The average professional eSports player’s career ranges from one to three years. That’s less than an NFL player, but for a similar reason—injury. A new Herman Miller gaming chair, made in collaboration with Logitech G, aims to address that while offering a superior chair to 2.2 billion gamers across the globe.
However, whereas NFL players are clearly viewed as athletes, with major brands constantly innovating higher performing and more protective gear, pro eSports players are often viewed as gamers versus athletes with gear designed more towards novelty and aesthetics than performance.
“We view players as athletes,” says Jon Campbell, gaming lead at Herman Miller. “They are not just people who sit down. They still need power and leverage and need to properly position their body.”
What makes the Herman Miller Embody Gaming Chair so amazing?
Herman Miller’s design process begins by asking, “What is the problem?” For the Embody chair, the problem was sitting itself. “Sitting produces a negative effect on our health,” says Jeff Weber who, along with Bill Stumpf, designed the original Embody chair in 2008 and consulted on the gaming chair. With the help of more than 30 physicians and PhDs, the chair was designed to be a “health-positive chair.”
The key design traits of the Embody chair are:
- Pixelated support. More than 100 dynamic pads, or “pixels,” help the user float and balance on the chair. The pads help reduce pressure and encourage movement.
- Backfit adjustment. The chair is designed just like your back, with a central spine and flexible ribs. It keeps your spine’s natural curve even if you lean forward or recline.
- Posturefit spinal support. The device helps keep your pelvis tilted forward to mimic a standing posture.
How was the gaming chair designed?
“The first thing we did is look for the expert,” says Jon. They landed on Logitech G. “We saw them as the expert in the industry. We went out and collectively did observational research together and what we saw is there was growing dissatisfaction with racecar style chairs. Then at the professional level we saw a growing concern with health.”
With the research complete they went into design, including collaborating with the TSM TeamHouse in Los Angeles and Logitech’s Silicon Valley Complex. “We went through design iteration for about six months, then immediately moved into building out manufacturing capability, testing, and supply chain. It was about a year-long process in total,” Jon says.
To address style concerns the in-house design team at Herman Miller’s Design Yard complex in West Michigan created a “tech ninja” mood board. They were nice enough to share it with Sixtysix.
The board is a mix of futuristic tactical helmets, Marvel villains (Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp,) costume designer Jenny Yates’ space suits from The Martian, a Ferrari 458 highly customized by Japanese outfit Liberty Walk, and a pair of Nike Air Pegasus 35 running shoes. The final design landed on a slick collection of black textures, bright blue accents, and Logitech G logos.
What makes the Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody gaming chair different than the standard Embody chair?
Key differences between the Herman Miller Embody Gaming Chair and the non-gaming version are:
- Lower price. The Embody Gaming Chair is available for $1,495, versus closer to $1,700 for the standard Embody
- Additional padding. Help support the user and give a slightly more upright position preferred by gamers.
- Copper-infused foam. The foam helps keep users temperature neutral and avoids heat build-up.
- Looks. This colorway and finish are exclusive to the Gaming Chair.
The chair comes fully assembled, is 95% recyclable, and comes with a 12-year warranty. It’s the first of what Herman Miller hopes to be many products created with other partners, including Logitech G. “Our partnership is long-term. This Embody gaming chair is just the first step in this relationship.”
Creative partnerships have been long mainstays in the world of fashion and are an approach Herman Miller is looking to continue. “We’re excited about more collaborations outside of the gaming industry. We are aligning ourselves at the intersection of performance, health, and style.”