CHICAGO (CBS)–Typewriters and office phones disappeared ages ago, but even the desk and office chair may soon follow suit as a new era in office furniture takes shape.

More than 50,000 people crammed the Merchandise Mart Monday for the first day of the 2018 Neocon trade show, the commercial design industry’s annual launch pad for innovation.

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Futuristic innovations to make the work day more pleasant were unveiled, including desks with built in bikes and sound-proof moss wall coverings.

“It’s no longer really called the office–it’s called the workplace,” said Byron Morton, vice president of the Merchandise Mart.

He sat in a private glass pod called the “Dream Box” that can transform from a private office to a meeting room to a bed in an instant.

“You have a 15 minute power nap and you’re rejuvenated for the rest of the day,” said Galia Jabos of Silence Business Solutions. “Instead of taking a 15 minute coffee or cigarette break, it’s better to improve and restore your body in a healthy way.”

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What will be become of the traditional desk? Danny Davis of Davis Furniture predicts it will eventually become extinct.

“We’ve gotten out of the desk experience and into more collaborative types of work environments,” Davis said.

The $20,000 “Dream Box” is in use in France, and Neocon marks its U.S. debut.



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