Even though we are still immersed in the Web 2.0 milieu of social media, we are heading full-throttle ahead to the semantic world of Web 3.0 - where we will need workstations to better reflect our Brave New World. Similar in design to spaceship modules, the workstations of the future have arrived, and suffice it say, they're not your father's cubicle.
Short of implanting computer chips into our brains and eliminating the need for any kind of workspace, designers have found innovative approaches to improving our work space. Based on the implementation of enhanced ergonomics and other advanced features, here is a sampling of ten of the best high-tech design solutions that are on the market. Not only are they space-savers but they also provide us an opportunity to become more intimate with the one device that occupies the majority of our waking moments.
For the 'obsessive-compulsive' exercise crowd who reject the sedentary lifestyle and think sitting in front of a computer is so last century - check out a station that will allow you to burn off calories, create PowerPoint presentations and calculate Excel Spreadsheets all at the same time. The unit offers an electric height-adjustable work-surface along with a low-speed treadmill. Only disadvantage with this particular computer set-up is gamers might find it a challenge to play 'on-the-run'.
Similar in concept to the Walkspace above, the Rizki Tarisa combines work and exercise. A winner of the Ideation Award 2010, this multi-functional chair is an exercise bike, lounge chair and workstation all rolled into one. While the user remains stationary, the number of calories he can churn through can really mount up in short period of time.
All hail the emperor! As the king of workstations, it comes with more bells and whistles than most any other self-contained workstation on the market. And with with a price tag is of $39,950 it should. The Emperor offers reclining Recaro seat, three 19 inch monitors, HEPA filters, touchscreen controls, a web cam, and optional PS3. It rotates 360°, has LED lighting, and a BOSE 5.1 surround sound system. You can live your the rest of your life here.
This workstation gives a whole new meaning to the term "coffee clutch" - except there is only enough space for one coffee drinker. While the unit might make your cramped cubicle seem downright roomy, it's definitely a quiet respite from the outside world. Compact, it will easily fit into the smallest of offices - even a closet if you're really tight on space! Designed in the shape of a coffee mug, the inside houses a touchscreen computer, space for your laptop, built-in speaker, and of course spot for your coffee maker.
With as much time as we all spend at our computers, if you are not affected by carpel tunnel syndrome, you may be experiencing neck strain. With that in mind, designer Alan Harp created this device. The Supine Workstation allows the user to easily move from an upright to a supine position by simply shifting their weight in the direction desired. It was first introduced at the the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum's 1998 exhibit titled "Unlimited by Design," and is now available in the year 2010.
Do you ever have those days where you have so much to do, but you just don't want to get out of bed? If so, the ErgoQuest workstation might be just the workstation for you. The height adjustable workstation is designed for standing, sitting, or supine work positions. The work surface has a motorized monitor tilt platform, keyboard tray and arm which allows the tray to tilt through 90°. It provides a range of positions for use in a reclined mode. The table holds up to 400 pounds of equipment from 31° to 50° angles with the push of a button. Just don't fall sleep.
It's art when not in use. It's a chair and desktop when open. Globus is a molded plastic globe on wheels. It opens to provide a seating space in one half and a small adjustable table that functions as a worktable in the other half. The Globus space-saving workstation was meant for small home or office spaces. The entire unit can be customized with a choice of colors for the footplate, the globe and the seat itself. The space-saving workstation is ideally suited for both home and office spaces and is perfect for hotel lobbies and airport lounges.
While I don't know if this work unit would appeal to men, the design firm Tuvie notes that this ergonomically designed concept was inspired by a 'flower bud' and is aimed at a user of any gender or age group. This movable and adjustable workstation provides full-range of comfort an offers a passable level of privacy when in use, and a condensed shell when stored away.
Who says workstations are just for adults? The next generation coming up don't even know a time when computers didn't exist. And they will eventually be the ones leading the charge through the Web 3.0 portal. While designed for tots, it does come with a bit of hefty price tag. At $2600 it offers a 160GB hard drive, a 19 inch monitor screen and Internet connection capability. The keyboard, mouse and pre-loaded software is said to be durable and kid-friendly.
With the user positione right in the middle of this unit, everything is within each reach. For those who can afford a personal workstation, this Battle-Rig Pro shaped much like a baby rocker is great for gamers! The multifunctional computer furniture provides a perfect environment for its users and features lots of storage space to accommodate all your equipments neatly. You can even choose a color to match your decor and customize it to your own specifications.
So with ten units to choose from- all offering something a little bit different, is there one here that piques your interest? From game stations, to comfort zones, to home theaters and exercise options, these workstations of the future are here and ready to accommodate us.
However bare in mind, when Web 3.0 does kick into high gear, the word on the digital streets is that machines are going to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. The 'third generation of life' online is predicted to feature intuitive artificial intelligence applications that work swiftly across broadband Internet connections
So will this increase or decrease the amount of time we sit in front of our computers? My guess is with more automation, our time is only going to expand to allow us to multitask even more. Yes, until that computer chip is firmly implanted in our brains, I think we're going to find ourselves positioned at of one these workstations for a good number of decades to come - and probably right next to the robots down the hall!
Semantic Technology workstations