In our video we show our solution to the following problem: “How might we reduce the noise level for workers in a coworking space?”
In open spaces there are a lot of different noises that disrupt the employees’ concentration. Pen-clicking, moving chairs, people typing on keyboards, phone calls, music and loud conversations are just a few of them.
It was on the basis of these problems that we launched the “Leaf” project.
Leaf is an artificial intelligence which looks like a real houseplant. It provides a quiet and pleasant working environment by moving to the touch points in the room where the noise level is highest. From there, Leaf absorbs the extra sound. This allows employees in the vicinity to concentrate and work undisturbed.
In addition, Leaf’s color-changing ability is intended to draw attention to rising noise levels. At higher levels, the leaves change color from green to yellow and red. This feature is designed to help employees realize that they are too loud and should speak more quietly in order to return the plant to its original state and not disturb their colleagues.
A further advantage of Leaf is that it converts the absorbed sound into energy to supply itself and therefore requires no further power connection.
Leaf – the noise behind.
Another idea, which we could not cover due to the limited time frame, would have been the detection of odors. Just like a real plant, Leaf could provide fresh air by absorbing disturbing smells from certain food or drinks.
Based on the insights we gained from our interviews, we came to the following conclusion: “Too many people in an office massively reduce productivity and concentration”.
Employees are often distracted from their current task by a variety of background noises. Conversations only one table further away already lead to a reduced ability to concentrate and therefore interrupt a focused work environment. (Fig. 1). Our prototype in the form of an ordinary houseplant should help to solve this problem. Based on previously defined touch points, the plant moves to the largest source of disturbance in the room (Fig. 2). The resulting sound is absorbed by the plant and ensures that employees can concentrate again in their surroundings (Fig. 3). The sound is converted into energy so that no additional power source is required (Fig. 5).
Another feature is that the leaves can change their color. Depending on the volume, the leaves turn from green to yellow and then to red to inform employees of the current noise level (Fig. 6). This level is displayed in dB on the pot of the houseplant (Fig. 4).
“I don’t want to measure by 9-to-5, but by tasks that are done and goals that are achieved”. This thought by a young founder from a marketing agency shows that current developments in the labor market are moving away from the traditional job with eight-hour compulsory attendance. Employees want to work more flexibly. They want to work more flexibly instead of marking time in the office even though they have successfully completed their tasks.
Our focus with the user researches laid on how the different persons would describe their perfect job and how it might look in ten years. We were also very interested in the challenges digital workers are facing:
– the distribution of tasks internally,
– productivity and efficiency and
– the communication with colleagues working on the other side of the world.
The interviews show that rigid working models are outdated and that the digital industry is looking for alternative solutions.