Once upon a time, people used analog desks and did Jazzercise and lived in caves. These were dark times. But the future looks bright with this awesome Smart Office Desk That Tells You When It’s Time to Stand #InnovativeGadgets
The new Stir Kinetic Desk M1 is a “smart desk” that learns your daily routine, gently notifies you of the best times to sit and stand, and raises and lowers itself with its quiet motorized legs.
It’s the second desk in Stir’s lineup, and the specs are impressive for a desk: a 1GHz CPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a 5-inch touchscreen console that runs Linux. Compared to the first Stir desk (dubbed the F1), this one is sleeker, cheaper, slightly lighter, and has components that are more easily serviceable. Four power outlets are built into the desk, and you’ll need to plug the desk in, too.
You can manually adjust the height, which ranges from 25 to 51 inches, by tapping the touchscreen embedded in the desk’s front-left corner. However, the desk also takes it upon itself to suggest when you should change positions. There’s a subtle motion that’s patterned after an actual human breath—Stir calls it “Whisperbreath”—to let you know it’s time to get up and move around a bit. It won’t force the issue; you still have to give a double-tap to tell the desk you’re ready to switch positions. The touchscreen on this version is bigger, so it’s easier to tap when you’re not looking at it.
I spoke with Stir CEO JP Labrosse, who was a member of Apple’s original iPod team. He says that most of the desk’s users spend about 50 percent of the time standing, and that a strong balance of standing and sitting is ideal. “Physiology experts and ergonomists will tell you that standing for eight to ten hours every day is pretty hard on the body,” he says. “You should be changing positions every hour.”
If you use one of Stir’s desks, the stats about how long you’ve spent sitting and standing are logged and displayed on the touchscreen. The data isn’t just based on the desk’s position—thermal sensors on the underside of the desk detect when you’re seated, standing, or away from the desk altogether.
The desk will also sync with your Fitbit—not just to display more daily activity data, but also to act as a proximity-based login device. If an office is stocked with Stir desks, the system uses the cloud to pull in and apply your personal settings once you’re logged in. So if you’re due for some standing time when you walk up to a Stir, the desk recognizes your Fitbit, greets you, and offers to adjust itself accordingly.
I got the chance to sit (and stand) behind one of these new Stir desks. The new M1 design has curved edges and a little indentation for your belly, and its powder-coated fiberboard surface, which is available in all-black or white-and-gray, feels solid and smooth. It weighs 140 pounds, around 10 pounds lighter than the blockier F1 desk.
At R34,785 per desk, the M1 isn’t cheap. But it does cost significantly less than the earlier F1, which will still be available for $4,190. Stir says the new desk is available for order now via its website and that delivery will take about eight weeks; it’ll also be available in furniture stores and through dealers across the US.