If Apple were to build a desk, it would look like this. Much like Nest, maker of the world's sexiest thermostat, Stir is a company founded by someone who worked on the first iPods, and, it too is trying to make a mundane household item fashionable. In this case, of course, the product in question isn't a thermostat or even a home appliance, but a standing desk. The Kinetic Desk, which will ship in the first half of 2014, has a thermal sensor that can tell when you've arrived, and over time, it learns how long you prefer to be on your feet before taking a break. To lower the desk over its 26-inch range, just double-tap the built-in touchscreen, located on the left end. From there, you can can set goals, like standing for 25 percent of the day, as well as see how many extra calories you've burned, or monitor how much time you've spent sitting. CEO and founder JP Labrosse tells us that the desk might eventually integrate with fitness-tracking services like Fitbit, though it won't at launch. Still, the desk has WiFi and Bluetooth radios baked in, so if Stir ever did want to share data with third-party services, the hardware would at least be able to support it.
The Kinetic Desk has just one button. Press it and you'll be telling the desk to enter "active mode," which will remind you to take periodic breaks by rising up and down ever so gently when it's time for you to stop what you're doing and walk around. (It's less distracting then it sounds; in fact, Stir is using the name "WhisperBreath" to describe it.) Also like an Apple product, the desk has a stark design: it's powered by a single cable, with eight AC ports and four USB sockets tucked into two hidden panels at the top of the desk. That makes for a minimalist look, of course, but it also means you don't have to worry about dragging cables (and knocking things over) when you adjust the height of the desk. Once this starts shipping, you'll have two color options for the lacquered wood surface, and four choices of accent colors for the underside and in the two charging drawers. As for the starting price, you're looking at $3,890 and up -- suffice to say, you'd better already be a standing desk convert before taking the plunge.
Stir Kinetic Desk hands-on
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Introducing the Stir Kinetic Desk: The World's First Connected, Height-Adjustable Desk
Stir brings the Quantified Self and the Internet of Things together in a desk with cutting-edge design and a focus on health and productivity
September 26, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Stir, a Los Angeles-based startup including alums from Apple, Disney and IDEO, announced today the launch of their first product, the Stir Kinetic Desk. Designed with the express purpose of promoting movement during work, the Stir Kinetic Desk combines the best features of connected hardware with learning, health-tracking software to create a new work experience based on motion, health and inspiration.
The Stir Kinetic Desk features a built-in touch screen that lets the user seamlessly transition between sitting and standing positions with a simple double tap. Using a thermal presence sensor and built-in computer outfitted with health tracking software, the Stir Kinetic Desk learns the user's habits and adapts to their daily routine to optimize user health and productivity. Users get data on calories burned, time spent standing vs. sitting and more, all on the built-in touch screen
"Harvard Business Review called sitting 'the smoking of our generation.' It's also been shown that switching between sitting and standing can generate an extra fifty minutes of productivity each day." said JP Labrosse, founder and CEO of Stir. "Our goal with the Stir Kinetic Desk it to promote a working life infused with movement, leading to better health and improved focus. In short, we want you to move your body and free up your mind while you work. That's what drives our product and our company."
Part of the way the desk learns and adapts is with a feature called "Whisperbreath," part of an active mode where the desk periodically invites the user to move with a gentle, one-inch rising and falling of the desk surface. The user then has the option to change positions (with a simple double tap) or remain in their current position, and the desk learns from each choice and adapts its profile to make the next suggestion. This elegantly simple feature enables users to focus on working and rely on the desk to help them remember to move more frequently.
The Stir Kinetic Desk is a hand-crafted and elegantly designed piece of furniture with a minimalist aesthetic and clean power cable management. A single power cable connecting to extensive hidden AC (8) and USB (4) ports keeps desktops clean, devices charged, and prevents the desk from being anchored in the seated position by a cable. The desk features integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to allow for integration with third party fitness and wellness devices and apps in the future.
Stir is based in Los Angeles, CA, where the desks were designed. The desktop is made of hardwood with premium finishes, handcrafted and hand-finished in Brooklyn, NY. From there, the desktops and other components are shipped to Nashville, TN where the Stir Kinetic Desk is built and shipped directly to users. Customers can match the desk to their style by selecting from two different color configurations for the desk surface: white or espresso, and four underside colors: kelly green, crimson, ultramarine or charcoal. A key launch configuration is expected to be priced at $3,890.00.
Prospective buyers of the Stir Kinetic Desk can sign up to receive product updates, including information related to order placement, at www.Stirworks.com starting today.
The Stir team includes alums of Apple, Disney and IDEO; the Stir founder and CEO, JP Labrosse, was part of the original iPod team at Apple. The company's flagship product, the Stir Kinetic Desk, brings one of the most common and unchanging pieces of any office into the modern, connected era, with a focus on improving and quantifying personal health. The Stir Kinetic Desk combines the best features of health-focused connected devices with smart home/office automation to create an entirely new work experience focused on creating a balanced and inspired lifestyle. The company is based in Los Angeles, CA and is privately funded. The Stir Kinetic Desk is designed and built in the USA.