Local News

IBM Outfits Three RTP Buildings With E-Place Workplaces

Posted January 28, 2002 7:46 a.m. EST

— IBM and office furniture maker Steelcase say the best work space is one that can be personalized.

In Research Triangle Park, IBM is outfitting three buildings with "e-place" workplaces. Soft lighting, white noise generators and spacious cubicles allow for creative and collaborative work.

Taking things a step further, the future office is called BlueSpace. Workers use touchscreens to adjust lighting and even the temperature in their work area. BlueSpace allows you to move your computer display and a touchscreen when working with others.

"I can easily, through a gesture, bring the technology out to them. They can sit down and we can interact," said Steelcase engineer Charlie Forslund.

The touchscreen allows you to keep up with co-workers.

"Just that simple visual, right away you know the situation that person is working in. That would be so easy and make group interaction a lot easier," said office worker Angie Brown.

If two screens are not enough, there is the Everywhere Display that projects any information on a wall, even the floor. BlueSpace even knows whether you are at your desk.

"There's a wireless sensor in the seat to recognize [whether] you're there or not," Forslund said.

IBM said about 100 companies are evaluating the BlueSpace concept. Pilot office spaces will be set up later this year.