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Office Space

The office of tomorrow might look the same, but it sure acts different.

This story appears in the December 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Dr. Howard Shrobe, a principal research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has an office that looks normal but doesn't act like it. His lights and drapes are on voice control, he uses a white board that digitizes what's written on it, and his building is equipped with wireless location devices that can tell him where he is at any given time. It's all part of MIT's Project Oxygen (http://oxygen.lcs.mit.edu), a program working on pervasive computing.

Don't expect the office of the future to look like an episode of The Jetsons. "Our philosophy is to make it as natural as you can with as few gimmicks," says Shrobe. The main goal of tomorrow's office is to help workers capture and organize information more easily and efficiently.

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