Herman Miller has teamed up with Swiss designer Yves Béhar for a new suite of smart office furniture that launched recently at NeoCon, a trade fair for commercial interiors in Chicago (USA).

This line of furniture is called Live OS and uses a system with sensors that can come preinstalled with Herman Miller desks, or retrofitted to any existing work surface. The sensors collect on-the-fly data (that is privacy-protected) which is then accessed through a dashboard, giving companies insight into how spaces are being utilised.

On fixed-height desks, Live OS only tracks when people are present, but when used with Herman Miller’s sit-to-stand desks, it acts more like a furniture Fitbit. Through an app, people set preferences for things like desk height, which can then be recalled at any connected sit-to-stand desk by tapping a button.

Individuals can also set activity goals (ie., stand for 12 minutes out of every 60). When it’s time to change postures, the desk will prompt the shift via a soft buzz. For those who aren’t used to moving while they work, the app will gradually progress toward set activity goals over a period of weeks.

Herman Miller said the system is encouraging people to move more frequently throughout the work day.

It’s well-documented that sitting for the majority of the day comes with health risks, but studies have shown that most users with motorised desks stop switching modes after a few weeks.

Sensors that are bought individually can cost USD100, and the corresponding software subscription runs approximately USD36 per desk per year. The software for sit-to-stand desks with Live OS sensors costs USD60 per year.

From The Verge