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NeoCon Powers On
It’s not over yet but I can already report the good news from NeoCon – no lines at the elevators and women’s restrooms. Bad news - no lines at the elevators and women’s restrooms, which means, of course, far few people in attendance – a predictable outcome no doubt of our troubled economic times.
The showrooms and exhibitors, for the most part, put on a good show though I did notice a bit of a downturn in the number of new product introductions. A fabric manufacturer confirmed that its usual ten new patterns had been reduced to three. The empty spaces on the exhibit floors were bleak evidence of 2009’s no-shows.
But the conversations tended toward the positive with some people beginning to notice upticks. Teknion confronted the issue head on with a clever brochure suggesting re/envisioning the future. “History offers perspective,” it begins. “A look back at the 20th century tells us that economic systems, like other highly adaptive systems, go through cycles of reorganization and renewal. Most downturns last only a year or two – [aptly illustrated with a chart of the economic cycles since 1945] – and the organizations that recover most quickly are those who continue to take initiative and invest in new ideas; who have the imagination to re/envision the future and the will to shape it.”
Following its own great advice, Teknion has partnered with Powermat, a maker of wireless energy-saving technology that turns surfaces into charging stations by utilizing the principles of magnetic induction. Desks, tabletops and counters turn into an energy hub seamlessly recharging cell phones, iPods, Blackberrys, laptops, printers and almost any device without the unsightly spaghetti of wires. It also runs kitchen appliances. The demonstrations both in the Teknion showroom and at Powermat’s own space were amazing and the buzz of NeoCon.
You can read about some of the other products that caught my eye by following me on Twitter or wait for future posts. I’ll be writing about my favorites.