Feeds

What's the difference between IBM and IKEA?

Big Blue humps furniture

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Back when IBM was the computer industry, people used to joke that if the company offered orange crates to its leading clients, it would be guaranteed a 15 per cent take up, simply because they were Big Blue Crates.

IBM yesterday officially announced crates of the future in the shape of 'BlueSpace', a high-tech "workspace" that's a collaboration between its TJ Watson Research lab and Steelhead, the big US office furniture supplier. It's less whimsical than Scott Adams vision of a hi-tech cubicle, which we wrote about here.

BlueSpace allows temperature, humidity and white noise to be personally adjusted by the occupant. It doesn't say if the pointy-headed boss can readjust them, just so you don't get too comfortable, but we'd certainly insist on some kind of 'supervisoral override' feature.

It also allows information to be displayed "onto any surface... be it a wall, desktop or floor." Which could prove embarrassing if you're surfing rotten.com at the time. But IBM (motto: Think!) has already thought of that: "A guest badge in the office vicinity automatically helps cloak confidential information by prompting the Everywhere Display to project a generic image." Puppies, hopefully.

With echoes of the new iMac, the desk features a rotating monitor arm that allows the display to positioned anywhere along a semicircle. And a colour "technology totem" outside the workspace saves you the bother of telling visitors to piss off.

The only puzzle is why IBM chose Les Dennis to be the guinea pig for this futuristic cubicle, as the photograph in on press release webpage appears to indicate.

And a lingering suspicion remains that IBM, seeking new life for its once valuable EBCDIC brand, has struck a deal with IKEA. It sounds like it could be repurposed as a range of Swedish furniture. And maybe, now, it is. ®

Related Story

Scott Adams designs the post-Dilbert cubicle

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know
OMG! Gravity's totes amazeballs. Calm down, George Clooney, not your film
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ
Plus: It's OPEN WARFARE in the Linux greybeard world
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.