MAY 2013 – Haworth Inc. and Obscura Digital have launched Bluescape – an infinite, collaborative workspace designed to accelerate decision making by enabling anyone to create, communicate, visualize, organize and strategize virtually anything, anywhere, anytime.
As a turnkey solution, Bluescape offers cloud-based software and services (Saas) that can be accessed on multiple devices, including large-scale, high-definition, multi-touch screens; iPads; laptops; and mobile devices. Multiple users located anywhere can work simultaneously to create, edit, organize, display and retrieve information in a way that is profoundly more effective.
Bluescape is the name of a product and a new company. The product is currently installed in the Bluescape Experience Spaces at Haworth headquarters in Holland, MI and in San Francisco at the Haworth showroom and Obscura Digital’s headquarters. In June and July 2013, Bluescape will be installed in the Chicago and Houston Haworth showrooms. An east coast location is pending. The new company is a jointly owned by Haworth with minority ownership from Obscura Digital.
“Bluescape was created to accelerate business results by enhancing innovation, strategizing, solving problems and sharing information in real time,” explains Scott Poulton, Bluescape Chief Executive Officer. “Through this new technology platform, decision-makers and product development teams are able to improve global communication and problem-solving with teams and executives around the world.”
Bluescape provides users with 160 acres of space, equivalent to 146 football fields. This vast scale allows for a unique visual perspective and cognitive experience, resulting in the identification of patterns, relationships, trends, constraints and synergies. There are no stoppages in creativity due to limited space or media shortages.
Once in the virtual space, a team can share, create, add and organize work interactively in real time. Everyone can be in the same location or individuals can be anywhere with an internet connection – all sharing desktops, software, images and video. In addition, the session is always live and can be accessed anytime to add or change content. All of the work is saved so teams can go back and review the progression of the project over time. Shared content includes images, internet browsers, presentations, spreadsheets, text documents, drawings, graphics, blueprints, videos, etc.
The Bluescape user experience includes using a stylus with unnoticeable latency when writing – the line quality surpasses that of a marker on a whiteboard and looks like real user handwriting. By capturing these original marks, meaning is preserved. Multiple screens act as one with seamless movement between monitors and hyper-accurate multi-touch sensing. Users also have the electronic equivalent ability to pin objects and use sticky notes – creating a very natural experience.
While existing content management and online collaboration tools have made it easier to share, manage and access content, there isn’t a solution that extends beyond this functionality to provide users with real-time collaboration. Bluescape does that. Thus, the speed of execution is increased and business results are improved with an ease-of-use that is appealing to both the technophile and the technophobe.
“Haworth partners with its clients to create interiors that make their real estate more efficient and their workforce more effective and innovative,” said Franco Bianchi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Haworth. “We accomplish this by applying our research and knowledge to interior components, furniture applications and, now more than ever before, technology solutions. Bluescape is our next platform.”
The concept for Bluescape was born in 2006 when Haworth created a brainstorming room that held the first US installation of Sony’s ground breaking 4X HD projector, the Pixel Blaster, as well as a collaborative space for displaying printed photos, sticky notes and white boards. While using this space during a strategic review of the global seating portfolio, staff reviewed every seating product at the same time. The designers immediately identified patterns, redundancies, omissions and opportunities that couldn’t be seen when viewing information sequentially. However, reorganizing and categorizing the information was difficult and the team moved the project to the Pixel Blaster. The idea was born to move strategic projects to a single, interactive technology platform.
In 2010, Haworth designers and researchers connected with a San Francisco based company named Obscura Digital, an award-winning creative technology studio and a leading innovator of large-scale, high-resolution, interactive multi-touch display solutions. The genesis of Bluescape is the result of the connection and relationship between the partnering companies: Haworth’s focus on workplace effectiveness and Obscura’s creation of immersive, interactive and educational experiences in both physical and virtual spaces. Together, the companies developed the initial product vision for Bluescape and Obscura used its artistic vision, user experience expertise and technology thought leadership to turn the product concept into an entirely new kind of business solution technology.
Haworth also knew from direct client experience that the ability of organizations to strategize, problem solve, decide, create and inform are essential to their growth and survival. Currently, the tools supporting these functions – conference rooms, team rooms, flip charts, whiteboards, Post-Its, Powerpoints, index cards – have remained unchanged for years and do not meet needs. Bluescape meets the need for an intuitive, interactive solution to help speed up innovation and execution – and productively collaborate in a rapidly changing, mobile world.
Bluescape offers infinite, collaborative workspaces designed to accelerate innovation and drive results. As is a cloud-based, software as a service solution, Bluescape focuses on accelerating business growth and transformation. Current business and technological solutions operate in silos that inhibit human connectivity and business growth. Bluescape removes barriers and weaves a connection between technological and psychosocial paths to accelerate innovation and execution. The result is an elegant, cognitive, collaborative process that drives workplace effectiveness and business performance.
Bluescape is a company committed to advancing the knowledge, skills and innovative spirit that people contribute every day, around the world. Founded in 2012, Bluescape is based in San Francisco, CA and jointly owned collaboration between Haworth and Obscura Digital. www.bluescape.com
About Haworth Inc.
Haworth is focused on creating products for agile work environments that provide functionality and value, today and tomorrow, by adapting and evolving to performance needs again and again. Research + design, at the center of our development strategy, drives deep understanding of workplace needs to communicate, visualize, organize and strategize. Haworth’s own success is rooted in a culture that embraces innovation, creation, collaboration and a commitment to clients worldwide to translate physical environments into real-life business goals.
Around the world, Haworth improves workplaces with solutions that transform culture, promote collaboration and innovation, and address cost and energy efficiencies. Both its research and corporate values informed the design and capabilities of Bluescape. Family and privately-owned since 1948, Haworth serves markets in more than 120 countries through a global network of 600 dealers. The company had net sales of US $1.31 billion in 2012. www.haworth.com
About Obscura Digital
Obscura Digital is an internationally acclaimed global innovator in creative vision, technical strategy, and experiential technology, specializing in immersive environments, architectural projections, interactive design, content visualization, and physical interface software development. Since its inception in 2000, Obscura has been innovating new technologies and exploring the infinite possibilities of light, keeping them at the forefront of the age of visualization. Obscura's creative technology studio of designers, artists, composers, and engineers, produces award-winning installations that generate a sense of awe, wonder, and inspiration by delivering entertaining, informative, and educational communications experiences for some of the world’s most forward-thinking corporations, governments, museums, and public institutions. Obscura operates as a Certified Green Business with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in New York and Europe. www.obscuradigital.com
The Bluescape solution has:
• 50 million pixels of display on a 24 screen wall
• 32 infrared multi-touch detector cameras in each monitor
• Six concurrent, simultaneous users physically using a wall in one room
• Unlimited number of global, concurrent users can access at the same time
• A package that includes software, a platform license and user licenses
• Maximum resolution size – 15 times what you can get on a home HDTV
• Fast response time – twice the speed of a 55 inch TV monitor at 60 frames a second
• Ultra-thin bezels – 6mm pixel to pixel
• Ability to capture and save every stroke
• Optimized capabilities to detect both finger and stylus (pen)
• Unlimited session length and quantity
• Seamless and secure ability to add partners and third parties
• Synchronous or asynchronous collaboration
• Ability to upload, store and annotate an unlimited number of high resolution images
• Interactive, intuitive design
• High-resolution aesthetic quality
• Seamless, natural interfaces with a flawless flow experience
• The highest performance immersive technologies