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Homeworking coffee table wins invention contest Concours Lépine 2021

The table converts into an ergonomic desk in 30 seconds

The winning invention (shown here in it’s “coffee table” setup) is intended to provide a more ergonomic, improved working-from-home space for people who don’t have room for a full office Pic: JobsTable Project / fr.JobsTableProject.com

A coffee table that converts into a working-from-home station in 30 seconds has won France’s prestigious Concours Lépine 2021 invention competition.

The 120th edition of the contest rewarded the creation, dubbed “JobsTable”, at a time when many more people than ever before are working from home.

Created by 37-year-old IT worker Omar Seck, the multifunctional table includes an integrated, foldaway screen; an integrated Bluetooth keyboard; a trackpad; a phone charger, four speakers; and space for separate hard drives. 

It can be changed from a coffee table to a working-from-home space in 30 seconds, and its height can also be adjusted. 

The table was part of the ‘connected universe’ category in the competition. 

Judges liked fact it could connect to all laptops

The contest said the judges had been particularly impressed by the fact that the table connects to all laptops currently available on the market via a Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C port, “has several spaces for storage and a range of different connecting ports”, takes up a small amount of space, is easy to use, and ergonomic.

Its inventor took home the ‘Prix du Président de la République’, which is rewarded with a vase in Sèvres porcelain. It is the most prestigious accolade in the contest which was the first place to showcase the ballpoint pen, the steam iron and contact lenses.

Mr Seck first hit upon the idea when he created a piece of furniture to help him play video games from his sofa, well before the pandemic made working from home a reality for many, he said.

But when the pandemic set in, he adapted the table as a means to create a good working environment, even for people who only have a sofa to work from.

He said: “The idea is that you arrive at the table in the morning with only your laptop, and when you start your day working from home, you connect your computer with a single cable, and you have everything you need to work. 

“In particular, you have an ergonomic position so there’s no more back pain for people in small spaces who perhaps don’t have the space to install an office in their living room.”

Anyone who is interested in ordering the table can fill in a form on the JobsTable website to register their interest. The table is currently available in a white version, with a black version planned soon.

More prizes

The next prize, the Grand Prix du Sénat, also recognised a pandemic-related invention; Éric Le Méné’s ‘Gel Express’, a terminal designed to apply a disinfectant solution by misting, so as not to slow down the flow of users. 

Third Assemblée nationale prize was awarded to Tally Fofana, Yannis Chelghoum, Samantha Mateso Lusadisu, Bassem Abdelaziz and Khalid Arazzak, for their ‘intelligent, anti-theft car lock’.

Around 100 prizes were given out of 300 entries.

What is the Concours Lépine?

  • Founded in 1901 by the police prefect Louis Lépine. 

  • A competition that calls for useful inventions.

  • Open to inventors, researchers, creators, students, innovative companies, and collectives.

  • Aims to promote creative inventions, and raise awareness and aid for their creators.

  • Previous years have awarded the most prestigious prizes to toys, cars, and kitchen accessories, but digital designs have been more favoured recently, along with inventions related to helping the environment, and health.

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