IREX 2011: Robot Office Of The Future?
Participating at a major trade show like IREX isn't cheap. The more exhibit space you reserve the higher the cost. And, of course, the location of your exhibit within the show can be a major cost factor. High traffic areas are always priced higher than low traffic 'back waters' where you aren't likely to capture the attention of buyers.
I was quite surprised to find a large empty booth right in the middle of IREX 2011 devoted entirely to what seemed, at first glance, to be office equipment. Was some company trying to promote desks, chairs, and file cabinets?
Then, on closer inspection, I noticed a single solitary Subaru office robot roaming the display space. Instead of conveying the possibility of robotic office assistants, the exhibit actually seemed spooky.
It gave me the impression of a science fiction movie scenario set in a future where all the offices are empty of humans and patrolled by oddly smiling security robots. In a country where office work is either being outsourced, off-shored, or eliminated by automation and IT, perhaps this is what the future will look like, though I certainly hope not.
And, I wonder what impression Subaru was trying to put across with all the money they spent on this exhibit.
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