According to one analyst, as many as 26 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be connected to smart furniture products by the year 2024. On the week after the CES 2018 consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, we take a look at the way smart office products are making offices a healthier, more convenient, and productive place to work than ever before.

The technology analyst firm Research Nestor predicts that smart furniture demand will increase sharply between now and the middle of the next decade, with as many as 26 billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices connecting to smart furniture products by the year 2024.

If this prediction pans out, it will be following a classic “hockey stick” adoption model that’s typical of many successful tech products — a long, slow, early adoption curve (representing the handle of the stick) is followed by a sharp upward curve (the blade) as the buyer profile shifts from early adopters to mainstream consumers.

Where are we in this cycle? As it turns out, we’re about 14 years into the smart furniture era. Pioneering Japanese researcher Hideyuki Tokuda of Keio University presented one of the first conference papers on the idea of connected smart furniture back in 2004 at an IEEE conference in Tokyo. In his research lab, Tokuda identified how networked computers, sensors, and i/o devices, such as touch screens, would need to work together to provide new convenience and productivity features, such as keyless access, private message boards, and remote control video systems controlled by cell phones.

So if you are a business owner or office manager, what does the adoption of smart furniture mean for you in today’s office environments? Are you a die-hard early adopter or are you looking in from the sidelines to see if smart office products are for you?

To help you decide, we’ve broken the topic of smart furniture down into four categories:

  • Smart Office Desks Bring Health and Wellness Benefits to the Office
  • Flexibility, Thanks to Multi-Function Smart Furniture
  • Using Data Collected by Smart Furniture to Measure Activity at the Office
  • Future Developments in Smart Office Products

Smart Office Desks Bring Health and Wellness Benefits to the Office

Smart office desks from Formaspace Office can help. You and your employees can start the day off right with our Weldmarx line of sit-to-stand desks. Our smart office desks can adjust up or down to your preferred height as you walk toward them first thing in the morning — by using a blue-tooth enabled app on your phone. During the day, use your phone or a desk-mounted pushbutton control to move the whole desk up or down in order to avoid sitting too long in one position at work.

Weldmarx I, Height-Adjustable Desk

If you’re not getting enough exercise at work, here are some additional ideas. Two Formaspace tables can be joined together for an impromptu game of office ping pong! These smart tables are also connected to an app on your phone by a Bluetooth connection, so you can raise and lower them for use as desks or tables.

#Networking, 5-in-1 Ping Pong Conference Table. Click to learn more!

Our custom smart ping pong table was one of the big hits at our 2017 NeoCon Office Furniture display booth.

If you don’t have time to take a break from your desk to play a game of ping pong, you can get a workout at your desk when it’s equipped with a built-in exercise treadmill. Even walking at a slow pace can help you lose pounds and keep trim while you work.

Feeling blue at the office during the winter? Smart furniture products can not only sense the temperature and humidity at your desk to keep you comfortable (by silently alerting the HVAC computer that a person is occupying the desk), they can also turn on special solar-style lights to help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) brought on by dark winter days.

Flexibility, Thanks to Multi-Function Smart Furniture

For example, aren’t you tired of seeing cables and wires in the office tangled up everywhere?

We offer a solution.

Our no-wires charging panels allow you to simply place a smartphone on one of our desks or tables — it will charge up automatically with no wires required. We also offer integrated power supply outlets as well as USB power and networking ports in our office furniture — say goodbye to the visual clutter of wires as well as dangerous trip hazards, such as extension cords and plug adapters.

For extra simplicity and clean lines, choose our motorized access solutions as shown in this bespoke Formaspace conference table above. At the touch of a button, motorized compartments can open up for easy access to network connections and power supplies, but when they are no longer needed, they can be stowed away for a clean, clutter-free look.

Taking this a step further, what if you wanted your home office to be able to be reconfigured into a meeting space, a kitchen/dining area or a bedroom?

Read more …

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