74 interiors+sources may2017 interiorsandsources.com
By Jenna Lippin | Photography courtesy of Visionect
In today‘s busy workspaces, there is a desire for modern technology to answer the call
for challenges that seem to consistenly arise.
Visionect is one such company that seeks to
offer office solutions, delivering electronic paper
display products to the market. Among them is
JOAN, an easy-to-use meeting room assistant
that helps to avoid scheduling confusion, double
bookings, and interrupted meetings. In an exlusive
interview with i+s, Jasna Klemenc, product
manager for JOAN, discusses how the idea
for the office tool came about, and what it can
deliver to the market today and in the future.
WHEN WAS JOAN DEVELOPED?
Development began in November 2015 and
JOAN officially launched in January 2016 at CES
2016, which is a global consumer electronics
and technology tradeshow. And in October 2016,
we launched our JOAN Collection of three different
room-booking devices: Joan Assistant, Joan
Manager, and Joan Executive.
HOW DID THE NAME FOR THE PRODUCT COME ABOUT?
We started thinking our device is like a real person—a
helpful, organized, trustworthy assistant who makes
sure everything runs smoothly. A colleague got the
association from “Mad Men” and suggested naming
the product JOAN after the character Joan Holloway.
Since our office is filled with fans of the show, which
was just ending in 2015 as we were starting development, people instantly loved it, and we had a name.
WHO DESIGNED JOAN?
We, Visionect that is, are the makers and the
designers at the same time. We wanted to cover all
the bases ourselves.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT?
Our own issues behind meeting rooms spawned the
need for a room-booking system. Instead of buying
one, we decided to build our own. That was a
prototype of what was to become JOAN. We saw
that we weren’t the only ones with this problem and
went forward with developing a product.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST HURDLE IN BRINGING JOAN
Simplicity is tough. Keeping your product simple
and easy to use is actually really difficult. We wanted
to focus on key features, not just features for
HOW WAS THE INITIAL RESPONSE?
Very positive. JOAN solves a problem for people,
and our customers are really happy. They have enthusiastically shared their feedback with us, which means
a lot. It allows us to improve our product, so even
now we continue to seek it out on a regular basis.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PROJECT JOAN HAS
FOUND ITS WAY INTO?
Our clients range from large corporations to small
businesses. It never ceases to amaze us how JOAN
has found its way to the NFL, Formula 1, research
institutes working on a cure for cancer, environmental
organizations, charities, major software companies,
the automobile industry, and more.
WHAT IS YOUR HOPE FOR JOAN?
Our hope is that JOAN will continue to travel the
world and book meeting rooms, and become an
enabler of agile work processes, a standard in
efficient and sustainable office tech.
ARE THERE ANY CHANGES TO JOAN ON THE HORIZON?
Definitely. We keep moving, so much so that we
have two whole walls scribbled with ideas for
future development. JOAN is getting a big sister
and possibly some cousins.
WHAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT JOAN?
That the technology behind JOAN is electronic
paper. E-paper is becoming a standard in the field
of digital signage due to its energy efficiency and
zero light pollution. It looks like real paper, has no
glare, emits no light, and has a 180-degree viewing
angle. All of that made selecting this technology the
perfect choice for JOAN, allowing a battery life of
months since e-paper is 99-percent more energy
efficient than LCD or LED technologies.