The Internet of Everything is reshaping every aspect of our lives—including how and where we work. Think back to the 1950s, when the telephone was the only connected device in the typical office, and collaboration happened only when coworkers physically walked to a conference room for a face-to-face meeting.
Today, we take for granted an ever-expanding collection of connected devices and collaboration tools that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago—smartphones, tablets, ”smart” white boards, online meetings, web video conferencing, online document sharing, TelePresence, social media—all helping us change the ways we communicate, collaborate, and share.
With the amount of new technical information in the world doubling every two years, the future holds the promise of even greater, faster change. Google Glass is just the beginning of a whole new category of wearable technology that will enable even tighter integration of technology with work and life.
And robots are making their way from the factory floor to the office environment—answering questions and providing expert information as virtual receptionists, HR representatives, help-desk staffers, and more. The iRobot Ava 500 video collaboration robot, introduced in June, is just the latest example, combining TelePresence and robotics technology to extend the reach of busy employees. As this new class of robots connects to more intelligence in the cloud, they will become even better equipped to work alongside people in an office setting.
But the workplace of the future is not just about connected devices. It’s also about when and where we work, and how we get our best ideas.
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