So we’re two plus years into the pandemic at this point. Are you still working from home in the most comfortable clothes ever sewn? We figure that of the lot of you who said goodbye to that drab, tiled carpet in 2020, most have probably heard rumblings about returning to the office. And probably a good portion have at least been forced into a hybrid schedule.
Lots of companies would love to see their employees once again milling about all those
glass and steel observation tanks office buildings they pay so much for. And while some are likely just forcing employees to come back, others are offering incentives, such as Google. The tech giant recently partnered with electric scooter manufacturer Unagi to provide a “Ride Scoot” program designed to lure many of Google’s US-based employees back to those brightly-colored code playgrounds they call offices with a fun mode of private transportation. The plan is to offer a full reimbursement of the monthly subscription fee for Unagi’s Model One folding scooter, which retails for $990.
The subscription is normally $49 a month plus a one-time $50 sign-up fee, but this amount will be slightly discounted (and waived) for eligible Google employees. There is one caveat to the system: an employee must use the scooter for a minimum of nine commutes to the office per month, although Google says they’re gonna be a bro about it and use the honor system.
Continue reading “Ask Hackaday: Would A Scooter Get You Back To The Office?”
Working from home with regular video meetings has its challenges, especially if you add kids to the mix. To help avoid embarrassing situations, [Charitha Jayaweera] created Present!, a USB device to automatically turn of your camera and microphone if you suddenly need to leave your computer to maintain domestic order.
Present consists of just a PIR sensor and Arduino in a 3D printed enclosure to snap onto your monitor. When the PIR sensor no longer detects someone in range, it sends a notification over serial to a python script running on the PC to switch off the camera and microphone on Zoom (or another app). It can optionally turn these back on when you are seated again. The cheap HC-SR501 PIR module’s range can also be adjusted with a trimpot for your specific scenario. It should also be possible to shrink the device to the size of the PIR module, with a small custom PCB or one of the many tiny Arduino compatible dev boards.
For quick manual muting, check out the giant 3D printed mute button. Present was an entry into the Work from Home Challenge, part of the 2021 Hackaday Prize.
They say you shouldn’t cheap out on anything that comes between you and the ground. Typically, that list includes shoes, tires, and mattresses. But it’s 2021, and it’s high time to add ‘office chair’ to that list. Take it from someone who bought a handful of hundred-dollar office chairs and finally invested in an Aeron. Your throne makes a difference.
We’re not sure if there is conclusive evidence of this phenomenon, but it seems that for many people, the fastest way to get those creative juices flowing is to lean back and put your feet up. Now it’s one thing to lean back in an office chair and hold yourself there, but it’s quite another to sit in, say, a recliner that keeps the position for you. What if there was an office chair that could switch between the two? [Peter van der Walt] has been working from home for a decade now and will soon be moving to a new base of operations. The new space has a little office next to the main area, so it’s the perfect opportunity to build the dream chair — a day-to-night endgame throne for working, gaming, and everything in between.
[Peter] is working with some cyborg additions to his body and doesn’t care for the standard office chair fare. Currently, he splits his sits between a plastic chair like you’d find outside a coffee house (hey, whatever works best) and a cushy recliner. The idea is to find comfort and focus, and build something comfortable enough to accommodate the occasional afternoon siesta. It will be completely CNC-machineable from 18 mm plywood, and will probably have some upholstery eventually. Your ideas for feature creep are welcome below, or better yet, in the discussion area of the project page.
Some of us like to stand once in a while, but don’t want to go all in on a robotic desk. There are budget-friendly ways around that problem too, of course.