Last week, I joined a panel discussion for CES in Las Vegas. Cool and awkward at the same time! I am not an incredible fan of digital gadgets, but I loved this! In general, I believe ‘let us just get things done’. And for getting things done, you don’t need fancy hardware or software. As a distributed team, you need a couple of things as bare minimum of course:
– A good camera (I found an external cam works much better than a built in, I use a Logitech HD cam)
– A good audio device (again, use a USB connected device. I use a phoenix)
– An anti-email chat software like Slack or hipchat
– Document sharing software like Dropbox or Google Drive
– Conferencing software like Skype or Zoom
– Project management tools like Jira or Asana
– If you’re into software: a version control system like GitHub
But other than that, I believe everything else is ‘extra’. However, with the kubi, I thought: this does serve a purpose. The setup was like this:
We had 5 panelists into a zoom video conferencing session:
Lisette Sutherland (from the Netherlands) of Collaborationsuperpowers.com
Pilar Orti (from the UK) – Pilar is a virtual team trainer and coach at virtualnotdistant.com
Mark Kilby (from Florida) – Mark is an Agile Coach that works with distributed teams at Sonatype – markkilby.com
David Horowitz (from DC) – David built a tool for distributed teams retrospectives – retrium.com
Hugo Messer (from the Netherlands) – Hugo is an outsourcing specialist and virtual team trainer – hugomesser.com
Then we had Jeff Goldsmith and Marcus Rosenthal of Revolve Robotics (the makers of the kubi) in Las Vegas.
There were 5 kubi’s in the room in Las Vegas. Inside Zoom, each panelist could take over one of those kubi’s. As soon as I took over the Kubi, I could control the kubi from my PC in the Netherlands. The funny thing is, that this basically beamed me over to Las Vegas since I could move the kubi in the direction of the person talking. I look through the kubi and my face was on the kKubi, as if I was there. This is how it looked (notice that I am talking here and the kubi’s on the left are turned towards me, meaning I could look those 2 in the ‘face’):
The three things I took away from this:
1. I have a practical situation where I see clear added value of the kubi: if there’re 2-3 people in a room in my Indian office having a brainstorm, it’s often hard for me to ‘get in’. Because I am far away and on a laptop, I miss a lot of the action. If the team in India is even larger, it’s worse, since I can’t see all of the team members. Now having a kubi in that room, would enhance the feeling of me really participating in the brainstorm. And I would be able to look at the person talking (without having to shout through the laptop please turn the laptop around).
2. In a panel discussion, it would be fantastic if there were people in the conference in that specific room. So instead of hosting it through zoom as a webinar, there could be people in the room who discuss the topics with the panel. If someone asks something to a panelist, the panelist could turn towards that person, so they’ll have a ‘real’ talk.
3. As an anti-gadget guy, I learned that this stuff can actually be fun and useful at the same time!
We recorded the whole session, so if you have some time, have a look and let me know your thoughts!
Join me and Waseem Hussain for the upcoming FREE webinar!
Read Next >> A Magic Method For Distributed Agile Collaboration