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Two-Way Mirror Cubicle Windows

Give workers a "view" without sacrificing privacy.
  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,

This idea comes as a result of reading up on eye health. (See link below.) Eye care professionals recommend taking a visual break from the computer after 20 minutes of continuous computer work, for 20 seconds each break, and looking at least 20 feet away. Many of us are lucky if we remember to take a potty break every few hours and don't have a window to glance outside periodically.

I propose that cubicle manufacturers address this issue by allowing a small space, about a foot square, in some cubicle walls, at about the eye-level to each seated worker, for a two-way mirror. The highly reflective side of the mirror should be on the outside of the cubicle, to retain the privacy that cubicles provide; while the less-reflective, "see-through" side should face the inside of the wall, so workers can peek outside their little worlds from time to time.

If you fear you may get too distracted by the constant traffice outside your cube, you would be able to cover your "window" with mini-mini-blinds, retractible shade, curtain, or whatever.

XSarenkaX, Sep 13 2002

"Your Eyes At Work" http://www.imaginey...rticle_nov00_1.php3
[XSarenkaX, Sep 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

One-Way or Two-Way? http://education.ya...es/94/o0079450.html
Stupidly, it looks like it's the same thing. [XSarenkaX, Sep 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       // two-way mirror //   

       Isn't that called a "window" ? Don't you actually mean "one way glass" or "one way mirror" ? Just asking.
8th of 7, Sep 13 2002

       I've actually heard both terms refer to the same concept, so I did a quick search to see which is right. The search was inconsistent, so I randomly picked "two-way". If someone can prove that "one-way" is the correct term, I'll change it in my title/idea.
XSarenkaX, Sep 13 2002

       <removes finger from missile launch button, closes safety cover>   

       Fair enough. I checked myself and you're right. From a semantic point of view I think "one-way glass" is the correct term.
8th of 7, Sep 13 2002

       One might consider it a mirror that reflects only on one side, making it a one-way mirror, or a mirror that both reflects back light from a given side and also allows it to pass through, sending the image in two directions and making it a two-way mirror, I suppose.
Ebb, Sep 13 2002

       I love the idea, so I croissanted it.   

       Only problem is, you know that some of the more Anal Retentive (AR) bosses want the cubicle to provide a narrow area for you to focus on your work and remain undistracted by other people in a very crowded-in space. If they wanted people to be able to see around them, they coulda just made the cubicle walls shorter!   

       Still, for those non-evil bosses out there, this would be a great option- the worker controls their level of privacy.
polartomato, Sep 13 2002

       Cubicles are really boring! Do people really work in them?
cassandra, Sep 13 2002

       "Two-way' 'mirror' refers to a mirror which is reflective on both sides (not transparent). You'd be talking about a 'one-way' 'glass' here (meaning transparent from one side only) (quotemark placement intentional).   

       Comment on actual idea: what would you see? Other people in other cubicles, most likely. I don't really get the benefit of that.
waugsqueke, Sep 13 2002

       XsX- use a three way mirror.. Not only can you see through it and see your reflection, but it also shows you what you'd look like if you started using Rogaine again..
Mr Burns, Sep 13 2002

       Spectacles work by maing the object you are looking at appear (to the eye) to be at a different distance. So you could use glasses (which you put on and off ) to change the focal distance. The 'autofocus' motorised glasses currently being developed could have an application here, making your monitor appear (to your eye) to be moving back and foward.
pfperry, Sep 14 2002

       [waugsqueke], yeah, it's true, many offices would merely provide a view of the next cubicle wall about three or four feet away. Still, though, I think it's better than nothing.   

       [cassandra], boring or not, the real world features plenty of cubicle farms...and I happen to be planted in one. What's your workplace like?
XSarenkaX, Sep 16 2002

       Then the person next to me will see what I do at work. I think I'd get fired.
1kester, Sep 16 2002

       No, [1kester], the idea is that you can see out your little "window", but anyone on the other side will see a mirror. Remember, also, that if they start peeking in through the reflection, you can draw your little shade or curtain to cover it. Besides, I just want the option to be available, not necessarily mandatory if you don't want it.
XSarenkaX, Sep 16 2002

       Then what will I "see out" to since cubicles are generally arranged in large blocks with walls that divide workers to seclude them and make them more efficient?
1kester, Sep 16 2002

       Has anyone thought about the strangeness of someone thinking that your cubicle window is just a vanity mirror. I'd set up a web-cam.
st3f, Sep 16 2002

       [st3f], that seems to be the stuff of today's reality tv repertoire...but it could be an amusing little distraction for the cubicle inhabitant to see passers-by checking themselves in your "mirror".
XSarenkaX, Sep 18 2002

       why don't combine merge this with the techtonic cubicles idea so you can see the countryside as you roll past it (after you've broken the mechenism on your techtonic cubicle.... right.... broke... that's my story anyway)
Ossalisc, Aug 27 2003

       Perhaps what is really needed is a cubicle periscope, so the workers could get a look ouside. A large number of periscope view ports could be attached to the wall of the building, perhaps enough that every worker had a view. The viewing directions would be limited of course.   

       Question: If you look at a mirror, do your eyes focus to the distance of the mirror, or the distance of the object shown in the mirror?
ye_river_xiv, Jun 17 2006

       On the object, unless it is directly on the mirror. I say we should make pictures, paintings, or other eye candy which somehow have a few more yards of "depth" within it.
nayhem, Jun 17 2006

       Re: Privacy. Nope. With this, you're looking into the next cubicle. Cubicles are never islands, so your neighbors will have their own windows, looking into your cubicle. And forget relaxing when someone's peering in on you all day through a mirror!   

       The best thing is to stand up. Peer over/out into the hallway. That would help your eyes, your legs, your back, your social life, etc.
sophocles, Jun 17 2006

       buildings can run a central connection to a camera outside of the building that feeds to screens in each of the cubes. then there is no physical window, no privacy concerns, and it functions as a window.
tcarson, Jun 17 2006

       [tcarson] You're forgetting the desire to focus faraway. When looking at a video screen, with an image of a faraway mountain, your eyes focus on the screen, not the faraway mountain.
sophocles, Jun 18 2006

       i think that's still better than focusing on you next door neighbor.
tcarson, Jun 19 2006

       Actually the proper term is "two-way" because way #1 is seeing your reflection and way #2 is seeing through the glass.
Jscotty, Jun 19 2006

       Most cubes are other-cube adjacent...however, they're usually also hallway-adjacent. Maybe another mirror tilted at a 45-degree angle immediately outside the window...   

       Mr. Burns: "XsX- use a three way mirror.. Not only can you see through it and see your reflection, but it also shows you what you'd look like if you started using Rogaine again.."
A wooly-willy overlay? Neat.
nick_n_uit, Jun 19 2006

       am I the only person who doesn't work in a "cubicle"? This is reminding me of that great scene in Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" where a desk is shared through a slot in partition wall. This idea certainly smoked out a gaggle of cubicalites.   

       Voice of David Attenborough: "And here we have the Cubicalite... a shriveled nervous creature, that scurries around staying close to the floor, constantly glancing over its shoulder. Its eyes are extended out beyond the confines of its face on permanently blood shot stalks. Its complexion is similar to that of undercooked pastry. It deserves your sympathy and help - reach out a helping hand to a poor little cubicalite today"   

       I share your pain, but I know not the life of the cubicalite +
xenzag, Jun 19 2006

       [xenzag]: Count your blessings. All you need to do is imagine working in a box.   

       Since I posted this original idea, I have moved to another department, where the cubicles are smaller, but the walls are shorter, so I can glance out across the area. I also have the luxury of an actual window, which has done wonders for both my eyes and my migraines. (Fluorescent light gives me migraine auras; natural light soothes the beast.)
XSarenkaX, Jul 05 2006

       //I say we should make pictures, paintings, or other eye candy which somehow have a few more yards of "depth" within it.//   

       Stereograms (those seemingly-random dots-and-splodges pictures) do this. As do British Rail train seat cover patterns.
imaginality, Jul 06 2006


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