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Docking Desks

Office work often involves idea sharing in one-on-one meetings. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, have designed an electronic desk to facilitate such discussions. The “ConnecTable” (photo) is a horizontal, pen-writable display. When two of these tables are placed next to each other so that their edges touch, the display surfaces merge to create one big workspace. If one person draws a figure on her desktop, for instance, she can push it over to the other person’s display by placing her pen on the figure and sliding it toward the other desk-much the way someone would slide a piece of paper across a conference table. Norbert Streitz, the desk’s chief architect, says that the German furniture manufacturer Wilkhahn plans to bring the display table to market by year-end.

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