In a recent article:
"At $16,000 each, the Beam isn't cheap. But Suitable Technologies says it was designed with features that make "pilots" and "locals" feel the remote worker is physically in the room: powerful speakers, highly sensitive microphones and robust wireless connectivity. The company began shipping Beams last month, mostly to tech companies with widely dispersed engineering teams, officials said. "Being there in person is really complicated—commuting there, flying there, all the different ways people have to get there. Beam allows you to be there without all that hassle," said CEO Scott Hassan, beaming in from his office at Willow Garage in nearby Menlo Park."
-- My wager, and the reason I invented Action Oriented Workflow is that systems like this are simply continuing the inefficiency of the old paradigm of stateful work processes.
This is silly, $16,000 per unit to try and simulate a social element that for many workers is not required continuously. So the payment is made for a continuous system that is used in a discontinuous fashion. It's incredible waste.
Instead, much greater value I posit can be derived per worker by providing user opt in social tools, the video chat, the audio calls, the chat and mail interaction...and then letting the work related actions route around the workers where ever they happen to be...this is what Action Oriented Workflow makes possible. People opt in, do work, the system merits them objectively and sends work to them where ever they happen to be when they opt in. No one is pressured to be any where or do anything they didn't explicitly "raise their hand" to do.
I am betting that most companies will find far more value in implementing such a system because the focus is taken off of making social interaction easy for humans who may not want it (big problem) and puts the focus on making the work actions as hyper mobile and social (across the organization) as possible.
The analysis of tele present work forces was something I started devoting serious mind time too, nearly 7 years ago as I was in the midst of implementing the code for the Action Oriented Workflow. The future I saw then and have now made possible by building...involves minimal interactions in office environments which will increasingly be restricted to the agents in business that make critical deals for the entire organization. Pointed social interaction coupled with high value deriving agents will end up being much more efficient and useful than making social the goal and spending money to achieve it just for the sake of it without any knowledge as to why that would be most beneficial in a quantified manner.