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Will technology lead how we design and fit out offices?

Like high fashion, cutting-edge technology has a way of trickling down into the mainstream until it becomes a part of the everyday, pervading life until we barely notice it. As such, today’s developments in technology have a ripple effect that will drive diverse changes in apparently unrelated areas.

Take the news that technology giant Apple has recently been granted a patent for a manufacturing process that enables them to create curved touch screens. The ‘Curved touch sensor’ patent has given rise to speculation that the company’s next major product will feature a curved surface, or even ‘displays with multiple curves and ripples’, according to one report.

Apple aren’t the only ones to play with the curved screen idea. Samsung has already built a curved handset. The trend seems curious at first, little more than a cool new technology in search of an application. But there are big advantages to curved screens. They fit our hands and faces better, make larger surface areas easier to reach, and they’re harder to break – it’s difficult to drop a concave phone on its screen. Reduced reflection makes for a clearer and more immersive viewing experience, too.

Mobile phones have long been a proving ground for new technologies, and it’s fair to say we’ll soon see this one rolled out for broader application. Curved TV screens are already growing in popularity.

This is bound to have implications for the office environment, and the companies like K2 Space that design and fit out offices. Steve Jobs memorably said that form doesn’t follow function: form is function. So as we see more curved handsets, monitors and screens, designed to improve usability and productivity, it’s reasonable to assume that other furniture and fixtures will follow suit to accommodate them and incorporate some of the same principles. Perhaps even office buildings themselves will have to change, since round pegs don’t fit in square holes.

For more info on Office Design and Fit Out please visit K2 Space (www.k2space.co.uk).