American furniture maker Herman Miller announced last week their latest technological offering in the form of a digital platform known as Live OS, an app-based system designed to encourage movement in the office which is drawing early comparisons to the technology and fitness crossover craze, the Fitbit.

Img: Herman Miller/Daniel Carlsten
Live OS, described by Herman Miller as “a digital platform designed to personalize and optimize the office for the people who use it”, actively encourages employees to get up and move around during their day in the office so as to improve the general health and wellbeing of the workforce. The technology also collects data on how and when particular pieces of furniture are used, helping employers to create the ideal working environments for their staff.

"Just like everyone has a Fitbit today, we really want to encourage them to move and change postures throughout the day and so with the app, we will encourage people to do that," said Jared Vermeulen of Herman Miller, during a recent demonstration of Live OS.

The Live OS app also has added functionality aside from the aforementioned. For example, workers can set themselves goals to be completed throughout their working day, such as the total duration to be spent sitting, standing or moving. On the subject of movement, should an employee set down at a different desk for a change of scenery during the day, the app will also allow them to remotely adjust the height of the desk to as to ensure comfortable and healthy working conditions.

“This is a system about trying to improve the workplace for the individual and really giving a personal touch to it, and at the same time giving information to the workplace so they can make better decisions about their space,” said Nick Butterfield, a Herman Miller spokesman.

“We can definitely see a use for it in small businesses and retail, but it isn't a target for us right now.”

The technology retails at a price of $100 for the sensor plus an annual subscription fee of $60.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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