Could Computer Monitors Disappear from Office Desks Altogether?


That’s an intriguing thought. Perhaps one day, we will all use virtual or holographic computer screens like the ones in Minority Report. We’ll be able to interact directly with “there, but not there” style monitors that we can call up out of thin air at any time. It’s not so farfetched – we’ve seen similar technology demonstrated in various TED conferences. We’ve come a long way already since the early days of desktop PCs.

Bye-Bye, Big Box

Back in the era of the typewriter, you could make do with a simple rectangular workspace. Then came the cathode ray tube monitor. This giant, boxy screen commanded several cubic feet of space in a work area. It was arguably the incentive behind the invention of the L shaped desk. You had to have a corner to house that monstrous CRT monitor!

Thinner is Better

Next, there was the flat screen style monitor. Most of us can remember the first time we got one of these for our own desk. It may have taken years on IT’s wait list (or a few well-considered bribes) for you to get a flat screen when they first came out. Now, they are the norm. Outside of NPOs that rely on used equipment to keep administrative costs super low, there aren’t many organizations that would even consider buying an old CRT monitor. Because of the slimmer profile of the new monitors, we’ve seen a return to smaller desks.

Get Moving

After the flat screen was introduced, it was time to get it off the desktop to aid ergonomics and free up more desk surface. Thus, the articulated monitor arm was born. Now, there’s a new way to conserve even more space. It’s KI’s Smart Lift table. These desks are designed for use in computer labs or other training environments. They feature flat screen monitors that can be raised and lowered on automated lifts. When you don’t need the monitor, it literally disappears from view.

What do you think the next step in computer monitor evolution will be? Let us know in the comments.


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