Kinda like a highly-advanced tape gun, only one that gives you a sense of how furniture will look/feel in your home before you go to the hassle of installing it. Video of the Protopiper by German tech university Hasso Plattner Institute’s The Human Computer Interaction Lab below!
There’s a short story by Madeleine Thien called “A Map of the City.” In that story the narrator talks about a furniture shop her father owned when she was growing up. She loved going there so much she used to pretend to be sick in order to stay home from school and be taken to the store instead. She would lounge on a plastic lawn chair in a doorless storage closet with a little curtain pulled closed for privacy. During one of those times a customer stumbles upon her: