David Zax

A View from David Zax

You've Never Seen a Bed Like This Before

The Murphy bed gets a new twist.

  • March 9, 2012

Sometimes society progresses not by introducing a radically new technology, but rather by combining two old ones. The bed is an ancient technology. The elevator is a somewhat more recent one. But why has it taken until now for someone to come up with idea of crossing an elevator with a bed?

That’s what the wonderful French folks behind BedUp have done. The BedUp (tagline: Ranger votre lit au plafond) is a retractable bed that lowers when it’s time to sleep, and raises during the day. A silly and adorably low budget video even illustrates how the underside of the bed can be outfitted with light fixtures, making it fit right into the ceiling without casting a pall.

The fold-up bed, of course, is nothing new. And fundamentally, the principle here is the same: using your wall or ceiling to liberate floor space during the daytime. (It’d be a godsend for me here in New York.) But I personally am unable to think of Murphy beds as anything other than devices for sight gags or suspenseful moments in old James Bond movies. A new era, with a new vernacular, demands a new form of retractable bed.

You probably have further questions. And I do wish my French were good enough to help you.

Suffice it to say that if BedUp takes off, so to speak, and finds its way to New York, I’ll be among the first to try it out–assuming I also win the lottery and thus won’t mind what Gizmodo says is the $3,800 price tag (including installation).  At that point, I’ll be able to report back more knowledgeably–and from the luxurious comfort of my newly spacious bedroom.

For more on technological bed innovation, just spend a few minutes peering down the rabbit hole that is YouTube.

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.
Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from undefined

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.

  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Join in and ask questions as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

You've read of free articles this month.