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How did video gamers influence the invention of the computer conference table?

One of the forms of arcade video games from back in the 1970s was a table with a glass top. A large TV display could be viewed through the viewport.  The controllers for the game—Pong—were installed into the wooden top. As gamers ourselves, this experience was internalized.

Time passes. Personal computers become the rage.

When personal computers became used in business, sharing data on a screen—data visualization—started to become important. While those dot- matrix printers could make a report in several minutes, sharing a screen was faster when collaborating in real time.  Screen sharing—literally, a couple of people huddled in a cubical—was appropriate for the office, but not so much for the high style of the corporate board room. Let’s face it—a computer is bulky, boxy and wiry.

Because SMARTdesks had experience making computer lab desks, and also conference tables, this led to something new. From a marketing standpoint, education is in one world of communication; corporate meetings in another. At least it was in that time, but the culture of corporate computer-based training slopped over into education. On the other hand, preparing students for the business world, which had increasingly become technology-based, slopped over into corporate applications of technology. Because SMARTdesks was expert in both of these areas, dots were connected. Recognizing the desirability of having computers available to share data in a conference setting, and how to do it without visual clutter—and the need to commit to a dedicated purpose—led to the creation of the computer conference table: wedding multimedia technology with multi-purpose classrooms and corporate meeting rooms.

The computer conference table is a SMARTdesks original.

Like the Pong table, our initial Smart Conference Table design mounted CRT monitors under the desktop with a pane of glass on top for viewing the screen. However, moment flat screen LCD monitors came on the scene, SMARTdesks developed and patented the flipIT® mounting system for flexible access to flat-screen monitors or notebook computers. This made it possible for team members to get to a computer when they needed one, and to get it out of the way when they didn’t.

The SMARTdesks custom, one-to-one approach for each conference room starts with interior design ideas from our design team. They customize each SMARTdesks computer conference table design to not only project corporate image for each client, but also, make data visualization optimum for communicating, collaborating and persuading using the client’s choice of technology.

Our online business model began in 1997 as a custom manufacturer of innovative computer conference room furniture. Our product line developed by listening to our clients to bring them conference room furniture ideas customized to make each modern conference room experience uniquely their own while taking their meetings and collaborations to the next level.