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The Autonomous Desk keeps you on your toes at work

The Autonomous Desk keeps you ...
The Autonomous Desk comes with a ready-made training plan for getting used to a standing desk
The Autonomous Desk comes with a ready-made training plan for getting used to a standing desk
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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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The Autonomous Desk comes with a ready-made training plan for getting used to a standing desk
The Autonomous Desk has an ergonomic indentation for the user's body
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The Autonomous Desk has an ergonomic indentation for the user's body
The Autonomous Desk can hold up to 350 lb (159 kg)
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The Autonomous Desk can hold up to 350 lb (159 kg)
The Autonomous Desk in use
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The Autonomous Desk in use
The Autonomous Desk has a 10 ft (3 m) power cord
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The Autonomous Desk has a 10 ft (3 m) power cord
The Autonomous Desk has accompanying iOS and Android apps from which it can be controlled
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The Autonomous Desk has accompanying iOS and Android apps from which it can be controlled
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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.

The Autonomous Desk has an ergonomic indentation for the user's body
The Autonomous Desk has an ergonomic indentation for the user's body

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.

The Autonomous Desk has accompanying iOS and Android apps from which it can be controlled
The Autonomous Desk has accompanying iOS and Android apps from which it can be controlled

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.

Source: Autonomous Desk, Kickstarter

SmartDesk: World's First Smart Standing Office That Talks and Listens.

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7 comments
Deadpan
$299 is starting to get realistic, even though you have to put it together yourself and find a top to attach. The price for the basic at ship, $500, is getting into the ridiculous pricing of many of these types of tables. There is no reason for these to be in $500-1000 range or more.
P3t3r
I want to know how his computer works without a power cable?
MG48
Why not just get a high-top table and a taller chair or stool? If you don't want to sit then just move the stool/chair away. That's all this is, a table with adjustable legs, not a desk. Better yet, go buy a drafting table.
Mark Salamon
An ingenious desk design and, considering all the features it offers, the $399 Kickstarter price seems reasonable to me. The tiny briefcase hook is a bit of a joke, though! It ought to be replaced with a hook that's larger and more substantial.
KevinMcLauchlan
It's probably a good idea for a limited market. That would be (at least) managers and executives who have actual offices with doors, floor-space, and real desks and tables.
But.... I have no way to use one, for example.
My employer allows a mix of work-in-office, and work-from-home. At the office, I'm in a cubicle, which is part of a small cubicle farm. So, out of a couple of hundred people at that office, nobody has any room for such a desk. There's already a built-in, fixed-height work surface in each cube, L-shaped, leaving barely enough room to swivel a chair. Not allowed to remove the work surface - I think it actually contributes to structural integrity of the cube. There's a REASON the video shows just one guy in his office using the product. He's a manager or higher and actually has an office where he could have some control over how the floorspace gets used. But in that capacity, he represents much smaller numbers than the set of all the workies in the office, who can't be part of the market for Autonomous Desk.
In fact, I bought myself a Kangaroo Sit-Stand desktop to deal with the limitation of the cube. It just sits on the desk surface of the cubicle and can quickly raise or lower the platform with my displays, laptop, keyboard, mouse, and other stray bits. If I were to do it again, I'd look for one of the other equivalent desktop raise/lower units (like the VariDesk Pro, shown in Related Articles as I'm writing), since the Kangaroo is rather clunky.
So, what other opportunity do I have (as a white-collar employee in pretty-average, to possibly better-than-average, circumstances) to use this product? Well, perhaps my home office (a.k.a., "guest bedroom") when I'm working from home.
There, I have a LifeSpan TR5000-DT5 treadmill desk. A little pricey, but worth every penny. In a full day of working at home, I usually walk 20,000 to 25,000 steps. The rest of the time, with the belt shut off, it's a standing-only desk. No sitting, unless I take a break and park on the sofa-bed. :-)
So really, I couldn't possibly take advantage of the product in this review. Maybe one of the Directors or VPs at the office could use one, but that's, what(?) four people out of 200?
Again, a nice idea, and probably well executed, but I'm not sure where the market is.
OH! Just thought... the TR5000 (excellent walking treadmill, by the way) is also available WITHOUT the desk unit. So, among all the other features of the "Autonomous Desk", the developers could add a console interface for a walking treadmill. But then, the treadmill platform is four or five inches above the floor, so they would need to extend the top of the desktop elevation range by that much, to accommodate their taller customers who also wanted to walk while standing. And, if the video is accurate, there are no cross-pieces/braces under the table, to conflict with a treadmill motor housing. There we go. I just grew the possible market. You're welcome. :-)
PS: @Deadpan - do you want the furniture to be solidly made, of strong materials, resistant to coffee-and-lunch stains, scuffs., scrapes, bangs and bumps? Then you need to pay for that. You can get a cheap pressed-sawdust desktop with Mactac "veneer", attached to spindly, stamped-metal legs for less money, but you won't be happy for very long.
Similarly, something like the VariDesk Pro (there might be a link below in Related Articles) is manufactured in the thousands or tens of thousands of units at most, not the millions that are sold of static office furniture. Or, have you tried the 600-dollar office chairs with good materials, a range of
Lance
I used to have a desk like that, it was called a drafting table.
DJW
I ordered the "Business Edition" and this desk is junk - to be fair, however, customer service was at least eager to help if not very knowledgeable about the product.
My problem is that the left side stopped working entirely (business edition with two motors). I went through a replacement leg, a new control box and multiple "reset" tries, but still no operational desk.
I'm curious why there are NO negative comments on the manufacturer's comment section. hmmmm?