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.