Oblong in Deutschland
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Our newest office in Munich’s Parkstadt Schwabing district was celebrated with an open house event. Take a look.
When Europe looks to the future, it’s impossible to overlook Germany. The concept of Industry 4.0 was born here, IBM just opened its IBM Watson global IoT headquarters here, and we’re seeing here too consistent demand for our groundbreaking immersive visual collaboration technology from leading companies and partner integrators.
So on a gorgeous spring day in May we officially opened our first office in Germany, in Munich. German speakers will enjoy a peek at the video.
The comfortable 9th-floor space is filled with natural light and flanked by balconies for taking in the expansive views of the city skyline and the Alps in the distance. More than 150 guests joined us to celebrate the opening and to get a taste of the digital workplace of the future and the role of our innovative solutions in shaping that future.
Mezzanine showrooms in this new office feature several system configurations scaled to address the use cases of presentation, collaboration, and real-time situational awareness for enterprise workspaces large and small. At the event, invited media, specialist planners, system integrators, company representatives, and many other interested parties were clearly delighted to experience the technology first hand.
The open house offered a relaxed atmosphere and provided plenty of opportunity for conversation and making new contacts. Oblong CEO John Underkoffler joined the festivities from Los Angeles (via Mezzanine, of course) to officially welcome the crowd. It’s rumored the last guests stayed past midnight. Thomas Spiegl, Sales Director for Oblong Europe handling the D-A-CH region, concluded: "We are delighted to be open. The enthusiastic reception by our guests here shows us that the workplace of the future has already arrived in the minds of companies."
Schedule a demo of Mezzanine in Munich or one of 16 other locations around the world from Barcelona to San Francisco to see how companies are transforming business by transforming the spaces where the most important work gets done.
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.