Future Workplace – Wireless, Effortless and Secure

Posted on: February 26, 2015 by John Minnick

Imagine walking into a meeting room, a wireless display with facial recognition software scans your features and lights up as you approach, connecting instantly to your own devices and automatically loading your prepared documents to start the meeting. Meanwhile, all your mobile devices are wirelessly charging as you set them on the conference room table and at voice command your presentation is shared with all attendees – some of whom are present in the room, others are logged in remotely.

It sounds like a scene from a futuristic movie, but actually it’s not that far from reality.

In my previous post I spoke about the benefits of immersive collaboration and getting started. Now, I’d like to take a deeper dive into the wire-free future workplace.

Work it like Star Trek

Though not the only kind of technology required for immersive collaboration, wire-free technology is less cluttered and has more streamlined devices. At the press of a button or voice command, you’ll be able to connect with people and devices from all over the world (or perhaps the galaxy)!

Though we’re unlikely to see wireless charging for Ultrabooks before 2016, with Intel’s recent announcement around the Broadwell vPro processors, enterprise ready wireless display capabilities will be incorporated into more devices. With wire-free docking you simply have to place your computer near the docking station for a robust communication link. Once wireless charging becomes available your computer, smartphone or headset will be automatically charging just by putting it on top of your desk without a need for cables. Wireless displays, which can easily connect to other devices and networks, are already in use, however new features such as integrated systems and security management allow for these to be managed remotely, keeping control centralized with IT.

Dealing with threats

Security remains a concern; the increased ease of instant connectivity and data-sharing means we need to protect ourselves from external threats. But, when it comes to the user experience, none of us want to go through endless security checks or login systems. Something I believe will play a key role in many new technologies is 3D real-sense camera technology. These devices coupled with identity protection technology innovations are able to sense who is facing them and the movements they’re making and then take actions accordingly, such as logging on or shutting down the system. Think of a more advanced version of Xbox Kinect, already able to recognize voice commands and hand gestures, that offers a more natural, immersive experience but also help secure our devices through advanced identification tech.

Technology in action

ErgoTron Mobility Product I manage a global team in Europe, Asia and the US and we distribute and test a lot of new workplace technology. We often move our tech around using a collaboration cart, which can roll from location to location without the need for wires. With on-board power, integrated computer and text screens and wire-free connectivity, we can get hands-on with the technology and find different use-cases for it. Just imagine how useful this could be in a hospital setting, carrying medical and technology equipment to where it is needed most.

A different example of futuristic wire-free tech in action is the proof of concept we have set up for a banking customer to help redesign their conference rooms. In this room, we’ve installed a variety of wire-free innovations, which enable users to wirelessly connect to the display. This eliminates the common problems of passing around cables and connecting to screens when sharing documents, images or videos. The great news is that the ‘proof of concept room’ is in high demand, with the new technology not only saving meeting time but also providing a cool experience!



Now imagine walking into that meeting room - how would you re-design your workplace?

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About John Minnick

Sr. Director, Global Strategic Technology Partner Team, Atos Distinguished Expert, Global Infrastructure & Data Management
For the past decade, John has managed a global team of enterprise architects developing the technical design principles deployed by organizations in 190 countries. His team is responsible for creating a framework for technology sourcing, innovation incubation, and integration to enhance intellectual property and drive revenue. John brings a wealth of experience in the technology sector, including CIO and management roles in engineering, manufacturing, and information technology; leadership for five start-up companies; and proficiency across a wide range of software and hardware platforms. He is a member of numerous industry councils and customer advisory boards, and leads technology standards teams. As the founding member of industry-wide teams, he has been instrumental in guiding standardization of workplace technologies with documented savings of tens of millions per year. John is the author of 17 IEEE dozens of Technical papers, featured in online and trade magazine articles, a noted reviewer of software text books, and a regular event speaker at conferences, including Siemens Summits, Microsoft TechEd, sales conferences, industry councils, and customer advisory councils. He is a Dale Carnegie certified team builder, and the winner of two graphical software development awards, as well as the coveted Tully Award for teamwork communications.  John is also an Atos Distinguished Expert and Scientific Community Blogger.

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