The New York Times Invents a Conference Table That Hears and Understands...

The New York Times Invents a Conference Table That Hears and Understands Conversations


To make meetings efficient and better, The New York Times has invented a smart conference table that is always listening to the conversations happening around it.

The Listening Table uses custom, state-of-the-art speech transcription software and high-resolution sensors to facilitate understanding. A dynamic microphone array focuses on the speaker, no matter where he or she is seated; custom speech-processing software generates a word-for-word record of the meeting as well as a semantic overview — what topics were talked about, in what order, and by whom. Embedded, indirect lighting indicates to passers-by that the Table is listening, revealing its function without distracting.

“The goal of the Lab within the New York Times, says the Labs’ Creative Director Alexis Lloyd, is to look at emerging technologies and behaviors, and then build them out into “tangible artifacts of the future that are relevant to news and media.” Fast Company.

To bring the Table into being, we worked closely with François Chambard of UM Project, collaborating on the aesthetic and industrial designs. UM Project helped turn our various functional requirements and design goals into reality, fabricating the various physical components and surfaces, and assisting on the electronics and wiring installation. NYT

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