Ideas request for a "Smart Sofa"

Hey guys,
Although there’s not yet something to share, I’m hoping that with the community’s input ill be able to have something to show-off soon.
So a buddy of mine who’s capable of crafting furniture, asked me to help him out to put together a smart couch / sofa and integrate into it every stupid idea we could come up with.

As a result I’m coming to you for help and brainstorm as to what we could integrate into a custom sofa.

Here’s what I have come up with so far:


  • Integrate the two rear speakers of his surround system into the two edges of the couch
  • Subwoofer(s) under the seats
  • Bluetooth and wired audio / usb input capabilities to act as an independent speaker set and perhaps a radio capability

Presence detection:

  • Either Load cells that would be able to identify who’s sitting where (judging on weight) or a simpler solution, i found a project somewhere that uses simple pressure sensitive mats, which will only enable us to know if someone is sitting but without identifying who he is.
  • That would work great with an automated TV swivel stand, but that’s another project…


  • IR blaster to replace all the remotes (Possible RF transmitter too)
  • Alexa / Google assistant integration (by using an echo dot or a google home, or are there some 3rd party speakers that can do both?)

Aesthetics / Comfort:

  • Led strips around the lower ends of the sofa.
  • We’re looking into seat heating / cooling tech that some cars use but we’re kind of lost on that (anyone can point out some tips?)


  • USB ports hidden under the seats
  • Qi Charger under the hand rests.
  • Wifi repeater
  • Temperature/ Humidity sensors

That’s what we came up so far.
Your input, comments, ideas or brainstorming would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Lastly, sorry if im not supposed to post this here, as it’s not a finished project, please let me know if i should post it elsewhere.

From my own experience: If you put LEDs under your sofa, bed,… Be sure that you vacuum a lot. You really start to see even the slightest amount of dust when the LEDs are on.

From acoustic perspective building in any speaker to sofa is not a good idea. For rear speaker these would be too close to heads of poeple sitting on the sofa, so it will distort surround sound scene. Ideally these should be located from main listening position in the same distance as front speakers. Also placing sub under the seats, while not so obvious for lsitening, might create muffled sound. Again being a bit of sound purist (not audiphile by any mean though) I’d keep it selarate.
So these were things that I’d not do… On the other hand what I’d go for for would be:

  • to complement sound I’d build sound actuator (or whatever it is called properly in English - sort of ‘engines’ that create vibration sensation to seats - as some cinemas are equipped with).
  • along with Qi some chaging USB ports
  • reading lights
  • if possible (though it is going above average average DIY) reclining or preferably inclining mechanism
  • build in screen/tablet to control the room from web interface
  • if no screen controller then perhaps sort of button panel to control lights or shades.
  • if using sort of remote (other than just mentioned blaster + phone, e.g. something like Logitech harmony) I’d try to build in charging craddle.
  • talking about vacuum; perhaps hidden compartment for roomba :smiley:

Presence detection would be my top priority for any smart sofa personally. I’ve found it is a difficult thing to add and something I’ve really wanted.

I like all your misc ones, they seem handy. Just make sure the wifi repeater has room to breathe though, shouldn’t fully enclose electronics.

I don’t really like the speakers idea because of the same reasons @mirekmal just nicely laid out. Was going to say similar things so won’t repeat but yea, seems like you would be sacrificing sound quality.

If your intent with the it blaster is to eliminate remotes I would definitely think about incorporating a tablet or a universal remote like Mirek suggested. You still need a way to control the TV and taking out your phone every time seems like you’d be increasing the hassle there instead of making it easier.

Hidden Roomba compartment is a cool idea, like that. Also while it’s not necessarily smart, a hidden storage compartment in general could be handy.

For the charging ports, might want to consider usb-c slots given that seems to be the direction everything is going. Then you might be able to use it for both phone and computer (depending on what devices you have of course).

Smart speaker seems a bit odd to me personally. But if you want to take over a middle section with electronics that could work. In that case could think about a snack compartment in that seat as well. Or a refrigerated compartment if up for it.

Also speaking of food/drink, if there are any middle seats I’d think about cupholders. Or even trays to put food and stuff on that can tuck away into or behind the couch when not in use and swing out in front of people when they want.

Cupholders definitely. The lsst thing you want is to spill beer on all that tech gear.

For presence detection you could use something like these instead of load cells:

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Sounds like a cool project, keep us updated!

About the sound, I agree about the sound quality. Maybe you can build the speakers on extending arms from the sides of the sofa! In that way the sound has enough room to breathe. The speakers can recline when not in use.

That’s so true, had the same experience when i installed lights under my bed. I ended up never using them. I guess the led installation will come with this notice, and he can decide.

True the sound would more or less suck, but i believe the giving someone the option to not wire the peripheral speakers up on the wall is nice. Perhaps not for the audiophiles.

Good idea, ill look into it.

What do you have in mind? perhaps those flexible spiral tubes with a led at the end?

This crossed our mind , to be installed to only one of the seats, not for comfort but to help a senior get up. We are looking into this.

A couple of buttons near the hand rest are an easy option. As for tablet, i think we ll stick to voice / phone access for now.

Thinking of a well ventilated compartment to house all the electronics, with kind of easy access if possible.

We were thinking of little holes in the area between the sofa’s seats, where you could stick in an extension with a small table / cup holder on top. And being able to remove it if needed.

We thought about this and rejected it, due to heavy modification of the couch and he didnt really seemed interested. Plus i wouldn’t want to forget something in there for a couple of weeks ^^

Nice option. I cant find a the link but i recently came across a guy using some cheap under-door-mat pressure sensitive mats. (originally sold as a security feature)

I think this will work very well. We decided not to go with weight calculations, and just use presence detection which will be person-ignorant as a start (I really wanted to fire up different media depending on who is sitting currently but we’ll have to live without it for now). I’m thinking this will have a tremendous added value if i can combine it with a rotating/swiveling tv stand, being able to turn the tv automatically where one is sitting, or in the middle of the persons sitting on the couch if more than one is present. One other feature would be to know if your kids left the couch while you are doing something else.

That’s a nice idea, ill see if we can work this out.

Thanks for all the input boys and girls!
Ill keep you updated when we start the project.

Any further input is of course more than welcome!

Did my link not work?

Yup, i got it. :slight_smile: