Thought Leadership

Is Your Conference Room Holding You Back?

The emergence of new technologies in recent years has greatly enhanced the way we work. Mobile smart phones, tablets, laptops, and apps enable lots of power, connectivity, and cross talk. Yet most organizations still hold meetings the old-fashioned way: in a traditional conference room, one presenter at a time. In that setting, communication is predictably one-way and defined by a limited tool set: PowerPoint, a projector, some cables, a white board. A distant office might join in via speaker phone, or perhaps via video feed. In that kind of environment, even the most basic attempt at collaboration can turn into a round-robin of plug and unplug per presenter (assuming you've got the right cables). The room is quickly devoid of that frisson that defines your most productive moments. 

 Instead of slowing you down, what if your conference room helped you be more productive? Imagine a room that understands everyone arrives with their own devices and content streams. Imagine a place where your team and its information can be unleashed across multiple screens in multiple locations simultaneously, where content can be sized and resized, rearranged, clipped, and saved to achieve true collaboration in the moment.

 Mezzanine makes it easy for you to work more efficiently by enabling everyone in the room, whether physically or virtually, to fluidly interact, share visually engaging materials, and operate in real-time. 

Our customers tell us that group interaction is easier and they are more productive using Mezzanine. For more information on how Mezzanine helps you to meet and work more efficiently click here.

Working with Watson

The goal of each Watson Experience Center—located in New York, San Francisco, and Cambridge—is to demystify AI and challenge visitor’s expectations through more tangible demonstrations of Watson technology. Visitors are guided through a series of narratives and data interfaces, each grounded in IBM’s current capabilities in machine learning and AI. These sit alongside a host of Mezzanine rooms where participants further collaborate to build solutions together.

The process for creating each experience begins with dynamic, collaborative research. Subject matter experts take members of the design and engineering teams through real-world scenarios—disaster response, financial crimes investigation, oil and gas management, product research, world news analysis—where we identify and test applicable data sets. From there, we move our ideas quickly to scale.

Accessibility to the immersive pixel canvas for everyone involved is key to the process. Designers must be able to see their ideas outside of the confines of 15″ laptops and prescriptive software. Utilizing tools tuned for rapid iteration at scale, our capable team of designers, data artists, and engineers work side-by-side to envision and define each experience. The result is more than a polished marketing narrative; it's an active interface that allows the exploration of data with accurate demonstrations of Watson’s capabilities—one that customers can see themselves in.

Under the Hood

Underlying the digital canvas is a robust spatial operating environment, g‑speak, which allows our team to position real data in a true spatial context. Every data point within the system, and even the UI itself, is defined in real world coordinates (measured in millimeters, not pixels). Gestures, directional pointing, and proximity to screens help us create interfaces that more closely understand user intent and more effectively humanize the UI.

This award-nominated collaboration with IBM is prototyped and developed at scale at Oblong’s headquarters in Los Angeles as well as IBM’s Immersive AI Lab in Austin. While these spaces are typically invite-only, IBM is increasingly open to sharing the content and the unique design ideas that drive its success with the public. This November, during Austin Design Week, IBM will host a tour of their Watson Immersive AI Lab, including live demonstrations of the work and a Q&A session with leaders from the creative team.

Can't make it to Austin? Contact our Solutions team for a glimpse of our vision of the future at our headquarters in the Arts District in Los Angeles.

Interested in Learning More?

Start a conversation with our team to deliver the best collaboration experience for your teaming spaces