New digital tool unveiled to help business avoid SARS risks

PITTSBURGH Carnegie Mellon researcher Asim Smailagic and Dan Siewiorek with their students from Rapid Prototyping of Computer Systems class, will demonstrate a new wireless meeting space designed to save time and money for businesses April 30 at 1:30 p.m. in room 2202 of Hamburg Hall.

Dubbed project BARN, the interactive physical and digital workspace supports collaborative project teams by providing the digital equivalent of dedicated project rooms. These new smart rooms can store important computer files, recognize meeting participants and provide unlimited security for sensitive research data.

At the flip of the switch, businesses can now turn any room into an information crossroads where a variety of digital tools and novel interactive devices can support seamless group collaborations from anywhere in the world, including Hong Kong where business trade is off substantially because of the deadly virus severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

And because public health officials think SARS is spread by close contact between people, executives are seeking new ways to conduct business, including increased use of the phone and tele-conferencing, Carnegie Mellon researchers said.

Our powerful BARN tools permit users to organize, retrieve, store and share information from multiple modes of collaboration, said Smailagic, a principal research scientist with Carnegie Mellons Institute for Complex Engineered Systems.

Some of the digital tools include specially-designed computer boards, remote interactive devices and special 3-D audio systems for improved presentation of meeting information and knowledge transfer.

This project supports the nomadic character of todays business environment where mobile extension supports remote collaboration, said Smailagic, who won a prestigious Carnegie Science Center Award this month for innovative work in infor

Contact: Chriss Swaney
Carnegie Mellon University

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