students are free to immerse themselves in their own media at a volume that suite them, knowing that they are not disturbing anyone else in the Library.
As well as multi-media, volume controls and USB connections, you can pull up a little table which the listener can use to make notes, or rest their coffee cup.