An Adjustable “Smart Desk” For The Quantified Self
While the primary purpose of Stir's Kinetic Desk is to encourage workers to stand regularly, extra built-in features let them track their sitting and standing times and may eventually connect to wearable sensors.
Los Angeles-based Stir thinks it’s come up with an answer to the challenge of getting office workers to move more often: a desk that adjusts its height automatically in response to a tap on a built-in touchscreen. The Kinetic Desk also has an “active mode” that uses a thermal sensor to learn the worker’s sitting and standing habits and respond accordingly. For example, if it’s time to stand up, the desk will nudge itself up about an inch as a gentle reminder.
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday
What’s the Big Idea?
As more evidence emerges that confirms the health risks of sitting at a desk for hours at a time, various standing and adjustable desks have arrived on the office furniture market. Stir’s desk contains extra functionality that displays data on workers’ sitting and standing habits, including calories burned, and has wi-fi and Bluetooth connections so that future versions can hook up to individuals’ wearable sensors and other devices. Not surprisingly, the US-made desk isn’t cheap: It’s expected to retail for just under US$4,000 when it launches early next year.
The tragic event compelled nonprofit tech company Ushahidi to create a rough draft of a tool that eventually can be used by even the simplest cell phones. They’ve posted the code online in hopes that others will help finish it.