The main board room at Summerwinds Financial was sparsely-populated. White walls, a few florescent lights, and a dark brown conference table big enough for eight people, which had a single corporate-branded intercom phone connected in the middle to a cable that ran through a hole drilled in the middle of the table.
Only three men in business suits sat at the table on the far end. One of the executives reached over and touched a button on the intercom.
“Jessica, you can let the representative in.” they said.
A few seconds later, the door at the end of the hall opened. Colin stepped in, hauling a large briefcase. He wore a black business suit with a light blue dress shirt underneath.
“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Colin Gear, senior VP of product develop-” Colin was interrupted.
“Get to the point, Mr. Gear. You have five minutes.” said one of the executives.
“Very well.” Colin said.
Colin took his suitcase and placed it on the far side of the desk away from the executives. He opened it up and showed them the contents.
“This is a Phillips CDI 370. It’s a portable CD player made in the early 1990s. At Arcast Technologies, we used to use one of these to display product information to clients.”
Colin took the device out of the case and held it in his hands.
“As you can see, it’s primitive by today’s standards – the screen is only three inches, and you have to be fairly close to it to read any text it displays, but back in 1993, this thing was revolutionary. It cut down on excess weight in a sales rep’s luggage that normally went to paperwork, and two compact discs could hold all of the images and sound that someone would need to show off new products with room to spare.”
“It’s not 1993, Mr. Gear.” the head executive said.
“No, sir, it isn’t. We live in the future.” Colin said.
Colin put the device down on the conference table.
“I like showing this to our clients. It shows how far we’ve come since even a few years ago when it comes to presentations. We used to use these things in lieu of showing off actual product because a lot of it was too hard to set up for any real demonstration – we used to have giant monitors, cameras the size of an engine block… You get the idea. Our new product is compact enough that most of it fits into your pocket.”
Colin reached into his pocket and pulled out a small round object with a USB cord sticking out of it.
“This, right here, is the future of video conferencing.” Colin said.
The executives sat in their chairs. One of them coughed slightly. Colin reached into his other pocket and took out a small portable battery, normally used for charging cell phones. He plugged the other device’s cable into it. A flash of light came from the device. Colin pointed it on the conference table with the light-emitting end away from the executives.
“Watch this.” Colin said.
The light on the device flickered, then got brighter. All of a sudden, Colin was not alone at his end of the table. A brown-haired woman sporting thick-rimmed glasses, a white lab coat and khakis appeared next to Colin and waved.
“Gentlemen, this is Allison Greyloch. She’s the head of Arcast Tech’s engineering wing. She put in a recording of herself to be used as a model for this demonstration.”
“What are we looking at, here?” one of the executives asked.
“It’s a hologram projection device. The tech you’re seeing here is the tech we offer.”
Colin shut off the hologram with a push of a button on the top of the device.
“I thought you’d like it. I hope you can understand the potential uses something like this has for your company.” Colin said.
“Yes. We do. But what’s the cost?” the head executive asked.
“$100 per month per unit. Installation is a little extra.” Colin said.
“What else is needed for it?”
“A strong, reliable internet connection. I’m sure your IT department can work it out.”
The executives all talked amongst themselves quietly. Colin began packing his materials back into his suitcase.
“Mr. Gear… Colin, was it?”
“We’re very impressed.”
“I appreciate that, and I’m sure that the rest of us at Arcast Tech do, as well.”
The head executive stood up and walked towards Colin, who finished putting his items away. Colin held out his right hand, and the executive reached in to shake it.
The executive’s hand went right through Colin’s hand, which flickered slightly.
He tried to shake Colin’s hand again, thinking he missed somehow, but this led to the same result as before. The executive stood for a second to process what had just happened.
“We’ll be in touch.” Colin said.
Colin adjusted his tie and grabbed his suitcase off of the table.
“Alright, Aly. I’m good. Power it down.” Colin said, speaking to someone who clearly wasn’t in the room.
With a slight flicker of light and a faint whirring noise, Colin’s hologram faded away.