Microsoft works with office furniture maker to make 50-inch Surface Hub 2S portable
Looking to make the next generation of team collaboration easier and flexible, Microsoft and Steelcase teamed up to make the new Microsoft Surface Hub 2S more portable by pairing it with a wheeled mounting system that has a battery. The combination makes the 50-inch interactive device more conducive to team ideation and problem solving — for a price.
The Lowdown: Microsoft unveiled its next-generation Surface Hub, a 50-inch device that includes interactive touch controls, full Windows and Windows-based applications, and a 4K video camera. The device is like a giant tablet, giving office workers and teams the ability to collaborate, with the flexibility of a whiteboard and the power of a computer. The camera and video display
The Steelcase Roam is a wheeled mounting system built specifically for the Surface Hub 2S. The mobile stand includes a Schneider/APC battery that powers the Surface Hub 2S for up to 100 minutes, enough time to last through the average hour-long meeting, with time to spare for the inevitable overruns, before needing a recharge.
The Details: The Surface Hub 2S and Steelcase Flex make an impressive in-office collaboration system, but for a hefty price. The Surface Hub 2S starts at $8,999, a steep price that’s substantially greater than the combination of a standard PC and large display unit, although it offers features and functionality that are difficult to find in a large display.
The Steelcase Roam adds another $1,450, bringing the total mobile collaboration package to more than $10,000. While a business could get away with wall-mounting the Surface Hub 2S, it would lose the mobility aspect without the Steelcase Roam and limit the overall value.
The Impact: Steelcase and Microsoft believe there’s a market for the Surface Hub 2S and Roam mobile mounting system. The Steelcase Active Collaboration Study 2019 found that 70% of office workers want interactive collaboration devices but only 42% have access to such technology. Another 72% want to move around when collaborating, but only 53% say they have that ability. And 66% of office workers say they lack the technology for visual displays that facilitate collaboration.
The Buzz: “Today, collaboration is bound by scheduled meetings on our calendars and scheduled spaces in our buildings,” said Robin Seiler, general manager of hardware engineering at Microsoft. “With Surface Hub 2S plus Steelcase Roam, you have the freedom to take your ideas with you, relocate to any space, and huddle where you want, when you want. And anyone, near or far, can actively engage.”
“We joined forces with Microsoft two years ago to explore the future of work. Our work together is built on a shared commitment to put people at the center of how place and technology intersect and empower individuals and teams to do their best work,” said Sara Armbruster, Steelcase vice president of strategy, research, and digital transformation. “This next chapter in our existing relationship is about giving individuals and teams freedom to collaborate whenever and wherever ideas strike.”