Reflecting on The Mission
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January is a good month for introspection and planning, and to reflect upon our mission:
The expression of this statement can be vividly seen in what we build. Take our flagship product, Mezzanine, for example. Mezzanine provides to the world a new way of harnessing the power of computation, transforming meetings from serial “broadcasts” to truly collaborative working sessions. Participants are empowered to collaborate with any application on any device they bring to a meeting. This new way of meeting creates value for our customers, allowing them to leverage all available “horsepower” of participants and devices to accomplish much more in a working session than ever before.
Mezzanine’s lasting value—or durable worth—is engendered by changing the design and concept of how we meet and work together. This change, this boost in productivity, is valuable today and will continue to deliver value for years to come.
Perhaps most importantly, Mezzanine puts the human user first. We, as humans, are open systems; we continuously interact with our environment—spatially, gesturally, and visually. A Mezzanine room is “spatially active”; you interact with it gesturally, making assets from all your devices and applications immediately visible and actionable. By reflecting how we “interoperate” with the world, a new level of conversation and collaboration fluidity is created.
And, finally, what we build should be both beautiful and exhilarating. Living proof that we’re living up to our mission is when people walk away from their first Mezzanine experience and say, “Wow.” We feel fortunate that most people do.
If you haven’t yet felt the magic that is Mezzanine, send an email to email@example.com to schedule a demo.
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.