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Autonomous Built A Standing Desk For $399; $599 With AI Helper

If there's one thing we keep hearing about over and over again in the modern world, it's that sitting is bad for you (among other health problems, of course). For this reason, slowly, standing desks are becoming a "thing." Standing desks can be adjusted in height in a moment's notice with the help of electric motors. Today, Autonomous launched a new Kickstarter campaign, raising money for the Autonomous Desk -- an AI-powered standing desk.

Admittedly, of all the devices in which to implement artificial intelligence, a standing desk isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But the desk is a very central part of your workplace, so it's not a bad choice.

The desk is built to sense when you enter the room, and adjusts itself to your preferred height automatically. The AI helper, called Taylor, is also capable of many additional features, including reading out messages, ordering food, playing music, and managing various home automation devices, including changing the temperature on a Nest Thermostat or adjusting your Phillips Hue lights.

Autonomous is building two versions of the desk. One is a basic model, which is simply the standing desk by itself, without the AI helper or additional accessories. The Smart model comes with the AI Taylor, the home automation features, a wireless charger, a USB charger, a speaker, bag and key hangers, and support for the companion Android and iOS app. Both variants come with a memory pad that remembers four preset heights.

Naturally, you'll also be able to pick the color of the desk. Top options are oak or walnut, and the frame will be available in white, grey, and black.

Pricing for the basic version of the desk sits at $399, and the Smart Model is priced at $599. Shipping within the U.S. will cost $99; for international shipping it's $299.

At these prices, the standing desk isn't even all that expensive. Many basic office desks can easily cost just as much or more, and standing desks often cost much more, with prices approaching $1,000 or more. Heck, at $399, we'd call it a steal.

For more information, or to pledge to the campaign, you can visit the Kickstarter page here.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • DarkSable
    Thank you for the comparison regarding the price - I wouldn't have had any idea that it was cheap, thanks to Ikea. While the prospect of spending $700 on a smart desk seems a little silly to me, I can understand why it would appeal to some.
    Reply
  • Ning3n
    A "Siri killer"... That is stationary, and doesn't fit in your backpack, purse, or pocket... And costs more than a crApple iPotato?

    Sign me up for not.
    Reply
  • TeamColeINC
    $399 is still way to much in my opinion, anything near $1000 and someone needs to get slapped. $50 bucks at Home Depot and 45 minutes in the garage and you could have something just as good. Use iPhone (Siri) or Windows Phone (Cortana) for smart version.
    Reply
  • LostAlone
    The problem with this (and many similar desks) is that in a fundamental sense it ISN'T what most of us are used to using as a desk. It's just not big enough to be a direct replacement. Think about it - Most desks come with at least one set of drawers and practically all have enough space to allow for a computer tower to sit either in a specific niche off the surface or on the floor.

    And this desk has none of that. There's no way that you'll have enough space for a tower up on that desk, and it can't go on the floor because the cables won't reach. So if you work from a tower instead of an all in one (and almost all offices do) then you basically can't use these desks.

    And that doesn't even start on paper clips, TPS report cover sheets and all the other assorted crap that you need within arms reach all day every day. Are you supposed to just pile it up on one end of the desk? I mean, in the pictures you'll notice that the landline phone isn't even on the desk, even though that's a critical part of almost every desk workers day.

    This is a desk looking to answer a problem that isn't there. If you need so little space to work in, then you could be working on a laptop on your knees and still be exactly as effective or on a Surface or iPad standing up. No need for a desk, just stand up.
    Reply
  • SirGCal
    $400 for a standing desk is pretty cheap. My conventional desk also has no drawers,.etc. and in it's time cost almost that much. I want a standing desk though but the ones I were looking at were multiple thousands.

    While I sit at a desk all day, having a good one is important. I already have the good (and too darned expensive) chair but I need something that adjusts so I can stand once in a while. I work far too much (100+ hour weeks) so it's important to me.

    And as for cables, good grief if your cables can't reach from a tower on the floor to the desk, you have other serious issues. My monitor cables are PLENTY long a few times over. And should, by chance, the USBs actually run short, a hub of any flavor is very cheap. Speakers are also plenty long. So there is no problems there. And it is larger then it looks. It's not a 7 foot desk but it's not a lap desk either. The picture on this page is a side view (very poor). It is big enough to hold my triple monitor setup easily. Probably not the tower though which is fine.

    My only remaining question now is; are they built well? Standing desks have a lot of parts that need to be robust and reliable and durable. Time will tell.
    Reply
  • SirGCal
    Thank you for the comparison regarding the price - I wouldn't have had any idea that it was cheap, thanks to Ikea. While the prospect of spending $700 on a smart desk seems a little silly to me, I can understand why it would appeal to some.

    I'm more interested in the dumb desk for $400... Standing desks themselves are just so expensive... That's a bargain. They can keep the 'smart' garbage... I can Google just fine.
    Reply
  • alidan
    oh my god... this is so stupid... are people really so pathetic now that they would... can use the word... away 400+ or as one person here said thousands of dollars on a desk that they have to stand to use? as an above person said, the wood working skills needed to make a decent desk in under an hour are not hard to come by or gain yourself.

    hell my brother bought a particle board desk for 1000$ that if i built myself would have cost 200$ at most and be better quality wise too.
    Reply
  • kenyee
    So I googled for some DIY standing desks and didn't see that many great ones. Remember that this desk is motorized and can remember a bunch of different heights.
    If it's that simple to do this, I'd like to see you guys point me at how you can built it for $50 in Home Depot parts :-)
    Reply
  • SirGCal
    15791309 said:
    oh my god... this is so stupid... are people really so pathetic now that they would... can use the word... away 400+ or as one person here said thousands of dollars on a desk that they have to stand to use? as an above person said, the wood working skills needed to make a decent desk in under an hour are not hard to come by or gain yourself.

    hell my brother bought a particle board desk for 1000$ that if i built myself would have cost 200$ at most and be better quality wise too.

    You must first learn to read and comprehend... This desk goes from a seated position to a standing position. It does so relatively quickly (< a minute for the best ones) and EXTREMELY smoothly so as not to move/shake anything on the desk at all. So if you can build this out of plywood, you must be a GOD cause I would require two linear or screw type lifts that would both handle the weight load of a desk and be smooth and quick to lift. Generally speaking, those cost more then just this desk alone, BTW... That is one reason the price is so surprising. It isn't a desk that just sits there 4' off the floor... /sigh...

    If you even looked at their website they have a nice video right there... It is a standing desk, meaning it stands up with you. Not just a very tall desk to stand at.

    Since so many here seem too lazy to even read the first paragraph of this topic but then insist on posting, perhaps... Here's a video: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/403524037/autonomous-desk-the-smartest-office-desk-yet-power
    Reply
  • SirGCal
    15788167 said:
    $399 is still way to much in my opinion, anything near $1000 and someone needs to get slapped. $50 bucks at Home Depot and 45 minutes in the garage and you could have something just as good. Use iPhone (Siri) or Windows Phone (Cortana) for smart version.

    Please, show me where to get two smooth, fast, and weight bearing lifting motors from home depot within that budget... Didn't think so...
    Reply