“I am a completely horizontal author,” Truman Capote told a Paris Review interviewer in 1957. “I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy.”
Capote wasn’t the first writer to lie down on the job or manage that feat without any special equipment (he wrote in longhand before transferring his handiwork to the typewriter).
But while the laptop-huddled masses obsess over various iterations of the standing desk workstation as a way to steal back precious moments of a lifespan that we have been told is cut short by too much sitting, here comes the Altwork Station, a dentist chair–like computer workstation engineered so that you can sit, stand, or toil away in a supine position with your computer monitor, mouse, and keyboard hovering securely overhead.
Altwork co-founder and CEO Che Voigt told Wired that it’s designed for “high-intensity computer users,” which it defines on its website as people who spend four or more hours a day at their computers and “are required to focus on complex tasks for extended periods of time such as developing software and producing computer automated design work.”
Produced in Sonoma County, California, the Altwork Station uses a magnet system to suspend your computer equipment above your head. While the device seems literally designed to help workers fall asleep on the job, Voigt told Wired that the idea was inspired by his project partner, John Speicher, an engineer who found himself unable to sit while working at a computer after a back injury.
Furniture design has always followed technology’s lead, from typewriter and telephone tables to the 20th-century media cabinet. But whether or not workstations that allow you to work flat on your back will become a thing is unclear, especially with an Altwork Station list price of $5,900. (The company is offering a discount on preorders for early adopters to help fund the last round of production.)
Check out the video below for more information and a look at the Altwork Station in action: