In many cases, DRM can be get kind of silly, and it can completely shape the way you use the digital media you purchase. DRM might make you think twice about how many devices you can still add your iTunes Library to, or which computer will get a shiny new version of image editing software.
Luckily there’s no DRM on any physical objects like a cup paired to one person’s mouth. That is, there wasn't until a group of hackers put together a chair that self-destructs after eight uses.
The chair is your basic store-brand flat-pack piece of furniture, except it’s been assembled with wax holding the parts together in place of glue and screws. An Arduino board wired to the seat senses when someone sits on it, and counts down the remaining number of uses. Once that count reaches zero, the system sends power to through a series of nichrome wires embedded in the wax and melts it; causing the chair to fall apart.
The chair satirizes how ridiculous digital rights management can get in that you have to buy a new chair after so many uses. The team is also hesitant to sit on the chair in the same way DRM makes us afraid to use the digital content we buy—that or they’re just doing that because it’s being held together with wax.
The DRM chair was created by a team from the University of Art and Design Lausanne, Switzerland in a 48-hour period for a competition called The Deconstruction. You can check out more of the making of the DRM chair on the Les Sugus team page, including one of the early prototypes that used gunpowder for a more explosive self-destruction—but ultimately no one wanted to sit on a miniature powder keg.
This story, "DRM Chair self-destructs after eight uses" was originally published by TechHive.