By now, the negative effects of sitting at a desk for hours each day have been thoroughly documented, and nearly every office has its prominent figures who swear that standing keeps them alert and attentive while they're working. It seems as if most people would benefit from a taller desk, but many are reluctant to make such a drastic switch. That's why Stir, Inc. is offering a high-tech middleground with its upcoming Kinetic Desk. Using a built-in processor and motorized legs, the Stir Kinetic Desk can quietly adjust its own height throughout the day to help people stay focused and burn a few extra calories in the process, almost like a subtle piece of workout equipment.
The hardwood surface of the desktop measures a roomy 58.5 x 29.5 in (148.6 x 75 cm) and can support a dynamic load up to 75 lbs (34 kg). At its lowest, the desk measures about 25 in (63.5 cm) in height, but it can be raised as high as 51 in (129.5 cm). The back corners also have two compartments that each open up to reveal four AC outlets and two USB ports, providing easy access to a power source as well as storage space for any cables.
The Kinetic Desk's motions are controlled with a 4.3-inch color touchscreen located in the front left corner, and its automated risers can be set to active or passive modes with a button on the front. After setting their most comfortable heights for both standing and sitting, users can program the desk to rise for a specific percentage of the time while they're working. In active mode, a built-in sensor will detect when a person begins using the desk and will automatically begin a regimen aimed at keeping them active and focused.
Luckily it won't lift itself to standing height while someone is in the middle of a project, but will instead remind them to stand with a "whisperbreath" motion, where it slowly moves up and down a short distance. From there, a person can just tap the touchscreen twice to have it switch to its standing mode or press the button on the front to deactivate the reminders.
Throughout the day, the Kinetic Desk will track the amount of time users spend standing and calculate the amount of extra calories burned as a result. It will even keep a continuous log of the time a person spends on their feet and adjust its schedule to match their patterns. The desk also has integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, allowing it to download software updates and sync with other fitness devices or apps in the future.
The company plans to release the Stir Kinetic Desk in the beginning of 2014 with a starting price tag of US$3,890. Customers will have a choice between white or espresso-colored desktops with undersides in either charcoal, crimson, green, or ultramarine coatings.
Check out the video below to hear Stir's founder and CEO, JP Labrosse, describe some of the features and potential benefits of the Stir Kinetic Desk.