At #NeoCon09: Look Me in the i

The giant showroom at Steelcase was surprisingly full at the tail end of NeoCon09. Somehow we managed to converse with not one, but two Steelcase representatives. Mr. Terry McAllister, Vice President of Central Region, shared some insights about i2i; Matt Collins, Canadian Visual Work Tools Manager, gave us the rundown on ēno. Like Sela, i2i seating is “meant for lots of collaboration,” explains McAllister. Point #1: flexing back. The chair provides support for various postures. I can attest to this benefit.

i2i Chair. Designed in collaboration with IDEO for Steelcase.

After tromping up and down Merchandise Mart stairs and carpeted hallways, I was temporarily relieved of all manner of pain while enjoying i2i. My apologies to Mr. McAllister for not getting up to shake his hand—but my rudeness is testament to the chair’s comfort. Point #2 about i2i: dual swivel. I love a swivel, especially for small spaces. This swivel, however, is better than the standard swivel. The chair’s back and seat each swivel independently, so users can “respond to the moment while maintaining focus.” Point #3: intuitive adjustments. Steelcase’s website explains that “people don’t adjust chairs in collaborative settings.” This research was taken into account: “anyone can get comfortable quickly” (note: see rudeness above).




ēno. Manufactured by Steelcase.

When I got handed over to Mr. Miller, I was confronted with technology on a grand scale. I’d like to pretend that I understood everything Mr. Miller had to say about the 40,000,000 pixels baked into the surface of ēno, but I can’t. After the near-coma brought on by i2i, I was somewhat deficient in the brain category. ēno is a “3-in-1 combination dry erase, magnetic, and interactive whiteboard.” Using E3 technology—Miller calls it “the Rolls Royce of surfaces”—ēno is a ceramic baked on steel. This allows for the pixels (in some process I cannot elucidate). The end result is that you have a whiteboard on which you can draw, point, highlight, and type, since it’s connected to your computer through Bluetooth technology. The only wires go from the computer to the overhead projector. ēno itself has no wires or cords, and the surface comes with a lifetime warranty. If you mistakenly use a permanent marker, just wipe the surface with anything alcohol-based. I can’t go on any longer without devolving into nonsense, but ēno is way, way superior to other techno-whiteboards you might know.

Leave a Reply