Monday, October 1, 2007

OQO Model 02 as productivity tool for law firms

From the shameless plug department -

We typically provide OQO model 02's to our IP counsel and solicit their feedback on usefulness and productivity improvements. Here is an e-mail I received today from outside counsel on his firms usage:

"First, thanks for the three OQO model 02s that you have provided to our law firm. We have been using them in conferences to access data from our server and shared drives via 802.11. We also can access the Internet to look up data at the moment we need it. The 02s are less obtrusive than using laptops and are more personable in a meeting since they don't create the typical "wall of screens" of the laptops. The 02 units are basically as non-distracting as, say, a pad of paper or a glass of water so our new clients don't get the impression that we are not paying attention to the meeting as they might if we had laptops in front of us with the screens flipped up.

The 02s handle email attachments much better than our cell phones. Even though our phones are able to display our email messages, they don't allow viewing of pdfs, powerpoint, Excel, or even Word documents. In our patent practice we are constantly provided with email attachments such as published patent applications in pdf format. Usually we can't even respond to a client's email until we can open the attachment so this save us a considerable delay. Responsiveness to clients is the name of the game with us.

I have configured one 02 with an audio-to-mp3 encoder which I use to record audio of invention disclosure meetings. This works well since, unlike with commercial digital tape recorders that all seem to use proprietary formats, I don't have to re-encode the audio to the mp3 format for emailing to a tech writer or other working attorney. My plan is to get a web cam and hook it up to the same 02 so that I can take pictures of the whiteboard during the meetings and also quickly provide images (in real time) to someone else on the other end of a teleconference. Along with the mp3 audio this would be a complete electronic record of the disclosure meeting which usually now is captured by re-encoding traditional audio recorder output and faxing or scanning hand-drawn copies of the diagrams on the board. In some cases we use a video camera to capture the disclosure meetings but that results in a very large file (which is time-consuming to encode) or we have to mail the physical media which is susceptible to damage and a 2-3 day delay for physical mail. Who knows, maybe there are low-cost direct-to-mpeg video recorders that I can run on the 02. We are still in the research stage.

As an aside, the 02 also has that cool "wow" factor so that our clients' first impressions are that we are the tech-savvy patent attorneys that we hold ourselves out to be."

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