RealTime IT News

Project "MAP - Multimedia Workplace of the Future"

[Berlin, GERMANY] The "MAP - Multimedia-Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft" ("Multimedia Workplace of the Future") project was kicked off yesterday in Berlin with a press conference with Siegmar Mosdorf, the Parliamentary State Secretary for the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. With MAP, the Ministry of Economics wants to present a model project for more effectiveness and mobility in the working world in the age of m-commerce. The main goal is a "pocket-sized networked digital assistant". With innovative interaction systems, agent technologies, and mobility concepts, the computer should be transformed from a tool into a pocket-sized office. It should be able to independently carry out complex tasks at any time and in any place by using the Internet to search for information, place orders, confirm deliveries, accept contracts, or make appointments.

Mosdorf said, "In the multimedia workplace of the future, a person will no longer be tied to the office, the office will be tied to the person - this is a paradigm shift with unforeseeable consequences." MAP is an integral innovative approach which includes everything from the development of technology and the application of models in the building industry to the exploration of the social and legal repercussions in the workplace. Nine economic industries and six scientific institutions and labor unions are involved in this interdisciplinary and multi-industry project. ALCATEL SEL AG is the project coordinator.

In 1998, MAP (together with 5 other prize winners from a total of 90 participants) was selected by an independent jury as the winner of the German nationwide "Human-Technology-Interaction in the Information Society" competition. The cost of the project has come to around 48 million deutschmarks. With grants of around 24 million deutschmarks, the German Federal Ministry of Economics hopes to strengthen and speed up the activities in this forward-looking area. Mosdorf believes that, up to now, European firms and research institutes - particularly those residing in Germany - have been a step ahead in mobile Internet technologies and new computer assistant systems.