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Solving the Smart Device Riddle with a World-Renowned Furniture Manufacturer

In a partnership with Universal Mind, global design manufacturer Herman Miller announced Live OS, the first human-centered, enterprise-ready system of connected furnishings, allowing a new level of connection and engagement between workplace and employee.

Nearly three years ago, Herman Miller discussed their vision of creating a smart line of products with Universal Mind - starting with a desk. The task at hand: create something that provides value to end users as well as to the organizations who invest in it. Universal Mind collaborated with Herman Miller partners fuseproject, Dynastream, Open Systems Technologies, and Twisthink, to design, engineer, and deliver the technology for smart, connected furniture.

“Our most tactical role was building the application - both native iOS and Android, from concept to deployment, based on Herman Miller’s ergonomic expertise and product wisdom, as well as what users find valuable,” stated Matt Kortering, Senior UX Architect at Universal Mind. “We were able to deliver an experience that guides users to a better balance between sitting and standing throughout the work day.”

Not to the leave the enterprise experience behind, Universal Mind helped craft the vision for helping facility managers consume the data captured by Herman Miller’s new sensor enabled and cloud connected furniture in a meaningful way. Dashboards provide real-time insights for performance, helping to control operational costs, and improve space utilization. This allows facility managers to grasp what’s going on with the investment at all times, both at a utilization level, as well as understanding the wellness that users are experiencing.

Live OS allows users to take charge of their work experience. By pairing the app with any connected desk, users can set desk height preferences for sitting and standing, and transition seamlessly and comfortably between the two throughout the day. Together, the app and desk encourage proper posture, and offer nudges to remind the user to change to/from sitting to standing, helping individuals achieve activity goals. While a user is present at the desk, the sensors send data to the cloud, and a dashboard then analyzes the data and delivers it in the form of evolving insights.

With the data insights captured through Live OS, organizations can better measure and manage workplace strategy to optimize real estate usage and improve employee experience.
Ryan Anderson, Director of Commercialization for Live OS

While the Live OS product launch is a significant leap forward in the office furniture industry, it also demonstrates a successful physical-to-digital product crossover story for a traditional manufacturing organization.

Herman Miller has been making world renowned furniture for over a 100 years, using methods and processes that are not typically associated with designing software, but their well established focus on quality, human-centered design and innovative culture has helped them not only embrace, but remain a leader in this market and deliver some brilliantly thoughtful and valuable digital products.