Because scientists are working hard to make sure the future is going to be nothing like Back to the Future II led me to believe, WaddleWalls are an interactive partitioning system that can set up semi-private walling around a person on the fly. The future of office workspaces! It’s… bleak.
Developed by researchers at Japan’s Tohoku University, the swarm of wall-bots can either autonomously set up partitioning around an identified person or assemble preset partitions, navigating around an office space on their own. The heights of the partitions can also be adjusted for the necessary level of privacy. Me? I want them to go all the way to the ceiling. And be covered with fiberboard and filled with insulating foam. You know, actual walls.
Will these prove to be the future of cubicles? I doubt it. You never know, though. Of course, as flimsy as these walls are, it would take almost no time or effort for a human to set up the same thing. Just buy three portable projector screens, and boom, you’ve got yourself an equally depressing cubicle in less than a minute and at a fraction of the cost.