Sure, glass in the workplace may let in the natural light we need to be productive and appreciate the view outside. But beyond the windows themselves, glass today can be found in everything from computers and keyboards to entire office spaces themselves.
Corning, for example, has a vision to incorporate glass in everything from mobile phones and desks to walls made entirely of glass — with touch-screen technology built-in.
That may be several years off, but the following innovative glass products already are available or in-production.
Multi-Touch Keyboard and Mouse
A touch-sensitive keyboard and mouse designed by Jason Giddings of Giddings Product Development is slated to be available for purchase by April 2012. Both the keyboard and mouse will be made with tempered glass attached to a metal base.With no moving parts, these pieces of technology should be much less likely to break down, especially since they are resistant to any food or drink spills! They are completely wireless and operate on rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries. Their software is open-source, and lights and sounds can be toggled on or off per user’s preference. Right now, you can pledge money towards receiving the first of these products ($250-$350); visit KickStarter for more information on how to get involved.
Several glass speaker options that are appropriate for the office are available today. If you would like to try a more home-made approach, the glass speakers shown below are available through Etsy.com at a very affordable price of $109. They work for any hardware that comes with a standard stereo jack plug-in.
For something a bit more sophisticated, the Harman Kardon GLA-55 home system shown below is available at the hefty price of $999. The cut glass look is quite stunning and are the perfect size for use with a PC.
The Serac glass speakers by Greensound Technology are top-of-the-line speakers that would be amazing for making an impression on clients in a presentation room or other area where quality sound is needed. The look is flawless with changing colors within the glass and the sound is quite impressive as well when combined with the Bravura subwoofer.
Ok, so the HP LiM (which stands for Less is More) is still just in the concept stages, but the idea is so interesting that it begged to be included in this article. The idea come from Jeffery S. Engelhardt and includes plans for a 19″ OLED transparent screen, along with a virtual track pad and wireless keyboard. The shell would be encased with thin bamboo for protection.
Sure, glass computer desks aren’t exactly new — most come with a metal or wood frame, and they can be made almost entirely of glass or only have a glass top. But they still give an office an updated look with some of the newer designs.
Achieve a more organic look with a desk similar to the Techni Mobili desk shown below.
Go the sophisticated route with something like the Gallotti & Radice air desk in an L shape.
Blade shelves add a unique touch, while straight shelves give more room for books, software storage, and pictures for personalizing your space.
Go green in your office decor with a mat made entirely of recycled glass. The recycled glass chair mats from the Glass Mat Store are available for an affordable price through the Eco-Affiliate program.
Beautiful lighting fixtures can really turn the workplace into a trendy environment. A set like the pending lighting from Lulusoso can really set the stage for an aesthetic office design.
An Italian light fixture such as the one shown above can really set you apart from other office buildings.
More Glass Technology
If you find yourself tired of pulling the shades in your conference room every morning or afternoon, you may want to try some Electrochrome glass windows. These are made with a smart technology which allow the glass to turn shades of blue, depending on the amount of light on the window.
The University of Southampton researchers recently made a break-through in nano-technology with an optical computer memory disk made entirely of glass. Light rotates in the glass, which creates data that is read like a fiber-optic cable. Memory can be erased and re-written on these devices.
Inspiring Glass Offices
For those of you wanting a bit more inspiration in the glass category, the following offices should feed your creativity lust.