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MurMurs - Playful furniture for office environments

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by Startacus Admin

Now for something umm... well... bizarre quite frankly.

murmursAs you know, here at Startacus we are mad about inventive startups, social media and anything which makes running a business a happier and more productive endeavour...(check out TwitterTape as another mad cap invention for the office)

On our quest to find some fun and quirky stories, we came across MurMurs, the new office seats/furry creatures that interact with workers verbally and through social media sites with the aim of promoting productive and happy workspaces - think a Furby mixed with a Chippendale… see I told you it was bizarre…

Created by the University of Tampere in Finland, the developers were researching ways that they could use the emerging trend of toy hybridization to improve co-worker relations and encourage creative productivity. They specifically wanted to find new ways to make the often sterile physical environment of the office more interactive in a way that would facilitate discussion and social activities - in short to make it a better place to be.

There are five different MurMurs in total, each with its own colour and ‘personality’. They have wireless connectivity which allows them to converse with each other and even tweet their ‘thoughts’ and ‘feelings’ to you and your co-workers.  It all sounds a bit like a Disney version of The Terminator franchise, but fear not MurMurs are fairly placid beings and despite the odd grumble about an overly ample bottom they are designed to be a positive and entertaining addition to the office.  Leave your seat for a long period of time and you might get a tweet saying “I’m bored, no one has sat on me for a while” or move closer to a co-worker for collaboration and your MurMurs may start gabbing to one another about whatever takes their fancy.  

We should point out at this stage that MurMurs are currently in their infancy (perhaps we should refer to them as Murlings?) and as such their capabilities and possible uses within the office environment haven't been fully hammered out yet. As it stands we would certainly love to have a few of these dotted around the office - for about ten minutes, after which we imagine the novelty may wear off rather quickly.

However the MurMurs’ developers are working tirelessly with them to find ways that these plush newcomers will not only inject a bit of fun, but also make a tangible contribution to productivity and morale.

We are really intrigued by the thought that one day seemingly vacant objects commonplace within an office could have the capabilities to play a more active role in the running of a business. We will be watching closely to see the team at the University of Tampere come up with next.

Is this is beginning of the robot office worker? We will keep you updated!

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Published on: 14th October 2013

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