Meet the Evolved Smart Standing Workstation

The case for standing desks is getting more and more convincing. It’s not just that more people seem interested in them, but also that the research is getting more robust. Sure, they’re not a one-stop solution to your health problems. But if you have to spend a big chunk of your day behind a desk, as most of us do, a standing desk might not be a bad place to start, provided you use it in the right way.

I actually wish I was typing at a standing desk right now.

There are a few solutions on the market, including countless custom jobs. The desk-cum-treadmill I saw at Facebook’s Singapore headquarters remains my favorite, even though it’s hard to picture actually working at it. But I’ve yet to see up close a solution that incorporates automation, data gathering, and customization.

A Singapore-based company is building just what I described above, only it’s not a desk per se – it’s a rig you can place on top of any flat surface where you usually work, and instantly turn it into what the company calls a "smart standing workstation." It’s called the Aspirus. You can see the product yourself and back production by checking out its Indiegogo campaign.

The Aspirus’ most striking feature is letting you adjust its height at the touch of a button. It can lie flat on the desk, allowing you to work on it while seated, or it can go all the way up to a maximum height of 46cm (from the rig’s base). The workstation can be customized to mount a monitor, a laptop stand, or a dual-monitor configuration, without having to tinker with the base too much.

See: Health benefits of standing desks: separating hype from realityBut what makes Aspirus a "smart" workstation is its use of sensors and an accompanying app to monitor your desk behavior. The rig tracks how long you have been sitting there and uses a handy notification light in the shape of the Aspirus logo to let you know it’s time to stand up. It can also tell when you’re not at your desk, so it tracks your sitting/standing time more accurately.

Through the app, which will be available for iOS and Android, you can set the relevant reminders, keep track of your desk habits, and pre-set your desired height. You can also set a "do-not-disturb" function, which uses a light indicator to let your colleagues know you’re trying to focus – a hi-tech alternative to leaving a can of soda on top of your cubicle or a hastily-scribbled post-it on the back of your screen. Finally, you can get real-time information on your daily usage, trends, and progress reports. Effectively, the app helps turn the workstation into a kind of life coach for your workplace behavior.

The team behind Aspirus has had its share of back pain from office work over the years. Co-founders Yuying Deng and Andrew McDonnell have backgrounds in healthcare and law, and finance respectively. Their transition into entrepreneurship involved ergonomics furniture company Ideal Workspace, with the aim of solving this chronic problem. They spent over a year developing their idea and working with more than 50 clients to get a feel for the most common (back) pain points. Aspirus was born through this process.

See: No buyer’s remorse: a guide to getting the best standing desk for your needsThe co-founders have worked with industrial designers, engineers, and app developers to come up with their complete product, and have partnered with a manufacturer in Taiwan that specializes in this kind of product. Yuying, the company’s CEO, has previously shared some of the challenges of getting a hardware startup up and running with Tech in Asia. The team expects to be able to ship the smart standing desk to backers in September 2016.

The whole rig will retail for about US$1,399, according to the co-founders, but backers can get it for an up to 57 percent discount if they preorder theirs through the campaign page.

Do you use a standing desk? Are you thinking about trying one? Does Aspirus look like an attractive proposition to you? Share your thoughts below.

This post Standing desks have evolved already – meet the smart standing workstation appeared first on Tech in Asia.