A Canadian firm that specializes in architecturally customizable workspaces will be launching a new product next month intended to meet the needs of today’s Zoom-centric workers.
The Link, an extended cube created by SnapCab CEO Glenn Bostock of Wolfe Island, Ont. near Kingston, was adapted from larger pod-style workspaces suitable for two or four workers who might be collaborating or conducting work meetings. The new product provides a private, acoustically optimized space with ideal layout and lighting and elongated for the best Zoom camera angle.
“I have one in my house. We have this open concept house and it made a huge difference,” said Bostock.
Originally a cabinetmaker, Bostock spearheads a company with offices in Kington and Pennsylvania that has two synergistic product lines – office pods and elevator interiors, both requiring flexible designs, easy assembly and noise control.
SnapCab developed the elevator interior line first with snap-together panels and the office pods came next.
Bostock, the company founder, explained he was using one of his firm’s two-person pods, called the Meet 2, at home when he realized it could be streamlined with enhanced soundproofing to meet the needs of the growing number of people who work from home as well as filling a niche for commercial offices. He developed the concept and gave instructions to firm R&D specialist Trevor Nalia to undertake the design. Manufacturing will be at the SnapCab plant in Kingston.
“The functionality of it is more aimed at home use,” said Bostock. “It’s about as small a footprint as you can get and have a really good Zoom call.”
The cube can be designed with casters to be moved around open-concept offices or home offices or flat to the floor to accommodate accessibility needs. It has a drop ceiling with lighting and there’s lighting on the adjustable desk as well – touches to enhance focus and brightness and ensure professionalism for workers on Zoom calls, Bostock said.
“People wanted something with better lighting, better sound quality, adjustable tables,” he said. “So if you’re on a Zoom meeting you can adjust the table up and down and get the camera height at just where you want it and you’re lit properly.”
SnapCab has a launch planned for the Link at the NeoCon 2022 commercial interior design show set for Chicago next month.
The office pod sector is only about 15 years old, Bostock said, but it is growing and competitive. The inventor believes the Link will attract clients who are willing to pay more for higher quality materials such as two three-quarter-inch-thick aluminum wall panels for each wall, a thick layer of PET for soundproofing, two sets of fans and vents providing top-to-bottom air flow exchange every 90 seconds, and switch glass for privacy. Its dimensions are about four feet deep by 32 inches wide by 90 inches tall.
Bostock expects the price to be about $9,000. The product will be customizable with an app offering customers about 500 colours and options. SnapCab crews are available for installation.
As his team has worked on the Link, Bostock has come to realize its acoustics are suitable for any work application requiring clear sound and quiet.
“You could use them in hospital settings, for doctor’s reports, or a factory setting to get away from the factory noise to do a report,” he suggested.
Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.