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9am Debuts HALO, a Digital Height Adjustable Workstation for AIoT-Based Digital Transformation of the Workplace

  • HALO height adjustable desks feature Pi sedentary reminding lights, Wand C smart handset controls and Digi Cube “brains”

9am, a pioneer and leader in workplace digitalization, together with Microsoft announced the debut of HALO, a collection of digital height adjustable workstations that feature lights and controls that enable workplace digital transformation through the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT).

As Microsoft’s strategic partner of workplace digitalization transformation solutions, the concept of digital workstation was innovatively introduced by 9am in 2018, and the new digital height adjustable workstation collection HALO is the update to 9am’s previous digital workstations.

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The core functionalities that are stressed are accurate sensing, intelligent guidance, and full-spectrum connection.

HALO embodies cutting-edge design, incorporating Wand C, a smarter handset control and Pi, an interactive and user-friendly pebble-shape light. Together, these devices provide greater ergonomic capabilities and potentially higher work productivity than what is available in traditional office furniture. Employers can also leverage the technologies to achieve higher utilization of physical workspaces.

Standard office furnishings contribute to low productivity and poor employee health, and most standing desks companies equip often fall short of being properly used due to the long-formed sitting habit. In addition, with the advent of greater employee mobility and geographically distributed job roles, office facilities are under-utilized. Desks remain empty for most of the day.

9am seeks to address these issues and facilitate the development of a strong workforce by embedding sensors into workstations. With this approach, 9am products can accurately detect real occupancy. The workstation’s intelligent guide allows the desk to send employees sedentary reminder messages that encourage them to develop a sit-to-stand working habit. With new patterns of workplace occupancy are emerging, 9am’s digital workstations can be assigned on-demand by connecting with queuing, desk hoteling and scheduling software, as well as Microsoft Teams and Office 365. With this approach, an ABW (Activity-Based Working) is formed, and employers can be more dynamic with facilities management and realize significant improvements on Return on Assets (ROA) for buildings.

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“Our focus is on utilizing AIoT and digital technology to accelerate workplace digital transformation,” explained Shiyu Huang, COO of 9am. “Our goal is to reinvent and empower the traditional desk with interactive, productive and analytical functionalities. By attaching smart devices to the desk, we enable employees to develop healthier working habits and enable managers to increase office usage rates while reducing costs at the same time.”

The occupancy sensor embedded-inside a HALO desk can detect human presence and transfer real-time data to the Digi Cube “brain” of the workstation. The Digi Cube processes and visualizes the data, providing insights for the employee’s management team. This allows them to experiment in real time with different reconfigurations of desks.

The Pi sedentary reminding light notifies users of sedentary behavior. The Wand C smart handset control enables the employee to raise or lower the desk. It features a highly intuitive design, along with variable time increments for sitting and standing.

Achieving these goals involves building on AIoT concepts. AIoT is a variant of the broader IoT paradigm that combines AI with IoT infrastructure to improve human-machine interactions while enhancing related data analytics. 9am is applying AIoT to the mission of transforming the workplace—a process that is long overdue in the business world.

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