Linkly #5 - Office must haves!

Posted by Amy Balsdon on 23 June
Amy Balsdon

Linkly is a curated list of interesting products, topics and talking points from the world of design and technology. This week its all about innovative office products that inspire creativity and increase productivity.


Stop watching the clock

We’ve all been there, sitting, watching the clock, waiting for time to pass. Tick tock, tick tock. Letting time cast its shadow over us, and rule our lives. Always looking for more time or for less time, time is never enough, or time is just too much.

Scott Thrift, Filmmaker and Designer, has produced an unconventional clock titled ‘Today’, that ditches the menial division of time into seconds that overwhelms. Instead Thrift seeks a more fluid perception of time. The Founder of 'ThePresent’ lives in Brooklyn New York, and says the clock “is for people who have careers that are less about how many widgets you can make in an hour and more about the longer term thinking and being creative.”

I think the idea of re-framing time in this way serves as a gentle reminder to focus on the bigger picture, but whether or not the concept applies in a practical and modern utilitarian context is another matter.



Alexa, what's on my calendar tomorrow?

Amazon hopes to make your office smarter with the new Amazon Echo, personified through the word ‘Alexa’. Alexa offers over 1,000 features and skills that have been introduced since the virtual assistant’s very recent launch. While some features are better than others, Alexa can play your music, answer a vast array of questions, read you audiobooks, and cover the news. She can also control the lights switches, and even hail you an Uber!

Alexa’s exciting potential shines through Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), the opens up the technologies to third party developers and unlocks an endless potential for powerful integrations. In this way Amazon’s humble virtual assistant is at the forefront of the ‘Connected Home’ concept and could very well be the key to Home & Office automation becoming the reality we’re hoping for. Alexa is now a regular attendee in our Bilue boardroom.

Hot Tip: Ask Alexa if she can rap! 



Shortcut the shortcuts

Most pixel pushers and software developers rely on keyboard shortcuts to maximise speed and efficiency when working. Keyboard shortcuts are fast, but what if there was something faster?

This finger-aware shortcuts system can detect how a single key is being pressed and can be configured to do whatever you want it to do. Pressing the letter ‘G’ with the index finger on your left hand would work exactly as you’d expect it would, but pressing it with the index finger on your right hand could perform an entirely different action. It could launch a google search, search a definition, or even copy and paste.

As humans become more computer literate, and children start to learn to type with keyboards at earlier and earlier ages, the potential for pushing the boundaries of human and computer interaction broadens. Interactions that were once incredibly difficult, such as pointing a mouse, and typing letters on a keyboard, are now second nature. This poses an fascinating question about the ways that humans will be interacting with technological interfaces 10, 20 and even 30 years from now!



Shivering in the office?

Crank up the heat with a touch of a button. I for one, think this is genius. WristQue is a project from a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who are creating a low-power wristband equipped with sensors that monitor how comfortable wearers feel to adjust temperature. Imagine if it knew you were in a particular meeting room at a certain time most days, it could set the preferred temperature before you arrive. Brilliant!



Cleaner office air

This air purifier is designed to look better than the typical ugly plastic tower and, if you like, it can also grow a bunch of basil for your lunch. The EcoQube Air is essentially a mini-greenhouse, complete with lights and a soil-less hydroponic system that boosts air quality indoors. Better air quality = improved productivity!




Topics: Innovation, Design, tech, Office