Hybrid work is about flexibility and enabling productivity for all, anywhere. And a seamless transitions between devices and locations will set the foundation for great hybrid work experiences. To enable this, Dell designers and engineers have been working on three great concepts – Concept Flow, Concept Pari, and Concept Stanza. These concepts further Dell’s vision for The Future of Work Reimagined with technology playing an even more critical role in our new world in a hybrid work era.
Hybrid work enables team members to be more mobile, which brings new opportunities and considerations for IT managers and facilities teams in designing and managing office environments and technology infrastructure. Concept Flow is Dell’s vision for a personal, seamless transition to productivity as workers move between locations during the day.
Moving between spaces while working can be extremely disruptive. Some of the common issues include altered settings when switching spaces, booting latency after docking, and other learning curve-related delays when connecting to new monitors and other peripherals.
Concept Flow is an adaptable concept solution that could eliminate many of these frustrations and productivity disruptors. By having married devices, industry standard wireless charging technology, intelligent software applications and Wi-Fi 6E docking technology, teams can have a singular, seamless experience. Intelligent workspaces – where the laptop automatically and wirelessly connects to the displays, mouse, keyboard and a trusted network even before they reach their seats and laptops hit the desks – give employees an always-on experience to jumpstart productivity. The transition between spaces becomes frictionless as Concept Flow’s proximity detection feature disconnects workers automatically when they leave.
“This vision is more than an idea,” said Glen Robson, CTO, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies. “Concept Flow is already in action; and while the process of learning, fine-tuning, and collaborating with partners is still in progress, Dell believes it is a step closer to what it sees as work experiences reimagined.”
In a hybrid world, creating inclusive environments means reducing barriers to collaboration and communication between team members, and giving everyone equal experiences regardless of where they are working or joining from that day.
One can love or hate them, but virtual meetings will be a permanent fixture. Dell recognizes that engagement fatigue is real – especially over video where people are constantly glancing between participants trying to read body language or social cues, while also maintaining eye-contact and taking notes or presenting slides.
Dell’s designers and engineers have been studying camera placement and created a solution that could help foster more meaningful human interaction and also allow them to easily share their offscreen sketches and prototypes during calls.
Adopting an agile approach with fast iteration, Dell created Concept Pari, a simple, moveable wireless web camera with innovative features to help bring more natural, intuitive experiences to virtual collaboration. The webcam can be placed directly on any surface – on compatible displays, in a charging dock, on a stand, or even held in the hand. This allows users to make direct eye contact with the people they are speaking with and allows for easy sharing of additional offscreen content and viewpoints. Small and light (~1 ounce / 30g) but feature-rich, this iteration has a built-in microphone and can deliver 1080p video over Wi-Fi. Other features include a power indicator, vertical indicator light to help with perfect alignment and great angles every time, plus an integrated USB-C dock for wireless charging. The dock can even cradle and charge a reversed camera for extra peace of mind when it comes to privacy.
The small footprint, flexibility and simplicity of Concept Pari could appeal to anyone engaging in regular video calls and could easily be a companion accessory that forms part of a “hybrid work” toolkit as people transition between different locations for work.
In discovering new ways of working, Dell saw an opportunity to reconsider one of the most common aspects of working life: note-taking.
Almost everyone will agree that extra screen real estate can improve productivity and collaboration. With Concept Stanza, Dell took its exploration of multi-screen solutions a step further and designed a new kind of thin, light, portless 11-inch companion device to make the note-taking process easier and smarter.
“It may look like a simple concept at first glance, but this small technological improvement can have a big impact on everyday work experiences,” Robson said. “We deliberately chose not to include cameras or speakers, for a distraction-free experience. Every element has been thoughtfully crafted so when you use Concept Stanza, there is no learning curve required; it almost feels like you are taking notes with a pen and paper, except you could double tap to convert your handwriting to text instantly.”
With additional intelligence, screen extension functionality, and software features, content can be retrievable, searchable, and shareable across devices, so workers no longer need to dig through multiple notebooks to find vital notes or take photos of handwritten notes to email to coworkers. Concept Stanza blends the best of analog and digital, and was even developed with a pen and mic for transcribing notes.
Reimagining work experiences
The promise of hybrid work goes beyond productivity; Dell believes that the pinnacle of great hybrid work experiences helps achieve balance, and that requires both a culture shift and advancements in technology.
“My team continues to dig into collaboration tools, ecosystem solutions, device intelligence and planning for how future technology solutions will be much more aware of context. There are opportunities for us to re-imagine how technology can help us achieve more than ever before, and we’ll continue to explore ways to improve work experiences,” said Robson.