Good Thinking

Device offers hope for workers who aren't comfy in their cubicles

Office cubicles aren't always ideal workplaces
Office cubicles aren't always ideal workplaces
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Prof. Abbas Kouzani (left) and researcher Scott Adams, with the Cube Comfort Monitor
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Prof. Abbas Kouzani (left) and researcher Scott Adams, with the Cube Comfort Monitor
Office cubicles aren't always ideal workplaces
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Office cubicles aren't always ideal workplaces

If you work in an office cubicle, then you likely don't have much control over the factors that determine your comfort level. Well, a new device could at least let the powers-that-be know if things need improvement, by monitoring the environment in your cubby hole.

Known as the Cube Comfort Monitor (and nicknamed the Baby Cube), the gadget was created by a team at Australia's Deakin University, led by Prof. Abbas Kouzani.

Placed in individual cubicles within an office, each Cube utilizes integrated sensors to measure and record temperature, humidity, air quality (CO2 and total volatile organic compound levels), light intensity, light temperature and sound levels. That data can then be transmitted to a cloud-based server, where it's analyzed to reveal problem areas within the room. Should they so choose, office managers can then address those issues.

Prof. Abbas Kouzani (left) and researcher Scott Adams, with the Cube Comfort Monitor
Prof. Abbas Kouzani (left) and researcher Scott Adams, with the Cube Comfort Monitor

"Contemporary office buildings generally have in-built monitoring systems but that's less common in older buildings, so there is a real need to improve how we monitor workplace comfort in older buildings, ensuring the heating and air conditioning systems are working effectively, that lighting is not too bright or too dull and that the room is not too stuffy or noisy," says team member Scott Adams (pictured above at right, with Prof. Kouzani and the Cube).

Plans now call for the Cube Comfort Monitor to be tested in 15 sites across Deakin's campuses, with commercialization possibly taking place later this year.

Source: Deakin University

2 comments
MerlinGuy
What a laugh. Like employers are going to do anything about your cube because another cube told them too. How about another cube to figure out how much you hate your job and ask management to give you a better one.
piperTom
It's just in time to be obsolete. Employers are now going "open format" because any amount of privacy just won't do. In contrast, work-from-home is spinning up and, again, employer's notion of comfort is immaterial.
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