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Steelcase at CES: Video Is Impacting The Way We Live, Work and Learn

Company to Showcase Concept Spaces at Consumer Electronic Show That Augment Human Interactions and Improve the Video Experience for Universities and Organizations

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As video becomes a dominate communication tool in the workplace and in the classroom, challenges such as inadequate space, lack of privacy, and concern over physical appearance are making the transition difficult for many people. Steelcase, a global leader in office and education environments, is displaying concept spaces and technology, this week at the HigherEd TECH Summit at CES, that better address these key barriers and create a more intuitive, dynamic, and natural videoconferencing experience.

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Video traffic has increased significantly, with large companies experiencing an increase of 70 percent annually according to recent Cisco research. Sixty two percent of employees regularly collaborate with people in different time zones and geographies. Today, people are living on video.

"Workers and students today are at the epicenter of a major shift in work styles -- they are using video in their personal and professional lives and are working and learning virtually more than ever before,"  says Allan Smith, Vice President, Marketing at Steelcase. "Work and education are more global than ever before – we need to interact with people all over the world. Meanwhile, video technology has grown rapidly and become more accessible -- it's portable, one-button simple and cheap.  But we realized that the physical spaces for video conferencing haven't kept pace with the technology. People would use video even more if the experience was more comfortable. At Steelcase, we're bringing together people, place and technology to enhance human interactions – at work, school and other places."

Living on Video

Whether connecting across the world, country, classroom or even town, people are using video more than ever. But  Steelcase research found people get distracted when they see themselves on video. According to a 2012 study conducted by Harris Interactive for Steelcase:

  • 72 percent of responders said they notice their physical appearance on screen.
  • 58 percent said they worried about looking tired, or washed out, due to the lighting conditions or camera quality on their computer.
  • 36 percent said that their workplace doesn't provide enough privacy to have one-on-one video conferencing.

Steelcase is showcasing concepts at CES that are designed to enhance the interactions people have at work or school by integrating technology with the physical environment — all based on a human-centered design process that identifies the changes in how people really work today.

For example, one of the concepts Steelcase created is optimized for one-on-one interaction, but can also accommodate two people for impromptu meetings or calls. These units, which are visually reminiscent of a photo booth, feature a  display screen that contains everything needed for a high-quality video call:  the monitor, microphone, speakers, processor and a camera are all embedded in a display that can be height-adjusted so it feels like you're really making eye contact.  The spaces offer controlled lighting, a flattering background and is acoustically enhanced – the outside surface reflects sound and the inside surface absorbs it.

Additionally, Steelcase built on its successful media:scape® product line, with its iconic "puck" that allows multiple users to switch between data and video.  The company transformed the physical "puck" into a virtual app for iPod® or iPhone® which allows users to control the sound and lighting and also any additional content or media users want to display. 

Learning on Video

Steelcase research revealed today's students are increasingly learning on video. The 21st century learning styles aim to prepare students for long distance collaboration in a global workforce that is increasingly living on video.

"Universities across the country have embraced distance learning through video technology, allowing students and educators to share information in and outside of the classroom, and helping shift a professor-centric experience to an interactive, participant-friendly environment," said Sean Corcorran, general manager of Steelcase Education Solutions. "By augmenting the interactions with video technology in the classroom and on campus, we can help students focus on the task at hand, increase trust among participants and minimize distractions, ultimately improving student success." 

To help classrooms and organizations realize their full potential, Steelcase has provided recommendations for universities to enhance the physical learning environment to better enable optimum collaboration – and the strongest return on their technology investments. 

For more information, please visit or visit the Steelcase booth, #71214, in the HigherEd TECH Pavillion at CES. For additional materials, please view the Steelcase CES 2013 virtual press kit.


Harris Interactive (on behalf of Steelcase) conducted the aforementioned online survey of 2,209 adults, ages 18+, in the United States from May 31–June 4, 2012. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Katie Hasse at [email protected].

About Steelcase

For 100 years, Steelcase has been bringing human insight to business by studying how people work, wherever they work. Those insights and our solutions can help organizations achieve a higher level of performance by creating places that unlock the promise of people at work. 

Steelcase is globally accessible through a network of channels, including and over 650 dealers worldwide. Steelcase is globally accessible through a network of channels, including and over 650 dealers worldwide. Our workplace research is published through the Steelcase 360 Magazine, and 360 iPad® app.

iPod, iPhone, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

SOURCE Steelcase

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