I’m a fan of the TV show The Big Bang Theory. Recently when I went to a chiropractic appointment, I was reminded of the episode where Sheldon (one of the characters) made a “mobile virtual presence device” of himself. When I walked into my chiropractor’s office, I noticed a large monitor where the receptionist usually sits. I didn’t pay much attention to it, signed in, and took a seat in the waiting room. As I was waiting, another patient began checking out and was talking to someone, but I saw no one in the room. When it was time for me to checkout, I finally noticed that the monitor had a live video connection with the receptionist! She greeted me, walked me through the checkout process, and made my next appointment.
Of course, I was intrigued and asked about the virtual presence device. It turned out that their receptionist was leaving, and since they hadn’t been able to find a replacement, they worked out a temporary arrangement where the receptionist could work from home while still being “on site” to fulfill her duties. When I went for my next appointment, I heard it was working out so well that the virtual arrangement might actually become permanent.
The moral of this story? Watch The Big Bang Theory, as it might give you some ideas on how to creatively use technology! Okay, that really isn’t the moral. But what this example clearly demonstrates is that technology can be used in an innovative fashion. You don’t have to be a geek or a technology company to come up with imaginative ways to use technology – just be open-minded, and consider the needs of all of your constituents.