Meetings in the 4th Dimension

September 10, 2013 by Kerstin Fischer 10 Comments »

Shanghai, Frankfurt or Chicago: Global teams meet each other in person only occasionally. Many staff members work from different locations. To enable collaboration, remote solutions need to be used.

Meetings with dispersed participants can be challenging. Solutions that help meetings function as if all participants are in the same room, significantly determine how far you can avoid misunderstandings and achieve your business goals.

Companies are increasingly using audio and video conferencing for professional collaboration. Some of them even go one step further and share their desktops allowing the team to view PowerPoint, Excel and other files. Regardless of high-quality equipment, remote meetings can end up being more or less passive in nature. What’s the reason for this? There is something missing, which plays an essential role in traditional face-to-face meetings; the ability for everyone to be engaged in the process of developing ideas and content by collaborating and writing on one common surface.


This visual aspect to virtual meetings increases productivity and leads to better results.

Imagine if the Product Manager in Shanghai annotates on a document someone shared on a screen. He presents an idea and quickly drafts a chart. His peer from Frankfurt picks up the idea adds some remarks in hand writing and explains via video which barriers need to be overcome to successfully implement the idea. Without long explanations and sending files back and forth, everybody immediately understands the ideas their colleagues are presenting. The visually edited document can be sent with a single click and becomes a working file that reflects the team’s collaborative work.

In the fourth dimension of collaboration teams are surpassing what they would normally achieve in a dispersed collaboration environment. All participants experience being an integral part of the meeting, just as if they were all on-site. Interacting with ideas, strategies and concepts from no matter where you are highly encourages teamwork and reveals aspects which otherwise would not have become visible. This kind of active engagement and rich interactivity leads to effective meetings, that inspire a new level of collaboration.

Kerstin Fischer, SMART Technologies, Autorin, Social Media, Manager

Kerstin Fischer


About the Author

Kerstin Fischer is Social Media Manager at SMART Technologies. SMART Technologies is a leading manufacturer of Collaboration Solutions. A simplified approach to audio and visuals is completed with the addition of interactive content creation with digital ink. This kind of visual collaboration aids the productivity of meetings and leads to better results.

This post is also available in: German

  • Jeff Wu

    Hi Kerstin, nice article. I have used SMART screens before and I think it’s very useful for keeping the pace of collaboration. Looking forward to the new system … heard LifeSize jumped off the development? What’s word on that?

    • Kerstin

      Hi Jeff, thanks for your nice comment! Great that you had a good experience with SMART Boards. I unfortunately don’t have any information on LifeSize. Maybe you can talk to them or one of their channel members? Best, Kerstin

  • UC Ling

    Hey this time Jeff was faster :D

    Hello Kerstin! That was a nice one for your first piece here.
    Maybe post a little longer on the next time? I look forward to more!

    Yours, Ling

    • Kerstin

      Hello Ling, thanks for that! Longer article? I thought people rather read shorter texts ;) Cheers, Kerstin

      • UC Ling

        Hi Kerstin, so nice of you to reply!
        Naaah if people get hooked they want to see more … and pictures … and videos and all. Of course we can google it but its nice to have a one stop shop … for example I now have to share the link to the article … to your webpage … to the product sheets … youtube … all separate if I want to show anyone in a mail.

        But maybe next time you can pull a long one :) Are you going to write more here? I am subscribed to the rss feed.

        Have a nice weekend!
        Yours, Ling

        • Kerstin

          Hi Ling,
          many thanks for your great feedback. Let me think about a longer blogpost for next time :) We didn’t want to be so pushy in this article and more into creating interest for the idea. Thanks for posting the picture below!
          Have an awesome weekend,

  • UC Ling

    PS: have you seen when you are on the SG page of Smart … when you are looking for business products and click the link … it returns a 404 page? Not nice :(
    But the US page was okay … this is my favorite photo…

    • Kerstin

      Hi again, Ling, I am looking into your issue with the website – sorry!

  • rajz

    good but not cheap

  • Stella Fives

    Hi Kerstin
    Any more articles coming soon? Are there other places you publish articles?
    I would be interested in a user story or some more insight from a scenario wherein Smart Boards have been implemented and how it changed the users behaviour.

    Many thanks!

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