(Lap) Topless Meetings: No Gadgets Allowed

Design & Architecture
Dan Gould
  • 26 march 2008

Several companies in Silicon Valley are banning laptops, Blackberries, iphones and other connected gadgets from meetings. Complaints of people connecting more with their devices than each other have spurred this action. These “old fashioned” meetings are reported to go faster and have increased communication between attendees.

Mercury News reports:

“In this age of wireless Internet and mobile e-mail devices, having an effective meeting or working session is becoming more and more difficult. Laptops, Blackberries, Sidekicks, iPhones, and the like keep people from being fully present,” he wrote in November 2007. “Aside from just being rude, partial attention generally leads to partial results.” His San Francisco design firm, Adaptive Path, now strongly encourages everyone to leave their laptops at their desks. His colleague, Dan Saffer, coined the term “topless” as in “laptop-less.” Also booted are mobile and smart-phones, which must be stowed on a counter or in a box during meetings. It took some convincing, but soon people began connecting with one another rather than with their computers, Wilkens said.

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