- Forrester Councils
- Councils Overview
- log in
Posted by JP Gownder on August 14, 2013
When people think of futuristic user interfaces (Forrester analysts included), they often invoke the 2002 Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. The imagery in the movie offers a compelling vision of how next-generation technologies – gestural control, voice command, 3D visuals, multi-screen interactions – can empower computing experiences.
Where did Minority Report get this vision? From a man named John Underkoffler, Chief Scientist at a company called Oblong. He designed the computer interfaces in the film.
I had the pleasure of visiting Oblong’s Boston office recently, where I saw demonstrations of several technologies. Most interesting to me was the company’s Mezzanine offering, an “infopresence” conference room that the company sells to enterprises today.
The solution involves equipping a conference room (or multiples – it works as a long distance telepresence location) with a number of monitors (5 in the room I visited), teleconferencing equipment (industry standard products work well), and ceiling-mounted sensors (for interpreting gestural controls), and a whiteboard (a physical one, but visible to a camera). Workers control the room with a wand, which works via both gestural controls and a button.
Putting all of these things together, workers can collaborate both within the room itself and with remote teams (or remote individual team members). The resulting experience, in my view, offers two sets of benefits:
Mezzanine helps employees take better advantage of data. Most workplaces are swimming in various forms of data, some (or much) of which never gets used effectively. Oblong’s solution helps workers by:
Mezzanine also represents a new type of collaborative computing. Ultimately, the collaboration possible with these solution reprograms the way colleagues work together. (A related case is a sales win room that allows salespeople to collaborate with their prospects and customers). This involves:
In the future, it would be easy to see some of the larger industry vendors (like Samsung, which has prowess in digital displays, whiteboards, and teleconferencing equipment, or Microsoft, which has assets in collaboration through Sharepoint and videoconferencing via Skype) either replicating some of the capabilities of Mezzanine or purchasing Oblong outright. For now, Oblong offers a high-end, differentiated solution for collaborative computing that brings Minority Report flash to the workplace – with a much more tangible result.
Lead BT Transformation
Develop customer-obsessed strategies to drive growth »
Forrester's CX Index
Predict how actions to improve CX will affect revenue performance.
Measure the customer experiences that matter most »