The Autonomous Desk keeps you on your toes at work

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The Autonomous Desk comes with a ready-made training plan for getting used to a standing desk

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Adjustable standing desks may have the potential to be good for your health, but they don't work if you don't use them properly. The Autonomous Desk can be used for sitting or standing and will notify you if you've done either for too long. It also learns, talks, organizes and manages appliances.

This isn't the first standing desk to be designed with idea of reminding users to stand up more, or to take a break. The MisterBrightLight desk we covered at the end of last year does the same, but it doesn't have nearly as much functionality as the Autonomous Desk.

First things first – the desk is a 120-lb (54-kg) piece of kit, with white, black or grey steel legs and the choice of an oak, walnut or bamboo top. It's also available with a black or white veneer. The tabletop, which has an ergonomic indentation for the user's body, measures 53 x 30 in (135 cm x 76 cm) and can hold up to 350 lb (159 kg).

The height of the desk can be adjusted via a motorized mechanism using either buttons on the desk itself or an accompanying app for iOS and Android devices. It has a minimum height of 24.5 in (62 cm) and a maximum height of 47 in (119 cm). Some simple features include a wireless charging pad, a USB charging slot and a hook upon which to hang a bag.

Now, here come the extra bells and whistles. Users can save a number of preferred heights to which the desk can be set automatically, minimizing the need to continually fiddle with the height if it's not quite right. The desk can also sense when users arrives at work and automatically adjust itself to their preferred standing height so as to begin the day in a healthy manner.

In keeping with the health credentials of standing desks, the Autonomous Desk can connect with a user's health and fitness trackers. If a user has been sitting for long periods, the desk will suggest they stand up for a while, or if it detects that a user has done a lot of exercise, it will suggest they sit down.

The desk comes with a preset training plan that begins relatively easily and gradually builds up the lengths of time that it suggests a user remains standing. Initially, it will suggest users stand for 20-30 minutes at a time with long seated breaks before increasing the suggested standing time each day. It will also learn about the user (such as what time of the day they prefer to stand up and sit down) and adjust its suggestions accordingly. Alternatively, users can set their own schedule.

Users can interact with the desk via voice commands, and it in turn speaks notifications to the user. It can, for example, read out messages that have been received. Users can tell it, on the other hand, to make appointments, place food orders, play music via its speakers and manage smart home appliances like thermostats and lights.

The Autonomous Desk is already compatible with devices including Nest, LIFX, Philips Hue and Lockitron. There are a variety of other apps also available and it will be possible for developers to create apps of their own for the desk, which is actually based on Android.

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Autonomous Desk is ongoing and has already tripled its target with 11 days still to go. At the time of writing it's possible for individuals who pledge from US$399 to receive one of the desks. Delivery is expected from July of this year.

The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Autonomous Desk.

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