Working (and Thinking) Outside the Box

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We have all heard the phrase, “stroke of genius.” Hearing this phrase likely conjures up images of people like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, forward thinkers and innovators who have impacted the future as we know it.  In today’s world, we need more of these types of thinkers, but what sets them apart?  The answer is a willingness to look at the future to find solutions for today. The answer is imagination.

Traditionally, the workplace has been a think tank for grand ideas that keep companies in business. But what if the workplace of the future is different than our parents’ generations, and even our own? The office will not be defined by history’s concepts of what it should be; it no longer has to be defined or confined by cubicles or walls. Today, the possibility of imagination needs to be broadened outside the meeting room.

Re-imagine “Outside the Box”

“Thinking outside the box” is a phrase most employees have heard. Let’s consider that phrase in the literal sense – removing the physical barriers of the “office box.” It’s time to recognize where ideas happen and where imagination flourishes. It is true that ideas can happen within the workplace, but it is equally true that they can happen anywhere one finds inspiration. According to research from Forrester, “It’s imperative that business leaders initiate programs that keep their workforce productive and connected while mobile and remote.” People may need to work from places of inspiration such as their family home or on the road.

The reasoning is two-fold: more workers choose to work remotely everyday, and flexible work arrangements offer workers freedom from the confines of an office to think more creatively. Often, the confines of a stagnate work environment can fail to ignite innovative thinking due to lack of outside stimulation. In addition, workers can feel hampered by unspoken rules of etiquette and procedure within the formality of a rigid office space. A corporate hierarchy inhibits free flowing ideas and imagination by limiting workers from approaching superiors they might have approached in an otherwise less formal environment – a reason many companies have internal networking events. Thus, organizations are presented a challenge where internal office employees may feel isolated or under-inspired, while employees outside the office have ideas that require discussion among colleagues. To help solve this challenge, today’s workers need to be empowered with the tools that break down barriers of remoteness and access to help eliminate the limitations offices can create: both internally and externally. If we want to inspire workers to think outside of the box, then we need to do just that – get them outside the box – to comfortable environments where ideas flourish, but let them be freely available to the office when an idea needs to come to fruition.

The End of Office Silos

Technology has long been heralded as the future of business, from the advent of the printing press to the breakthrough of the modern computer, it has enhanced the business world. As technology progresses so do workers, but exactly how does technology un-confine? It creates and strengthens the opportunities for collaboration and people are beginning to take advantage.

When asked what their primary concern was for their first job, 57 percent of younger Americans wanted to do something enjoyable or make a difference in society. For example, a group of Millennials are working remotely while traveling around the globe on a program called Remote Year. The younger generation is embracing flexibility because they will need to always be on the hunt for new work during their careers; and for those who are successful at finding new work, their ability to learn new roles and organizations helps make them more nimble and competitive to an industry’s changing demands. According to the U.S Department of Labor, the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 was more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34 years. Younger workers are spending less time at the same job and contracting more, leading to fluidity within the work market.  Technology platforms make it easy for employees and contractors to work from around the globe, enabling workers to literally “work outside the box”.

Look at any modern day office and you will see people connected by emails, phones, online chat groups, and more.  Collaboration is happening all around us in real time.  However, technology is also creating limitations. Emails go unanswered or unseen. Phone messages don’t always get relayed, and people connect to the physical office space by wires and walls. Workers need to be certain their message was received, so smartphones, Google Hangouts, and video conferencing has been added to the mix. Telepresence technology has advanced to the point where workers may connect their computer to a telepresence device in the workplace from anywhere around the globe – giving them a physical presence within the office space and “being there” for colleagues. Suitable Technologies and our Beam telepresence devices focus on allowing companies to tear down the silos that previously existed between remote workers and their offices – encouraging more collaboration and brainstorming, more efficiency and more real-time interaction and synergy between colleagues. The abundance of these kinds of technologies gives workers the flexibility they need to work and think beyond the limitations of generations past and let imagination flourish.

Allowing Imagination to Thrive

It is clear that as imagination grows, and technology is embraced, the future office will look vastly different. Research has long shown that geographical diversification within the workforce is happening, and businesses that want to succeed need to support the future workplace now.  Employees are demanding more flexibility as schedules become increasingly more hectic and work days get longer; they want the quiet comfort of home on some days, the intense collaboration of the office on others, or the inspirational experience of working while traveling abroad. If organizations want to propel imagination and inspiration forward, then they need to look at technology to solve these challenges, so everyone may enjoy a future where workplace imagination leads to inspiration and true genius thrives.

Contributor: Erin Rapacki
Director of Marketing, Suitable Technologies, Inc.

Suitable Technologies Launches Cultural Arts Partnership Program

After a year of successful pilot programs utilizing the Beam® Smart Presence System (SPS) at several US museums and cultural sites, including the de Young Museum and Detroit Institute of Arts, Suitable Technologies is pleased to announce the launch of the Museum Partnership Program. Participating museums and cultural sites will receive a BeamPro™ SPS to grant visitor access to people who are physically unable to travel. From anywhere in the world, a user may “beam” into participating museums to view galleries and experience museums firsthand from the comfort of his or her home computer.

Museums who participate in the partnership program will receive BeamPro SPS with assisted driving, charging dock, unlimited software licenses, and an annual service package that includes ongoing maintenance and program support for remote visitors who are physically unable to visit the site. A Beam user, the person who utilizes the BeamPro SPS to visit the museum remotely, downloads the Beam application onto his or her webcam-enabled personal computer at no additional cost.

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“With the Beam, I gain freedom and physical motion that provides me real-time interactivity in the world” shared Beam user Kavita Krishnaswamy. “Although I am unable to visit many museums in-person due to my severe physical disability, the opportunity to attend and interact remotely is an incredible experience.”

As highlighted in the July/August 2015 issue of Museum Magazine, the BeamPro SPS is one of the exciting new technologies being implemented by museums and cultural sites to provide better access to visitors with physical disabilities. BeamPro embodies the user with an authentic presence and immerses the user with reliable low latency audio and video for natural communication and control. BeamPro can be used by anyone, in any ADA compliant environment, through use of a valid WiFi connection.

To find out more about this new outreach program and schedule a BeamPro test drive, please contact:

Christa Cliver
Director of Education & Museum
+1.206.369.7786
ccliver@suitabletech.com

About Suitable Technologies™
Suitable Technologies grants shared experiences between friends, students, teams and guests by transporting a person’s presence to any place of interest. The Beam™ SPS (Smart Presence System), which includes products BeamPro and Beam+, is a telepresence solution that combines mobility and video conferencing for an immersive communication experience everywhere conversations take place. Beam enables people to be there, and to interact naturally by seeing and being seen, hearing and being heard, and the freedom to move about, from anywhere in the world. Founded in 2011, Suitable Technologies products are designed and manufactured at its headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. Follow @suitabletech, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or elevate your communication at https://www.suitabletech.com.

All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

SUITABLE TECHNOLOGIES CONTACT
Erin Rapacki                                                             Brianna Lempesis
Director of Marketing                                              Media Manager
+1.650.687.7193                                                      +1.925.336.4826
erin@suitabletech.com                                            blempesis@suitabletech.com

Museums Adopt Technology to Give Guests with Physical Disabilities the Opportunity to Tour Art Exhibits with BeamPro

In the first program of its kind, Suitable Technologies has partnered with various museums to bring self-guided tours to individuals who are physically unable to travel to various museum across the country. From anywhere in the world, users can “beam in” to participating museums thanks to Suitable Technologies’ BeamPro: a technology that combines mobility and video conferencing to enable users to move about, speak, see and interact with friends and family – regardless of their location. Visitors will be immersed in a self-guided exploration of the exhibits, allowing them to view galleries and experience the museums firsthand from the comfort of their desktop or laptop.

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Watch CBS Sunday Morning “Robots open up the world of art”

Self-guided, remote access museum experiences open a world of possibilities. Individuals with physical disabilities and seniors who are limited in their ability to explore can now visit their favorite works of art, artists and museum collections. This is not the first time Suitable Technologies has been recognized helping the disabled community. Click here to see Henry Evans, a mute quadriplegic, use the Beam to visit the de Young Museum in San Francisco and here to see Kavita Krishnaswamy present her thesis on robotic aids using BeamPro.

Museums in the Beam accessibility pilot project include the Fine Arts of San Francisco, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Computer History Museum and the Seattle Art Museum and the National Music Museum.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (http://www.famsf.org/) is comprised of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and theLegion of Honor in Lincoln Park; it is the largest public arts institution in the City of San Francisco and one of the largest art museums in the United States. Request Beam access and sign up online.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (http://www.dia.org/), beam in to experience Diego Rivera’s fresco style mural titled Detroit Industry, considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States, and the artist thought it the best work of his career.

The Computer History Museum (http://www.computerhistory.org/), beam in to explore the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Computer History Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world.

The Seattle Art Museum (http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/) has been the center for world-class visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933. Beam into the Northwest Coast Gallery to view paintings, sculpture and works on paper from artists of the Pacific Northwest.

The National Music Museum (http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/) is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its renowned collections, which include more than 15,000 American, European, and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods.

“Suitable Technologies is delighted to offer people with disabilities the opportunity to experience museums and cultural sites that were previously inaccessible,” said Scott Hassan, CEO of Suitable Technologies. “Not only does this program allow us to support our mission to give people all over the world broader access to technology, it also solidifies our commitment to furthering tele-tourism both locally and globally.”

The program received short-term testing at CES 2015 this January, where attendees were invited to beam into the museums from the conference show floor.
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BeamPro embodies the user with an authentic presence and immerses the user with reliable low-latency audio and video for natural communication and control. BeamPro can be used by anyone, anywhere, so long as there is a Wi-Fi connection. Inquiries for BeamPro can be made by contacting Suitable Technologies.

If you would like to schedule a time to visit the Museum or participate in a Beam guided tour, please contact one of the following contacts:

MEDIA CONTACTS//
Amanda Taggart Hughes
Mercury Global Partners for Suitable Technologies
amanda@mercuryglobalpartners.com
+1-310.980.9587

SUITABLE TECHNOLOGY CONTACT//
Christa Cliver
Director of Museum Business Development
ccliver@suitabletech.com
+1-206-369-7786

Inside RoboBusiness 2013

Last week, we participated in RoboBusiness and nearly 100 pilots from around the world “Beamed” into the conference.

A total of 127 hours of calls were made, equivalent to 5 days of continuous conversation. This is not only an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our technology, but also a way for many international attendees to interact in the show remotely. The ability for participants to be connected to different exhibitors via Beam was truly amazing. Thank you RoboBusiness for giving us this awesome experience and we look forward to doing this again; see you at the next conference via Beam!

 

Beam into RoboBusiness 2013

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Interested in robotics?
RoboBusiness is the leading business development event for the global robotics industry.

Suitable Technologies and RoboBusiness have partnered this year to provide a special opportunity to attend the RoboBusiness Showcase via Beam.  It’s happening next week, October 23-25 (Wed.-Fri.)

Travel instantly to exhibits and networking receptions at RoboBusiness!  Explore the latest robotics technology, roam around the show, and interact with exhibitors.  All you need is a webcam to talk with over 50 vendors, speakers, attendees, and other remote participants from around the world.

Reserve your spot now: https://suitabletech.com/events/robobusiness-2013
We’ll be at Booth #210.  See you there!

Visit Us at Infocomm

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Visit Us at Infocomm

Missed us at SXSW? Not as much as we missed you!

We’ll be at Infocomm June 12 – 14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and we’d love to see you. Drop by our booth #1491 to say “Hi!” and experience Beam for yourself.

Need to get into the expo? Just click through to register and enter VIP Code: SUI3237 for a pass on us.

See you there! And don’t forget to Tweet at us @SuitableTech and #SuitableTech.