Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cube Farmers and Cave Dwellers Rejoice

A corner office with a window, that's what we cube farmers all crave.  We care very little for the job or title that goes with it, we just want the feeling of not being trapped inside a room of padded walls.  It's the next best thing to working outside, but without the sunburn, allergies, rain, insects, and traffic noise.

So what if your ceiling was the sky?  I'm not talking about any strange cloaking device tricks that use cameras to record the sky above and display it at your desk.  I'm not talking about fireplace screen savers either (like those actually worked for romantic evenings).  No, I'm talking about an architectural feature that can be designed into high ceiling rooms.

Researchers from the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering have developed a series of red, green, blue, and white LED panels that mimic passing clouds, giving the occupant a sense of being outdoors.  The trick to not seeing each individual LED, a diffuser located 30cm (about 1 ft) below the LEDs.

The system is still mostly in the development and test phase, but you can own a piece of sky for approximately 1,000 Euros per square meter (~US$120/sq. ft).  Now if they'd only through in some safe UV rays to help create Vitamin D.
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