Just when you thought everything that could be connected to the internet had already been connected, along comes the connected desk.
The Live furniture range has been produced by Herman Miller, a furniture design company with plenty of cachet. It’s the name, for example, behind the iconic Aeron office chair (pictured).
The company’s new connected desk concept is pretty straightforward. Desks, whether fixed-height desks or sit-to-stand desks, are equipped with sensors that monitor how they are used and this data is collected for analysis.
The connected system through which this data is stored and used is called Live OS. It aggregates anonymized usage information over time, and this data is used to provide insights into patterns of usage through dashboards.
Individuals can control over any desk via a smartphone app. The example Herman Miller gives is pointing the app at a sit-to-stand desk to make a connection, and then having it automatically set itself to the preferred height.
Users can set their own goals for moving between sit and stand at a particular desk, and receive alerts when it is time to change. This is designed to promote a healthier workplace, as awareness grows about the problems caused by remaining seated for hours at a time.
“Our initial testing indicates that employees using Live sit-to-stand desks have become more active, transitioning between sitting and standing six-times as often as previously recorded,” reported Ryan Anderson, director of commercialization for Live OS.
In a hot-desking environment or managed office space, building managers could use Live OS to check out which desks are currently occupied and then allocate those that are unused to workers as they arrive.
All about insight
The Herman Miller blurb positions the benefits this way: “With the data insights captured through Live OS, organizations can better measure and manage workplace strategy to optimize real estate usage and improve employee experience.”
Sensors can either be fitted to a desk at purchase or retrofitted to an existing desk, making it easy to bring the whole office into the ecosystem.
“Live OS is an example of how Herman Miller continues to evolve to better serve our customers as they increasingly look to the workplace to drive their own business transformation” said Greg Bylsma, president of Herman Miller in North America.
“With decades of experience in human-centered design, we’re introducing services like Live OS to help our customers create workplaces that empower, energize and perform.”
Live OS is initially available in North America.