Smart Desk Tracks Working Preferences and Calories 2

Saturday, October 5th, 2013
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A California design firm has created a desk that combines smart technology that can learn and direct your working preferences.

The Stir Kinetic Desk will track a user’s sitting and standing preferences and even remind the user when it’s time to change position.

In addition, the software-enabled desk can also count calories advising the user of calories burnt throughout the day when they sit or stand.

Software Touch Pad

Software Touch Pad

Desks that move to accommodate a standing position are not new, with an abundance of research confirming that sitting for long periods is indeed detrimental to workers’ health, productivity and overall happiness.

Earlier this year, the Harvard Business Review famously announced that “sitting is the smoking of our generation” and Office Angels released a research report revealing that two-thirds of office workers sit at their desk for six or more hours a day, making users more tired and less productive.

Miami University also found that there was a 50-minute daily productivity improvement operating in sit/stand positions throughout the day.

However, many of the desks that offer a standing option require manual adjustment, meaning the user needs to remember to move the desk and ensure it is ergonomically accurate to their height.

Stir Kinetic Desk, stand positon

Stir Kinetic Desk, standing position

The Stir Kinetic Desk recognises the convenience of reminding people to stand and has designed the desk to be an “effortless” way to contribute to the health and well-being of its users.

The desk has two modes, regular and active. In regular mode, users can double tap a built-in screen which is similar in size to an iPhone and the desk will automatically move into the next position.

In active mode, the desk rises and falls an inch to remind the user when it’s time to switch positions.

“(O)ur pattern pending technology senses your presence, learns your patterns and preferences, and helps you get more done while you get more fit,” said Stir CEO JP Labrosse.

While the desk is aesthetically quite clean and minimal, it is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and is also compatible with Fitbit, an activity tracker application.

Stir Kinetic Desk Specifications

Stir Kinetic Desk Specifications

“Say a person went for a three mile run right before they went to work, that person may not want to be standing right after that,” said Labrosse. “The desk can actually learn that pattern and adjust.”

Labrosse said Stir is also syncing the desk to other fitness and health applications.

The Stir Kinetic desk also embeds cord management and has the ability to power other smart devices. The compartment for this is flush with the desk’s surface keeping cords hidden.

Stir is a design firm made up of 25 people drawn from innovative businesses including Apple, Disney and IDEO, including Labrosse, a former Apple iPod engineer who was introduced to the opportunity to stand at a desk back in the late 1990s and early 2000s at the company’s headquarters.

Stir’s research revealed that less than 30 per cent of other sit/stand workstations successfully engage their owners and deliver the full health and wellness benefits of sitting less.

Linak Wellness Switch

Linak Wellness Switch

“They are either too hard to use, disrupt other worktop equipment or simply get left in one position for too long because you’re thinking about something else,” said Labrosse.

The desk builds on a concept launched earlier this year by LINAK – a Wellness Switch that can be attached to a desk and provide similar information once programmed to the user’s preferences.

No information has been released on the energy demands of the Stir Kinetic Desk, which could determine the product’s longevity and its ability to contribute to a sustainable office environment.

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  1. Joanna

    Good end point, I do wonder how sustainable an office full of these desks would be. However, aside from the energy usage, I think it’s an excellent idea as study after study reveals the negative health effects of sitting at a desk all day…yet the majority of us still tend to do it!

  2. Mercy M

    I agree with Joanna, the problem is sitting at a desk all day, but if we can´t change that it is brilliant to create a “smart desk” to reduce the negative health effects!