EWeek, Feb. 4, 2008, at 34, lists 10 new technologies in the works at Big Blue, and three of them got me to thinking about law department applications.
(1) “The Virtual Team-Building Game is designed to improve trust and cooperation among colleagues unaccustomed to the notion of a virtual meeting.” A widely dispersed law department might find it intriguing to play this game; soon, an avant-garde department will meet virtually online (See my post of Nov. 18, 2007: Second Life and other online virtual worlds.).
(2) “Tag It collects tags applied to items to boost intranet search.” With a tool like Tag It, members of the legal department could tag different parts of the corporate intranet. The tags would make it easier to understand what their colleagues and clients see of value on the intranet (See my post of March 24, 2007: Technorati and tag clouds.).
(3) “IBM’s real-time translation service offers speech-to-text and speech-to-speech translation.” Although this capability only works now with IBM’s Sametime for instant messages and conference chats, it is easy to see how it will eventually be available for multilingual law departments (See my posts of Feb. 9, 2006: translation software for non-English speaking lawyers; March 23, 2007: patent translation costs; March 23, 2007: advances in machine translation; and Feb. 6, 2008: Brazilian matter management system that translates into many languages.).