On the NewCo Agenda of LA’s Most Innovative Companies

We’re honored to be among the companies selected to participate in the inaugural NewCo LA day happening November 19th. If you haven’t heard of NewCo, take a look: they organize a city-wide “open house” of the most interesting and important companies. Turning the traditional conference model on its head, attendees have the opportunity to hear from founders and leaders on company grounds instead of at random hotel ballrooms. This provides participants an opportunity to really absorb what the company is all about, and to experience a greater level of learning and understanding than could ever happen with PowerPoint. If you haven’t already jumped on the NewCo bandwagon, register now before all the best sessions are sold out.

NewCo participants joining us at Oblong Industries HQ next week will experience short demos of our ground-breaking multi-surface technologies for conferencing and collaboration. (Plus coffee and pastries from Urth Caffe.) COO Mary Ann de Lares Norris will talk about how Oblong evolved from its roots at the MIT Media Lab, including our Hollywood history with founder John Underkoffler’s computer vision for futuristic films Minority Report and Iron Man. Today, Oblong is a commercial reality serving Fortune 500 innovators like IBM and NTT and industry disruptors like Sonos and Beats Music.

Update: November 20, 2014

It was great to see NewCo guests excited and engaged by our Mezzanine, glove, and brain demos. Thanks to everyone who attended. Here are some pictures of yesterday's event.

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?

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