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Space oddity for a good night's sleep

Janjaap Ruijssenaars has always been interested in the concept of gravity. The Dutch architect says it is this that helped him decide to enter the profession. "Gravity is at the center of what pulls architects together," he said. But it was another force of nature -- magnetism -- that helped Ruijssenaars create his 1.2 million euro ($1.5 million) floating bed, attracting international acclaim when it was showcased at this year's Millionaire Fair in Belgium. "I started with gravity and then thought about another power, magnetism, and went from there, beginning with cardboard and small refrigerator magnets." His design has the base of the bed "floating" 40 centimeters above the ground, thanks to a system of magnets in both the floor under the bed and the bed itself.

Magnets have north and south poles, which attract each other and pull together, but if you turn one of the magnets around, so that like ends are facing each other, they will repel and push apart. The bed, which can hold a weight of 900 kilograms, is secured to the ground with four cables to ensure it doesn't float any higher. "It's the opposite of hanging something on the ceiling," he said. Ruijssenaars graduated from architecture school in the Netherlands six years ago. Although he is yet to sell one of the floating beds, he says he has interest from a Detroit-based car company to use the concept to create a floating stage on which the company would display one of its vehicles.

He says a museum in Europe is interested in showcasing the bed.

Tag: Floating bed Gravity technology Gadgets

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