Selfie drones and virtual reality headsets may have filled the floor of CES 2017, but there were also plenty of office gadgets to transform the workplace as we know it.
While high-tech office spaces aren’t new (and in fact are sometimes criticized for stifling creativity), these new launches are less about streamlining processes and more about making employees happy, healthy, and more engaged. All of which, of course, lead to a more profitable company.
With that, here are seven cool office gadgets from CES 2017.
A sticky-note printer for creative thinking
Samsung-funded startup Mangoslab describes Nemonic as a “smart printer to empower people to work creatively.” Others might see the pint-sized sticky-note printer as a medium for some next-level workplace antics. Either way, it’s definitely going to elicit some laughs among your workers. The printer uses proprietary paper and an app to print photos, drawings, or notes in five seconds – and it doesn’t have any ink or toners to refill.
A ceiling tile that charges phones
The joy of a cord-free workspace can’t be overstated, and Ossia’s Cota Tile takes us one step closer. The sculptural module is designed to replace any standard drop ceiling tile – and then uses “smart antenna technology” to wirelessly charge phones, tablets – even smoke alarms – within a nine-metre range. It charges multiple devices at once, and doesn’t interfere with any Wi-Fi signals.
A voice command desk lamp that does video conferencing
It’s a mouthful, but Lumigent by Cerevo (also shown above) does a lot. To start, it responds to voice commands to change LED brightness levels and positions – and can even memorize various preferences to suit a user’s individual tasks. It also features an integrated autofocus eight-megapixel camera, and can snap pictures on command. Finally, its webcam handles video conferencing – it connects to devices via a USB port or Wi-Fi, and will automatically adjust the lighting and position to get the best visual before it starts rolling.
A portable projector for meeting anywhere
If your office has limited (or no) meeting space, getting visuals going during a brainstorm session or project meeting can be difficult. Beam Labs offers a solution with the (aptly named) Beam smart projector, which transmits onto any flat screen. The LED projector can be used with its own power cord or any light socket; through its integrated app, it streams images or video, and can even store up to eight gigabytes of data. And when it’s not in use, it doubles as a regular light.
A wearable wristband to reduce workplace stress
There’s no shortage of wearable technology out there, but Doppel is offering something unique: instead of just gathering data for analysis later, its wristband responds in real time to help the reader calm down or get focused. It emits a “rhythmic pulse” that the body reacts to. “Like listening to music, a fast rhythm helps you to feel more alert, a slower rhythm is calming.” An app helps users set and store their preferences; once set, they can slow the rhythm by stroking the wristband, and speed it up by tapping it. There’s even some independent testing that shows the wristband’s ability to improve worker focus.
A desk sensor that encourages activity
Humanscale’s OfficeIQ is a sensor and software system that monitors how workers interact with their workstation – and, in turn, encourages more physical activity. It was originally designed to integrate with the furniture company’s height-adjustable workstations, but this year it was adapted to monitor movement at regular desks, too (the sensor goes on the task chair instead). By using the device and app, workers get prompts throughout the day to stand up or move around, and real-time data on the calories burned and activity levels (they can even compete with teammates or other branches).
A platform for high-tech brainstorming
Klaxoon describes its new collaboration platform, Loupe, as a “tool to entertain collective intelligence.” The details are still in the works, but essentially the device plugs into any screen, and then links up with the integrated brainstorming platform. From there, users can connect using their phone, tablet, or laptop to interact with the main screen, adding add ideas, responding to surveys, engaging in word clouds, and more – kind of like a digital whiteboard.