One of the ways to refresh your state of mind and lighten up the repetitive mundane feeling is to change your surroundings. It's good to go out often and visit various (preferably new) places or even go abroad if the circumstances allow, but if you happen to spend a lot of time at home, it helps if you change the interior of your living space and one of the simplest ways in which you can do that is to rearrange furniture.
However, doing this often manually is still too much of a hassle, so it would be super cool if the furniture could rearrange itself. Then people could refresh their home's interior every day or even a few times per day if they wanted, try new possible combinations and get back to more convenient options whenever they felt like. An app could be paired with such a system and all you needed to do would be to place different pieces of furniture in the desired manner in a digital representation of your home space on a touchscreen of your device, the app could also suggest options for you if you ran out of creativity. But how to achieve the rearranging part?
The first thing I thought about was that furniture could move on small rail-like tracks, but this limits the possibilities for moving in all directions and also adds unwanted elements in the floor. A bit better option would be to use tiny wheels attached underneath each item, but this is complicated because such wheels would have to become fixed (preferably hidden and replaced by stable legs or a flat surface) after the furniture was moved and each item would need to have a separate mechanized system installed in it to do the job. While researching related ideas I've found one company doing something a bit along those lines, but it's more about self-folding/unfolding pieces of furniture with predefined movement positions.
Using a magnetic floor and a layer of magnetic material attached underneath each item of furniture seems like a viable option. The floor surface would need to be smooth and even enough (without carpets, etc.) and a thin layer of soft material would be additionally attached on top of the magnetic layer underneath each item in order not to scratch the floor by friction. The floor could be made entirely from a specialized material capable of effectively transferring the magnetic field. The field would be turned on only when necessary on a specific location of the floor and moved around to drag a specific item (or few at once) along.
Alternatively, such an interactive magnetic floor layer could potentially be installed under any type of floor, given the magnetic field it generates would be strong enough to penetrate the surface materials (eg. laminate flooring) and still be able to move heavy items of furniture. If such systems became popular enough, new furniture could even be made "magnetic floor compatible", meaning it would have a magnetic layer installed during manufacturing allowing to move it on such floor. Alternatively, separate adjustable magnetic pieces of various sizes and strength could be sold to fit various types of furniture items and the users could attach those themselves.
Here's the envisioned domestic scenario: when the person wants to rearrange furniture, they prepare the floor by removing unnecessary items that might obstruct the movement, then set the desired furniture combination on a designated app and leave the room for the system to do the job. Perhaps a safety feature prescanning the room for people and animals, before any movement starts, should be installed.
The main obstacle to this idea that I see is that moving heavy items of furniture requires strong magnetic fields which in turn requires strong electromagnets or even superconducting magnets and might require additional cooling systems. The excess heat generated by the working of ordinary electromagnets could potentially be used for floor heating, but anyway, the cost of such a system might be too high and not justify its purpose. Installation of the system might also require a lot of room under the floor.
Is there a way to simplify the system and make it more cost-efficient? What other technical methods (instead of a magnetic field) could be employed to serve the same purpose?