Community Learning Space

Effective Virtual Teams

"TelePresence is most likely to have been the 'killer app' when we look back in 2047."
What do we need to think about as we attempt to get virtual teams to work effectively?

David Martin

President and Co-founder
SMART Technologies Inc.

Tuesday, October 21, 1997 at 3:00 p.m.

Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo


Getting people who are not co-located to work together in teams presents several interesting challenges. As the visionary and chief technical officer at SMART Technologies Inc., Mr. Martin has worked on solutions to this issue since 1987. He has led a development team to produce a number of firsts in electronic co-location, including the creation of the first MS Windows application for multi-point conferencing in 1992. Working with Intel, his team proved the viability of data conferencing when Andy Grove showcased a budget review with Intel's Japan office at Intel's Annual General Meeting in April 1992.

Drawing on this experience and working with key development partners including Intel, Nortel, PictureTel, VTEL, Texas Instruments and others, Mr. Martin will describe his experiences in using technology to facilitate work within meeting rooms and across distance. He will outline how his 100 person team, split equally into two teams, work cooperatively across a distance of 2,200 miles. Mr. Martin will reveal the technologies that are used daily by his team to increase meeting effectiveness and productivity, including audio and data conferencing, as well as desktop video conferencing. Computerized concept maps are used for product development and corporate memory at SMART and a large Fortune 500 company. Mr. Martin will explain why and how companies are adopting such products for electronic co-location.

During the course of his presentation, Mr. Martin will demonstrate and discuss the new products that his group and others are developing to facilitate communications within the meeting room and over distances through different time zones.


Mr. Martin, a recognized authority on the future direction of applying technology to working and teaching at a distance, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alberta Microelectronics Center, and of the Canadian Federal Government's Strategic Advisory Council on International Trade for Information Technology and Telecommunications. He sits on the Strategic Council of the Calgary Research Development Authority. He co-founded Keyword Office Technologies Ltd., a leader in document translation technology (1978-86). He has a B.Sc. (Applied Mathematics) from Concordia University.

Company Bio

Smart Technologies Inc. (403-245-0333), an industry leader in interactive electronic whiteboards, received the 1997 Multimedia Innovator of the Year Achievement Award from the International Communications Industries Association for its SMART Board 720, the industry's largest touch-sensitive interactive whiteboard.

For more information

Shirley Fenton
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4074