Posted on 21 May 2013
With an elite customer base, roots at MIT Media Lab, and a history in Hollywood forecasting the future of human computer interface, we are sometimes sought for expert opinion. While we can only accept a handful of invitations (we’re pretty busy at HQ), we are always happy when we have time to participate with other futurists looking ahead at what’s next.
Oblong chief scientist John Underkoffler joined a number of recent gatherings to talk about all things future tech:
From the Science of Fiction to LA 2020, USC associate professor Alex McDowell (and 5D co-founder) led a lively and inspired summit we’re still talking about, which earned mentions from Popular Mechanics to the New Yorker.
During a week-long blitz of Hollywood premieres, the Science & Entertainment Exchange hosted a panel discussion with several leading experts, including folks from Microsoft Research, about the science behind Iron Man 3. The goal of the Exchange is to connect entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers, and to inspire the next generation of computer scientists. It seems to be working; our friend Jeremy Morris, who works with the film’s star, Robert Downey Jr, attended the event and shared this anecdote: “Behind me in the audience were three teenage girls who, suffice to say, totally lost their minds when they saw your [Oblong] video presentation. “OMG, Carmen sooo has to get herself one of those.” Honestly, if you could have signed them up for a Masters in Comp Sci right then and there, they would have done it on the dotted line.”
CNN International’s prime time news show, Connect the World, tapped us recently to talk about the path from science fiction to contemporary reality and how the gadgetry we see in film and TV is already making its way out of the lab and into the commercial world. The a/v connection from CNN’s LA studio to the show’s host in London was a little labored, but the “live via satellite” experience was fun nonetheless.
What will the future look like? Environments that are multi-screen, habits that are multi-device, rooms and objects that are spatially-aware, plus pixels pixels everywhere.
Posted on 16 May 2013
According to new research, we spend 16 hours a week, 200 hours a year, and 322 working days in our lifetime in meetings. People increasingly express frustration that meetings are taking over their work lives and hindering productivity. Recently posted on Virgin Entrepreneur’s blog was an article highlighting the growing frustration of meetings killing our working day. This subject is near and dear to our hearts at Oblong, as we’ve worked hard to build a collaborative conference room solution that turns meetings into truly productive working sessions.
Virgin’s founder Richard Branson blogged on LinkedIn that we should screw business meetings as usual:
“There [are] a few [things] worse than watching someone talk through a long list of Powerpoint’s. On the other hand short videos and photos bring a talk to life.”
We couldn’t agree more. No one wants to sit in a dull meeting, with only one person able to share information at a time. Our meeting room solution Mezzanine™ creates information democracy by empowering all users to connect their devices, share their content, and interact at the same time. Unlike any other conference room solution available, Mezzanine creates a visually stunning and engaging environment in which to share information with anyone, anywhere and simply get work done.
Schedule a demo in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, or Menlo Park and learn how you can liberate your meetings.
Posted on 15 May 2013
John Underkoffler, our co-founder and chief scientist, recently presented at the EG Conference in Monterey where he shared the stage with leading innovators in media, technology, entertainment, and education. The topic of this year’s conference was Everything is Learning—and Learning is Everything.
John shared his work on the influential film Minority Report and how it was an opportunity to prototype the kinds of interfaces Oblong delivers today through our client solutions work and our Mezzanine collaborative conference room product.
View a preview of John’s talk here.
Enjoy a 25% discount subscription to all the EG7 videos with the code EG7CODE (limited to the first 50 subscribers.)
Posted on 10 May 2013
You work really hard on the slides for your pitch deck. But what about the presentation experience in your conference room? Is it as compelling and participatory as it could be? What if your conference room could help you prove that your business is indeed visionary—that you are the right partner.
Mezzanine™ is a collaborative conference room solution that maximizes presentation impact, helps decisions to be made in the moment, and improves win rates. Mezzanine will wow your customers and prospects with an experience they’ve never had before. Our unique collaboration technology is not just a vivid multi-screen presentation environment, it can integrate your team’s and customers’ applications, content, and data into the discussion in real-time. This immersive experience allows you to fluidly engage your customers, share ideas, address questions, and even bring remote experts into the conversation. Mezzanine is built on Oblong’s core g-speak platform which enables you to share any content, from any device with anyone, anywhere.
Mezzanine users say it is easier to share creative ideas, come to decisions faster, and make a memorable impression. LSC Group, an Oblong partner and customer, says:
“Mezzanine’s big, multi-screen workspace makes it a phenomenal presentation tool when you really want to impress clients.“
Learn more about how Mezzanine elevates your customer experience here.
Interested in a test drive? Come see what all of the hype is about and experience how you can wow your customers using the most collaborative conference room solution on the market. Schedule a demo in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, or Menlo Park or contact us for more information.
Posted on 07 May 2013
Oblong Industries recently participated at OME, a summit hosted by UC San Francisco. The two-day summit focused on charting the future of precision medicine—an emerging field combining big data with clinical research and patient care to deliver insights and advances in treatment that is more targeted and enables improved patient outcomes.
Precision medicine, and “big data” as a whole, present challenges not only in the acquisition, storage, and processing of data, but also in the visualization and interaction with data. Oblong was invited based on our expertise in creating groundbreaking visualizations and spatial interfaces to control applications and data across multiple displays and systems.
In collaboration with a team of researchers at UCSF and Lawrence Berkeley Labs, we created an application demonstrating gestural interaction with existing imaging tools and a custom brain visualization featuring regions of interest for a specific neurodegenerative disorder. By integrating abstract data representations of functional and structural connections within the brain with neuroanatomical data, we hope to demonstrate the potential of data exploration, visualization, interaction, and analysis for precision medicine.
The application was built using our new Greenhouse SDK.
Collaborating on the project: Bill Seeley, Jesse Brown, and Andrew Trujillo from UCSF MEMORY AND AGING CENTER; Leonid Oliker (Future Technologies Group), Gunther Weber (Visualization Group and the NERSC Analytics Team), Aydın Buluç (Applied Mathematics & Scientific Computing), and Daniela Ushizima (Vis/Analytics Group) from LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY; Stacey Chang (Health & Wellness practice) from IDEO; Kwin Kramer, David Kung, Sarah Vieweg, John Carpenter, Corey Porter, Mattie Ruth Kramer Backman, and Michael Schuresko from OBLONG INDUSTRIES.
Posted on 26 April 2013
After a successful dip in the Bay Area pool with a pop-up demo experience in San Francisco’s SOMA district late last year, we’re taking up more permanent residence near our customers and friends in the heart of Silicon Valley. Oblong Industries opened its doors this month in Menlo Park at 880 Santa Cruz Avenue #200, just a few easy blocks from the CalTrain stop.
In the coming weeks we will be taking prospective customers and partners on a tour of our Mezzanine™ system for next-generation conference rooms which leverages our g-speak™ core technology. It’s an opportunity to explore how the visionary computing environments from the film Minority Report have developed into real world solutions used today by leading firms to enhance collaboration, boost productivity, and win new business.
To inquire about making an appointment in Menlo Park, schedule a demo on our web site. Please include your complete contact information and a bit about your company, your role, and your interest. We’re always happy to meet with leading firms ready to boost productivity and win new business through effective communication and collaboration.
Posted on 18 April 2013
Our chief scientist, John Underkoffler, gave a talk this past November at Ciudad de las Ideas in Puebla, Mexico. We recently discovered that audience member Peter Durand of Alphachimp made a real-time illustration of John’s talk.
Peter did a great job of highlighting John’s key points. Starting with the challenge that user interfaces haven’t changed in over 30 years, John talked about how computers should allow people to use all of the pixels in a space at the same time—that all pixels belong to everyone. He also discussed Oblong’s mission to change the way people interact with their computers. Examples of how Oblong is expanding the workspace include our g-speak operating system that allows all devices to work together as a single screen. John also introduced Mezzanine, a collaborative conference room solution, that allows for plurality by empowering people to collaborate in a shared workspace like they do in real life. As Peter illustrated, people should no longer be limited to interacting with one device or one screen at a time—instead Oblong is building the future where pixels belong to the people.
Posted on 11 April 2013
GE Ventures recently sat down with Oblong CEO Kwin Kramer to talk about our partnership. Oblong’s relationship with GE first started with the GE Digital Energy business unit. Oblong collaborates with GE Digital Energy on the Grid IQ Insight product that allows users to visualize, analyze, and optimize data to provide a unified, real-time view of operations in the utility industry.
After learning about our work with Grid IQ Insight, GE Ventures became an investor and corporate partner. Our partnership with GE Ventures has enabled us to continue building products, specifically Mezzanine™, our next-generation collaborative conference room technology. Kwin also spoke about what’s next for Oblong—to scale up sales of Mezzanine as we continue towards our goal of putting a new user interface on every screen in the world. To see the full GE Ventures post, click here.
Posted on 03 April 2013
We are pleased to announce a public alpha of our Greenhouse SDK!
Imagine putting pixels onto screens, ceilings, walls, and floors while allowing multiple people to use a Kinect, iPhone, Leap Motion, and/or Wii Remote as input devices.
Greenhouse is the only SDK available that lets you develop multi-screen, multi-user, multi-device systems with gestural and spatial interaction. Greenhouse brings spatial interactions to life—the kinds of interactions you’ve seen in films like Minority Report—to create new interfaces, applications, content and experiences including:
- Data Visualization
- Digital Art and Installations
- Gestural Interaction
- Immersive Environments
- Interactive Kiosks and Digital Signage
This is a labor of love for us: a platform for a new kind of computing. We are excited to see the great ideas you have for Greenhouse, what you make with it, and to hear what you think about it! Click here to get started.
Posted on 26 March 2013
Nurturing and guiding future hackers, designers, developers, and technologists (especially women) is just one of the community-oriented activities we support at Oblong.
Since January, Oblong industrial designer Barbara Brand has been working with two groups of high school students from Foshay Learning Center on the Technovation Challenge.
The challenge asks teams of young women to develop an app that solves a problem in the local community. Two teams from Foshay are competing. One team is developing an app that promotes safe-driving practices for teens and young adults; the other is developing an app that helps with time management and scheduling. In addition, the teams create business plans and pitch their ideas in a regional online competition.
Last week, both Foshay teams hopped on a bus headed to Oblong headquarters to see first hand what it’s like to work for a technology firm. They toured the LA space, experienced our spatial and gestural technology, and heard about the various roles held by women at Oblong in senior management, software development, user testing, marketing, recruiting, sales, and design.
We’re looking forward to seeing what these teams come up with, and are lucky that we got to spend time with these talented, smart, and motivated students!
More on the Technovation Challenge found here: http://iridescentlearning.org/programs/technovation-challenge/about/