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Visiting the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is great for exploring how to improve office space

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of visiting the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – attended by over 250,000 people over four days, CES is THE event for the technology industry.

CES is the traditional vehicle for the leading manufacturers to launch their newest products and tell the world what we will all be using in the future, it’s big and glitzy, with no expense spared.

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Amid the personal drones, 55” 4K screens that blow your mind with their colour and clarity, and sensors literally built into everything you can imagine – what immediately became apparent to me is that the B2B world in which I operate (commercial interiors and contract furniture) is very slow to embrace the new technologies that are available.

I remain convinced that for many of us the office based set-ups we have are pretty much perfect, they’re ergonomic, they provide high quality IT, and they enable us to be efficient in our work. What we could embrace is the adaptation of technology to increase creativity and performance. And I’m not talking about useless gimmicks like Google Glass or the Toshiba equivalent (gave me a headache and made me feel dizzy) but great new technologies, like augmented reality (AR) for example.

Take this example from Toshiba, their new AR product enables you to effectively ‘try on’ a range of clothing items superimposed onto your body in 3D. Seems a good idea to me but I suspect in the contract furniture world it will be a while before we are offering this kind of solutions as part of the purchasing process. Using this kind of technology for Task seating, desking, and technology support would improve the customer and product selection process.

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As mentioned earlier I do think there will always be a place for the standard keyboard and screen set up but it’s impossible not to be excited by some of the new devices about to hit the market.

Take HP Sprout for example. This is a combination of a PC with integrated scanner, projector (and projection keyboard) and touch screen with some amazing functionality (see below – banana scanned into device then immediately uploaded for 3D photo editing)

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Of great interest was a new breed of device combining a CPU, Tablet, and touch screen (some of which were 4K) for personal usage termed ‘One in Ones’. These devices can be used for traditional windows based tasks with either a Bluetooth enabled keyboard, an on screen keyboard, as a touch screen, or as a HD/4K screen for TV/Movie viewing! Many of these devices come in sizes up to 23”, are extremely light and thin, and are a hybrid between mobile and static. Could they be taken to and from the office on a daily basis? I don’t see why not.

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It’s impossible not to mention the curved screen range from Samsung and the 4K models now proliferating the market. It’s not unreasonable to say the improvement of 4K from HD is similar to what we witnessed in the change from analogue to digital, it’s simply phenomenal.

I loved the Samsung curved screen options, although I wonder about its desktop footprint, wih this 27” version below requiring significant real estate – still it looks great and the split screen options are truly excellent.

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All in all there is so much exciting stuff happening, and from our perspective the opportunity to see it first hand is a great opportunity, it certainly gave us some great new product ideas to think about!

For more information on CES visit  www.cesweb.org.