These Dell prototypes reimagine the future of work

Laptops
Speaker 1: In the run up to CES 2022, Dell has some new ideas about what the future of work is going to look like. Now that's something we're all very concerned about because almost everyone I know has spent the last two years bouncing between some combination of working from home, working from an office, doing some sort of hybrid in between. So how does our technology keep up with these constant changes and how we're expected to do our jobs? Speaker 1: [00:00:30] So I just got to see and go hands on with three new concept products from Dell that are all about how we're gonna work in the future. And again, these are pro are times their concepts are not meant to be something that you're gonna go in the store or go online and order right away. Although I think some version of all of these will probably eventually make it into the Dell product lineup, even if it's just included with some other product. The first thing I saw was what Dell calls concept stands up. It's a standalone tablet that works [00:01:00] alongside your laptop, but instead of being a fully featured tablet, like an iPad or a surface or some other windows tablet, it's basically meant as a writing tablet, uh, it's got a stylist. It does handwriting recognition really well. You can draw, you know, shapes and charts in it and it automatically aligns them and makes them look nice. Speaker 1: And it makes it really easy to share that information with your main lab laptop or to share with other people. The next future of work concept I saw was called concept flow. And I really wasn't sure what it was at first. Uh, [00:01:30] they lit me up to a giant, uh, standing desk and they said, oh, is Dell making a smart desk? Now it wasn't a smart desk, but some of the technology was built into the desk in a, in a, in a custom build. So they had a lab sitting on the desk that actually sent on a charging plate, built into the desk. So the laptop would charge wirelessly. Uh, there was a big monitor. There was a keyboard in mouse and you're working on the laptop and you're using the big monitor as a second screen. Okay. I've seen that before. That's pretty standard. Speaker 1: So you pick up [00:02:00] the laptop and you walk a certain distance away, maybe 10 feet or so, and that it automatically disconnects from the big monitor you have on your desktop and just makes that laptop screen the primary screen and reorganizes all the windows in a way that makes sense for just having the one screen in front of you. Then you walk back to the desk, you put the laptop back down and all of a sudden it connects automatically to the monitor again and rearranges the windows exactly the way you have them before maybe one program up on the monitor and another program on your laptop screen, the [00:02:30] big thinking behind it is not exactly new. I saw it as kind of a very smart KVM switch. Uh, that's what they call a little box where you plug in a monitor and keyboard and a mouse, and you can effortlessly basically turn it on and off for your laptop or other connected device. Speaker 1: The interesting thing it does here is it does it wirelessly, uh, because there's some built in wireless hub hardware into that desk. I saw and it rearranges the windows automatically. So you're not going, oh, I have to drag this back over to the monitor. Now that I've reconnected to the monitor. The most interesting concept [00:03:00] Dell had that I saw was called concept par. And it's probably the thing. That's the closest to a single product you would put in a box and put it on a shelf and you would buy and actually use, it was a webcam sitting on top of a monitor. You know, one of those cylindrical tube style webcams, except it was a wireless webcam. And it charged wirelessly through this little, uh, dock that's on top of the monitor. And while it's plugged in it's charging and being used as a webcam, and then you can just pick it up in your hand. Speaker 1: It'll keep transmitting because it's wireless. Okay. That's [00:03:30] step one. Step two is you can take this camera and stick it anywhere on the display because the camera is magnetic. And this is a special monitor that has a magnetic or a middle plate somewhere built into it. So the advantage here is when you're using a webcam, whether it's in a laptop or something mounted on top of your monitor, often your eye line doesn't line up with it correctly. So in a meeting or a video conference or anything, you're looking up, you're looking down, you're not really engaging with the screen and with the [00:04:00] other participants here, you can take the camera and align it to exactly where your eye line is, or you can frankly use it to cover up, you know, somebody's face, if you don't wanna look at 'em. Uh, and it lets you really have a lot of flexibility where that camera is pointing. Speaker 1: Uh, whereas usually when I want to do that, I have to pick up my laptop in the middle of a meeting or a web conference and spin it around to show you something or, or put it up on some books. So it lines up with my eye line better. Uh, they also had a little, almost like a desk lamp without the lamp part, like a little armature and [00:04:30] you take the magnetic webcam and you just pop it on that armature and it can point sideways. It can point straight down. Let's say you have a page of notes written out. You can just point the camera straight down at them by just putting the camera on this little, um, metal arm device. And, you know, I think the flexibility there is really interesting. And out of all the concepts I saw, that's the one I'm most likely to want to go out and buy right away. Speaker 1: So like the previous concept pieces Dell showed off a couple of years ago. I don't expect any of these to become actual products in the exact way that I saw them. [00:05:00] But some of technology could definitely bleed into future products, maybe a year out, maybe two years out. I'm especially interested in the wireless magnetic web cab, cuz I feel like that's a really great idea. And the other ones too, uh, you know, slim note taking tablets and the ability to, uh, have a smart, basically wireless, uh, KVM switch to, to connect and connect all your stuff. When you're going from working in your den to working in your kitchen or hopping into the office, you know, all seem like pretty good ideas to address the [00:05:30] future of how we work, which is something we're all still figuring out as we go.

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