Zestdesk portable desk works while you stand, travels where you walk

One of the hardest parts about having a desk job is sitting for eight hours a day. The lack of movement tends to make muscles and joints feel tight and a bit stiff after a few hours. The creators of Zestdesk have come up with a solution that lets you stand up and work at the same time.  It’s made of anodized aluminum, offers adjustability for a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and is lightweight. While it appears that raising and lowering the legs may mean clearing off one’s work station first, it does offer the convenience of folding up and a carrying handle for maximum portability. Another campaign offering an easily storable workspace is Refold, but this item is made of cardboard. Other portable desk options include StorkStand, Frey Desk, and StandDesk, but not all of these offer the same adjustability and durability as the Zestdesk. Zestdesk seeks to raise at least $10,000 by November, and early bird backers can get in on this Australian product for $337 AUD with an expected delivery of April 2015.


Refold is a standing desk that packs flat

Yeah yeah yeah, sitting is bad for us. We keep hearing this over and over. For those who are super concerned about sitting down, try the Refold standing desk. It’s not only a standing desk though, it also folds into a sitting desk, or folds flat so it can be transported easily. Hard to imagine, eh? The reason it’s so foldable is that Refold is actually made out of cardboard. Refold is strong too, featuring a photo of a dude standing on top of the desk. He looks a little surprised that he’s able to do this, however. One will cost backers $160 NZD. Oh, hello, New Zealand. Refold has a campaign goal of $25,000 NZD on Kickstarter.

Standup desks are all the rage these days. StandDesk, ChairBot, and Stealth Rising Desktop, all covered on Backerjack, feature the whole standing-at-your-desk idea. Refold has the added perk of its folded up form. It’s also recyclable, if you’re into that, though drinks are probably a no no on this desk as well as hot laptops. It’s also unclear why anyone would want to carry a desk around with them. However, if you happen to be a workaholic who wants to nab Starbucks’ Wi-fi, but stand at the same time, Refold may just be the product for you. Just be careful with the drink.

Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

Darma smart seat cushion reminds you to take a stand

Back pain, poor posture and lots of lazing around are realities for many folks. Each one of these problems feeds into the other, so it’s hard to break the cycle of discomfort. Darma is a smart seat cushion that doubles as your posture coach. It monitors your sitting habits, posture, breath, and heart rate to give you helpful tips. If you’re slouching, Darma tells you to sit up straight through a smartphone alert. When your heart rate is high indicating stress, it suggests taking a walk to calm down. Similarly, if you’ve been sitting too long, Darma advises taking standing breaks.

Best of all, by collecting data about you specifically, it can give you customized stretches that will alleviate the pain present in different parts of your body. Designed with sleek black leather, it’s unobtrusive and will blend in well with your office chair. One will cost backers a $189 donation on Kickstarter.

Darma is an interesting new take on the type smartphone-powered health assistance we’ve seen a lot of recently. Most of these devices are wearables in the form of clip-ons or bracelets. While we’ve seen previous products aimed at improving posture, Darma blends into its surroundings. The constant alerts may prove to be annoying at first, like a nagging mother telling you to sit up straight. However, the long term health benefits will likely be worth the hassle. All in all, Darma is a great solution for the sedentary and actually one of the least obtrusive solutions to too much sitting.

Home Safety

Burglar Blocker reinforces your windows against the bad guys

Home and small business security appears to have gotten a bit simpler and easier.

Burglar Blocker offers the typical homeowner and small business owner the opportunity to burglarproof home and office with locks that help to deter those who would sneak around the backdoor and windows with the intent to steal, destroy and possibly worse. The gadgets appear to be relatively easy to install, though installation will require a drill. It appears that all the other pieces necessary for installation are included. The lock also comes with a steel cover and key as an added security feature, and seems like it would work well alongside a security alarm system.

For burglars who are more rude and actually bash in windows or doors, more aggressive self-protection measures may be required – although communities in some countries may frown on such measures. For €17, backers can get two products with an expected delivery of December 2014.

Connected Objects Fitness

Glyder is a smartphone-connected exercise product for the deskbound

The Premise. Sitting is as harmful to our health as smoking is. Or so they say. Either way, it’s difficult for office workers to get the exercise they need in order to stay healthy. Some have the chance to take a walk at lunchtime, but busier bees are chained to their desks all day.

The Product. Glyder is a fitness device that lives underneath your office desk. Resembling a digital scale, it has two pedals on either side where your feet go and comes in red, gray or black. The motion is similar to that of an elliptical machine. A large digital screen on top shows the calories you’ve burned, the strides you’ve taken and how close you are to your daily exercise goal. This data can be stored and set with an accompanying smartphone app. The app stores your workout history and also allows you to adjust the resistance of Glyder and compete with other Glyder users.

The Pitch. Glyder’s campaign video shows an office worker trying and failing to workout at the office. There’s also a funny part where the Glyder user makes less noise while exercising than her coworker sitting in a rocking chair. The rest of the campaign goes through Glyder’s various features along with helpful gifs of the pedal width being adjusted as well as the product in use. This under-the-table fitness device hopes to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter.

The Perks. Early gliders can enjoy the Glyder for $99 at a regular price of $139. The top tier of $10,000 offers backers a trip to China to tour Glyder’s factories. Estimated delivery is currently set for January 2015.

The Potential. As with any office workout tool, there’s always the risk of looking unprofessional as your legs mysteriously gyrate under your desk. We’ve seen several of these types of products at Backerjack like Tao and Cubii, both of which stress at-desk workouts. Like Cubii, Glyder emphasizes that elliptical motion, but does so in a sleeker manner at a fraction of the cost. While it’s unclear how beneficial a Glyder workout really is, the price and lure of activity at the office may be irresistible for antsy executives.

Luggage and Bags

Duffel-pack hybrid claims to be light as Aer

AerFor anyone with a busy lifestyle, multipurpose items are the way to go. However, most office workers carry two bags to work, one for laptops and files and the other for gym accessories for an after work gym visit. The Aer duffel bag makes it possible to carry everything in one neat package. This bag features a ventilated shoe pocket for sneakers, a secure case for carry around a laptop and a quick-access section for pens, phones, and other smaller items. While the creators have done a nice job of combining a backpack and duffel bag, the Aer still seems a little bulky to carry around. One Aer will cost backers $129 on Kickstarter. Aer has a campaign goal of $45,000.

Connected Objects Safety Travel

EasyLock portable door lock helps you rest easy away from home

The Premise. Traveling can be great fun, but security is always a concern. When staying in cheaper rooms, hostels or bed and breakfasts it’s important to make sure that you’re always safe. These places don’t always have sufficient security measures in place for guests.

The Product. EasyLock is a portable lock that travels with you. It operates much like a traditional chain lock that lets the user open the door just enough to see who is knocking. To install, simply place the lock in between the closed door and doorjamb and it will stay in place on its own without glue, nails or screws. This British security device comes in pink and black.

The Pitch. EasyLock’s campaign video goes through the numerous ways that a room occupied by many previous guests may become insecure. While it does not show the actual lock, a later video features the EasyLock in use. The rest of the campaign discusses installation as well as the many places the EasyLock can be handy. This product’s creator explains that his grandchildren were the inspiration for his invention. EasyLock hopes to raise £10,000 in a month-long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. For only £17, backers can enjoy the ease and peace of mind provided by the EasyLock. Reward tiers climb up from there offering multiple locks or even an invitation to the super secret launch party for £2,500. The locks are estimated to ship from September to November 2014.

The Potential. Traveling safety is an excellent idea that has recently come into vogue. Before, safety on the road was limited to hotel room safes and luggage locks that the TSA removes anyway. Now, products like the EasyLock offer safety for the unsettled renter, college dorm student, small business owner and numerous others. For instance, NOVI is an entire app-managed security system that is completely portable, letting nomads remain safe wherever they go. Similarly, EasyLock provides an extra security measure that can only help those renting or in transit. Like a traditional chain lock, it is unclear how strong EasyLock actually is and, unfortunately, a good kick may be enough to disable it. However, this lock’s portability makes it unique and desirable in the safety market. 

Connected Objects Fitness

An atypical elliptical, Cubii lets the deskbound stay active

The Premise. Sitting down all day can be harmful to our health, but what is an office worker to do? Some opt for sitting on yoga balls, while others may try to power walk in place during work. Either way, it’s difficult for corporate drones to get the exercise they need and complete their work at the same time.

The Product. The Cubii is a miniature elliptical trainer for under your desk. You place your feet in the product and rotate them at the resistance of your choice just as you would on a conventional elliptical machine. This device is small enough to be portable and discreet, making it perfect for the office. The Cubii has Bluetooth capabilities and communicates with an accompanying app to track your activity from your phone. 

The Pitch. The long Cubii video features various office workers giving testimonials for the product, all saying that they love being active and don’t find exercising while working to be a distraction. In addition, the creators explain their passion for fitness and personal health. They also talk about how their app can also be used with fitness products, such as the Fitbit. Cubii hopes to raise $80,000 in a 40-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early backers can enjoy the Cubii and accompanying app for $279 (shipping not included) or a regular price of $299. Higher tiers offer multi-packs of the product for either couples or an entire office (of eight people). Estimated delivery is currently set at January 2015.

The Potential. Several crowdfunded products have tried to solve the evil office sitting problem of our modern age. Some do it with standing desks, such as the aptly named StandDesk, while others try with robotic chairs like the ChairBot. These other products focus on actually not sitting, while the Cubii is all about staying in motion when parked at your desk. For a sawed-off elliptical machine, the Cubii is a bit expensive, especially since it’s entirely mechanical. However, compared to these other products, this mini-workout device is by far the cheapest option. Its app that is compatible with other fitness devices is especially appealing. All in all, the Cubii could be just the solution for stagnant office employees.

Furniture Health and Wellness

StorkStand delivers standing comfort, but no babies

StorkStandIncreasingly there has been a push for office employees to work standing up instead of sitting down. This is supposed to increase health as well as productivity and we’ve already seen a number of products aimed at this goal, like the Stand Desk and ChairBot. Similarly, the StorkStand is a mobile desk that easily attaches to the back of any office chair. It provides a sturdy surface to work from that can hold up to 50 pounds. The wooden stand features a mobile phone holder and also folds up, making it extremely portable. One StorkStand costs early backers $129 or $149 at a regular price of $179 with estimated delivery in October 2014. This mobile desk hopes to raise $50,000 in a 35-day Kickstarter campaign.

Furniture Health and Wellness

ChairBot tackles back pain by dropping half your seat

The Premise. Most people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. This can have many causes, but the two leading reasons for back pain are bad posture and immobility. Office workers may find it hard to address either of these problems due to their sedentary jobs.

The Product. ChairBot makes sitting at one’s desk, but staying mobile with good posture, possible. The chair features a moveable seat that splits in two. The seat, either manually or automatically set by a timer, will alternate supporting each leg. What this means, is that the user stands on one leg, while sitting on the other. When the chair switches sides, the person’s weight shifts keeping them in constant motion to avoid injury caused from sitting too much. Good posture is maintained because the person is in a standing position, without actually having to stand.

The Pitch. ChairBot’s campaign video features Simon Hong, its creator, talking about the dangers of sitting too long and why it causes pain. He goes into the scientific reasons for back pain and his explanation is actually interesting and informative. Hong is aiming to raise $100,000 in his 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Backers looking to avoid back pain need to shell out $2,700 for the ChairBot… ouch. The top two reward tiers come with a crystal etched version of the ChairBot for super chair enthusiasts. Hong also offers a footstool specifically designed to go with his chair for $100. Reward tiers that include the product have an estimated delivery date of November 2014.

The Potential. There have been so many products aimed at fixing the various aches and pains of office worker bees. Most back support systems are attachments or accessories for existing chairs, like PostureME. ChairBot, however, really pushes the envelope with its weight switching capabilities. A couple of drawbacks of this product are that the desks of people using this product need to be at a higher position for standing and that a constantly moving chair may make it difficult to focus on actual work. The price is also very high for a powered chair. Other power or motor chairs go for around the same price or even less. Still, ChairBot’s ergonomic possibilities and well-thought out design make it a great tool for serial sitters in pain.