While I was out flying today the discussion moved to how things should work. As I posted earlier, the initial discussion was about autopilot operation. It later turned to meetings and how they will change in the future. I have talked about the phone as the primary computing device. I want to outline how this will merge with the future meeting room. You are at your desk working on material for the meeting when the clock becomes your enemy and it is time to go. You are able to work right up to the last minute because your work will move with you. You stand up and the screen on your desk goes dark. You walk to the boardroom and sit down. In front of you a screen, keyboard and mouse become active. You are back where you were. There is one addition. The conference room is on its own subnet. When you sat down several things happened. Inductive circuitry in the chair is charging your phone. A short range link has connected the screen, keyboard, and mouse. The room is on its own small subnet. as you sit down you are connected and contact information and picture are collected. If you are a company member you are connected back to the main network. If you are a visitor it is a guest network which allows internet access but keeps the internal network isolated. On your screen you see a graphic of the meeting room table. At each location is a picture along with the name of the person sitting at that position. A click on the image reveals the information on a standard business card. During the meeting Bill asks if you have received the latest proposal from legal. He needs to see it when you are done. You say you have received it and have finished marking it up. You drag it to Bill’s image on the conference room graphic and a copy is sent to Bill. Now it’s your turn to present. Fortunately you ready. A simple click and your presentation is on the large display. A click on your tablet brings up the presentation complete with speaker notes. As you stand up the screen on the meeting room table goes blank and the phone isn’t being charged but you are still on the meeting room network and your presentation is still displayed on the large screen. You move seamlessly between devices and use the one best suited for the moment.
A few days later there is a meeting of a different kind. It’s a late night conference call. Hey, that comes with being part of a central support organization for a company with operations in China. You sit down at a desk and start the video call. Like the boardroom example you are able to transfer files by dragging and dropping them to the picture of someone on the call. This scenario is pretty much here today. What needs to be done is to make the user interface more transparent when being used but the conference call scenario is pretty much here. With cameras now standard on both PC’s and tablets expect video conferencing to increase a lot over the next two years. One new addition will be the capability to seamlessly transfer the call from device to device. A call might be started on your phone. as you walk into your office it would transfer to the large screen on your desk. A personal call might start out on your TV but be transferred to your phone as you head out. In your car you wouldn’t have video but that would be on your phone when you got to your destination.