Standing desks were a popular idea, motors made them more convenient, and programmable presets to raise and lower them to your preferred height — with a button — are the most convenient yet. The $552-and-up VertDesk V3 with Voice Control is taking what must feel like the next logical step: it’s a voice-activated standing desk that allows iPhone users to move their desk up and down using only their voice, starting this September.
I don’t really need that level of comfort personally. I mean, if I have to stand up anyhow, why not push a button at the same time? But it sounds like I wouldn’t have to sacrifice anything for voice, either: I could customize two presets for sitting and standing, and leave two more presets for a colleague. And the VertDesk still has a physical button I could press if I don’t feel like saying “Hey Siri, stand up!” or “Hey Siri, sit down.”
One thing does seem really helpful: an activity assistant that reminds me to stand. Because let’s be honest: if you do have a standing desk, how often do you actually stand? Kind of like an Apple Watch, the VertDesk can send notifications to my iPhone to remind me to stand for a little while.
The VertDesk V3 claims to be the first voice-activated standing desk that customers can order online, and as far as I can tell, that’s true. (There have been promises before.) But voice control function isn’t actually built into the desk; the company offers a Bluetooth control box as add-on which is only compatible with the VertDesk V3 and RightAngle’s NewHeights Series 4 desks, according to VertDesk maker BTOD.com. If you’ve seen another manufacturer — say RightAngle Products — advertise a similar feature, BTOD says it’s because both companies have been developing it together. BTOD is planning on integrating this function in all new VertDesk V3’s by the end of the year, with an app for Android users coming in a month or so.
If you’d rather add voice control to another company’s desk, you may have to do it yourself — and some users have done exactly that. Here’s one example that uses Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, and here’s another with the Google Assistant.