By Eric J. Wallace
With tech pundits announcing the impending end of the smartphone era, it’s time to ready your office for what’s next. From augmented wearables to holographic touchscreens to the world’s most technologically advanced office chair, the following five gadgets could revolutionize the way you do business.
The Altwork Station
This automated, rolling, multi-positional desk-and-chair combo makes standing desks look like junk from the 1970s. Designed for high-density computer users, the ‘workstation’ is fully configurable, with positions ranging from standing to reclining as if in a dentist’s chair (a magnetic mouse and keyboard make the latter possible). The adjustable chair offers cozy, full-length padding and research-driven ergonomic support. Users can even store favorite positions for recall in the unit’s memory bank. As asserted by a Fast Company reviewer, “We have truly reached peak office chair.” From $5,900. Altwork.com
This discreet, wearable Bluetooth device transforms any surface into an interactable screen. Pairing the Bird with a projector and a smartphone, computer or tablet, you can display and interact with content using touch, gesture control, voice command and more, from up to 100 feet away. Blow your next presentation out of the water by wandering the aisles, facilitating live video calls, cueing sound, manipulating multiple screens on different walls, all while making annotations as you twist, rotate, zoom in and out and explore digital models. Devices start at $249. MuvInteractive.com
The Looking Glass
Wish you could have the benefit of 3D viewing sans the VR headset? A universal holographic touchscreen by Brooklyn-based startup, Looking Glass Factory, is the answer. The company’s newly released self-contained displays connect to computers and allow users to interact with virtual three-dimensional objects in a manner similar to using a tablet. Viewing is in super-stereoscopic full-color at 60 frames per second. Displays start at $600. LookingGlassFactory.com
TP-Link M7650 Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot
Never again suffer crappy internet connections while on the go. Majorly fast and easy to use, the M7650 is compact enough to fit in your jacket pocket and, using advanced carrier aggregation technology, can support download speeds of up to 600 MBps—plenty enough to stream video to a tablet or laptop, or support high-quality VoLTE audio. Encased in durable rubber, it’s rugged enough to handle a drop. Batteries offer 15 hours of life and are chargeable via micro-USB. One thing, though. This is a UK model. Though a comparable version will likely be available by summer 2019, you can have one shipped from overseas now. Amazon makes it easy. About $180. TP-Link.com
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
During a work crunch, it can be hard to stay focused. Researchers with the U.S. Airforce’s applied neuroscience branch’s cognitive performance optimization section have discovered a futuristic lifehack: continuous, very low-level electrical stimulation of the left frontal cortex helped subjects stay focused for six hours without a performance drop. Unassisted, reductions occurred after just 20 minutes. A favorite of Silicon Valley biohackers, tDCS headsets may one day be more popular than espresso machines. Though there are currently some models on the market, research is ongoing, and FDA approval has yet to be gained.