Herman Miller tries to cash in on our activity-tracking obsession

Because we’re going to die from sitting at our desks all day.

We already know that sitting all day damages our health, and plenty of companies have tried to do something about it. Now, furniture maker Herman Miller is getting in on the action with a line of smart furniture sensors called Live OS.

While Live OS does come preinstalled on Herman Miller's stand-to-sit desks, you also can buy the sensors alone and use them with your existing furniture. On regular desks, whether standing or sitting, the sensor will merely collect anonymized data about when and how often a space is being used. On Herman Miller's convertible standing desks, however, it can also keep tabs on how often users switch positions between standing and sitting. Through an app, users can set goals and receive gentle reminders when it's time for them to stand up or sit down.

It's unclear how Herman Miller's Live OS desks will compare to other smart desks, such as Stir's Kinetic furniture line; while Stir's desks have an integrated touch screen controller, it appears as though Herman Miller's smart features are controlled exclusively through their app. It's also hard to compare the two because pricing details for Herman Miller desks integrated with Live OS haven't been released.

We do know how much the tech will cost, and unsurprisingly, it doesn't come cheap. The standalone sensors cost $100, with an additional $36 per desk per year in subscription fees. The per-desk subscription fee for the Herman Miller desk is slightly higher, at $60 a year. It's a little strange that the fee is actually higher if you're using it with a Herman Miller product; you'd think they'd want to incentivize buying one of their (pricey) desks, rather than consumers opting for the cheaper add-on.

Quartz notes that Live OS pricing goes down with volume subscriptions, as well as for longer commitments. Between the pricing and data collection features, it's clear that Herman Miller's target for Live OS is corporate customers, rather than individual home users.