Home is where your rump rests
Geoffrey’s design idea for the SimSit is rather simple. Have a one piece item that can easily handle the throttle and joystick for most modern HOTAS setups while at the same time keep the intrusion into space at a minimum. The SimSit is a fairly simple device in its design really, a bottom board with two boxes attached which allow for placement of a HOTAS device. What you get is placement for a HOTAS setup that allows for easy use of both the joystick and the throttle quadrant with little interference from any other item on the desktop.
When I say it is a simple device I literally mean it. It takes all of about 45 seconds to get ready to go with the SimSit. Literally, you place the device on the chair, secure your HOTAS with either the enclosed bungee straps or with the velcro that came with the SimSit, scoot up and start flying.
Sitting is probably the first place to talk about the good and bad of the design. Geoff is considering various different materials for the construction of the SimSit, from plastic to wood for the final product. A lot of that will be based upon the overall cost of the materials and labor to make them as well as weight (the thing has to be shipped) and durability. The SimSit I have is essentially made out of ½ inch plywood on its base. This is a generally good tradeoff in weight vs. strength. It holds my 200lb frame well enough and I haven’t heard any creaking as of yet. It stays on my chair 24/7 and so far it has held up very well.
As for comfort, it is a mixed bag for me. The seat is of course made of hard wood and has a hole cut in the seat to save weight as well as improve comfort for the sitter. While it isn’t totally uncomfortable, it does feel somewhat strange. I somehow got the impression that I was sitting on a toilet seat while flying. Probably the quickest fix for this was placing a seat cushion on the SimSit. Cushions are easy to find and can range from simple foam rubber seats to elaborate massage based items. This corrected any problem I had before. With a cushion in place the SimSit was as comfortable as any office chair.
I think the major problem some folks will have is the loss of comfort that they may have had with their favorite chair. A lot of folks have invested a large amount of money in computer chairs that fit them like a glove and the idea of placing a piece of wood followed by a cushion on it may seem distasteful for them. I do sympathize but in all honesty I don’t know of a better way that the SimSit could be made without placing it on top of a seat. It is a compromise that I don’t see any rectification for short of a custom build office chair incorporating a SimSit already in it.
In reality I think most people will find this problem relatively small. Seat cushions are cheap and the SimSit with a cushion is not really a whole lot different in feel than the hard plywood base with a cushion that most people are sitting on now. If you have a 500 dollar chair with the vibrating base and the kung fu grip you might gripe but most of us don’t have that kind of chair.