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OFFICE DEVICES SOON WILL BE AT YOUR COMMAND

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Forget about shorthand. Throw out the filing cabinets. The workplace is on the verge of becoming a virtually paperless place controlled by voice-activated electronic wizardry.

Such a workstation - including telephones, lights, facsimile machines and calculators that respond to audible commands - was unveiled recently by office furnishings maker Haworth Inc. of Holland, Mich., as part of an industry trade show.The prototype, configured for an executive and an assistant, aims to integrate exisiting office furniture designs with new computer and communications technologies, although such a highly automated office will not be available commercially for at least five to 10 years, said Haworth Manager Gary Ottenjan.

Other features include an electronic display screen built into the executive's wall panel and a recessed desktop computer keyboard.

For security, the voice-activated controls respond only to voices that have been programmed into a computer system.

An assistant's workstation includes a chair-mounted computer keyboard and an electronic scanner used to convert outside memos and mail into part of a data base.