Feeds

What's the difference between IBM and IKEA?

Big Blue humps furniture

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

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

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.