Modern office culture is far from humane. Even if you have a ping-pong table and free cold brew on tap, and even if you don’t need to suffer life inside a completely open floor plan, chances are that you’re still staring your life away on Slack on a 20-inch monitor.
Which is all to say, you should not begrudge any coworker who embraces their right to hit a button and raise their desk a few feet at work so that they can stand instead of sit. But one standing desk has a new innovation that is sure to drive your coworkers bonkers. The VertDesk V3, spotted by The Verge, can be activated with voice control through Apple’s Siri.
That’s right, it means that you can announce “Siri, three two one, blastoff!” or “Siri, we need Megazord power now!” or “Siri, make my desk stand if Jan is a lousy friend who forgot my birthday again,” or any number of other things that start out as almost cute but may become unbearably annoying the second time an otherwise patient coworker hears them. You program these utterances with a smartphone app (an app that doesn’t need to actually operate beyond that initial setup).
In any case, voice control for a desk that sits right in front of you and has an easy-to-reach button to activate makes just about zero sense for most consumers, especially those working in a public office environment. When I asked the company about it, a spokesperson explained, “Voice recognition is where we believe the future of technology is headed. Electric standing desks presented a unique opportunity for us to pair this technology with how people interact with their standing desk. We knew that our customers wanted to focus on their work, not pressing up and down buttons.”
But what the VertDesk V3 does seem to articulate? Standing desks are being quickly commoditized, and even established product lines like VertDesk must succumb to feature creep—adding more bells and whistles (or voices) to stand out.
Then again, for people who work from home, it might be nice to have someone to talk to.