Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ah, Vacation

I feel a little sheepish about this, but yes, I'm writing a post while on vacation. That wasn't my intention. I went off to an indulgent, overpriced spa to be indulged and not think about anything but being indulged. But part of the pleasure of vacation for me is that I get to catch up on back-issues of magazines that have been lying around, beckoning to me, for months.

Well. I was working my way through the October 2012 issue of Metropolis, the theme of which is "Brave new City: Seven Visionary Teams Re-imagine the Urban Experience". And I found this:

It's the HomeWerk table and chairs by LUNAR, a system designed for working from home. Those are not cardboard figures sitting in the chairs. The chairs, themselves, are dynamic screens.

These digitally sophisticated furnishings fit easily into most homes and apartments by replacing the traditional dining set with display backs that allow for life-size, face-to-face meetings with coworkers, customers and clients.

You sit in your chair at home, and participate in a meeting at work. When you move, your 2D persona moves. When you speak, it speaks. Oh, and it doesn't matter if you're in your underwear.

"The real-time video allows [users] to wear whatever they want, as their screen double displays appropriate business attire."

(Not sure why "glasses" isn't lifting his left hand in the photo)

You can change the appearance of the furniture, too, so when you're finished working in your modern "office", you can go home to your Victorian, or country cottage, or beach house, or groovy pad.

Think of the applications outside of an office meeting! You can have Thanksgiving dinner with your daughter in Chicago and your son in Hong Kong!

Aaaaaaand...You can have therapy sessions with patients. This is SO much better than Skype. And it brings up all sorts of interesting therapeutic issues.

For instance, you learn a lot from the way a patient chooses to dress to a session. What are you missing if you have no idea what the patient is really wearing? What do you learn from the clothes the patient chooses to display? What about what you're wearing?

Would you and your patient need to own the same piece of furniture? What would that be like? Is it different from both of you owning computers?

There's also something called, "impactful time-shifted video messages", which allows users to join meetings even if they have schedule conflicts. I don't understand how that would work. Sounds like time travel. What would that mean for missed sessions? Gives me a headache to think about it.

Of course, even with the coolness factor, there's still a lot missing. Odors, room temperature, everything that goes with physical presence. And I don't believe HomeWerk is in production. But that just means there's more time to work out the details.

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