A look at Microsoft's hardware design labs and how the company designed the Surface Hub 2S (Jeremy Kaplan/Digital Trends)


Building 33 on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington, houses a conference room unlike any you’ve ever seen. It includes an enormous glowing sphere, a buckyball for a boardroom. A 360-video camera mushrooms from dead center of that pod, a ring of stools surrounding it, and Surface Hubs line the walls. Stepping inside the pod is like entering another realm. Welcome to the Productivity Zone.

The sphere in Building 33 is the future, and like any good sci-fi flick, it looks nothing like today’s world. Microsoft’s Anton Andrews, head of Envisioning for Modern Work and Life, makes the reason for the revolution clear. “We thought we could do a better job. We have to do a better job,” he told Digital Trends.

Microsoft’s Envisioning Center holds a conference room unlike any you’ve ever seen. Currently it uses the original Surface Hub — but it will soon be upgraded to the new Hub 2. Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The Surface Hub is key to that vision, bringing immersive video conferencing, a space for whiteboarding, a place to share documents, and more. The first-gen Hub was popular with the business crowd, but it had a few crucial failings. Notably, it couldn’t be moved. So, Microsoft