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#tangible interfaces

// Mathieu Servais

In open-plan offices, employees are exposed to many types of pollution (noise, visual or light) which impede their productivity and affect their quality of life.

In addition to these physical nuisances there is now the added problem of "digital" pollution: computers, telephones, smartphones, etc. These technologies, omnipresent in office buildings, make it possible to receive information in real time, which has important consequences on employees’ concentration.

Efi is a filtering service for physical and digital pollution in the workplace.

It consists of 3 elements:

- a software program to filter the digital information received,
- an office peripheral to allow the non intrusive signalisation of the filtered information,
- a modular partition offering the employee a zone of privacy, shielding them from noise and visual pollution.

The software program allows the employee to set up their own signalling interface and to allocate levels of importance and filters to their different contacts. The tangible peripheral, linked to the employee’s computer and mobile phone, lets them adapt the digital information received (calls, messages, e-mails, social networks, etc) to their need for concentration and lets them classify the type of incoming information. The acoustic partition is equipped with a directional speaker which creates a private and practical sound booth for the employee (and leaves their hands free). In the low position, it allows employees to isolate themselves from background noise and visual distractions in order to concentrate. The complete partition creates a multi-sensory work space which can be adapted in real time.

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