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The evolution of the Mercury console is all about reducing stress for control room staff so they can focus on the people who need their help.


In times of desperation, when people call 911, they want to hear a calm voice and know that help is on the way. That's why Watson intentionally designed the Mercury console to deliver a more comfortable experience and improved efficiency for dispatchers working in emergency control centers. The tools that Mercury consoles provide help reduce stress and improve well-being so dispatchers can focus on saving lives. 

The genesis of our Mercury console can be traced back to when technology was rapidly evolving. The transition from CRT monitors to flat screens and the proliferation of 911 services meant dispatch centers faced many challenges. Agencies were expanding, requiring more personnel and technology in the same space. Watson Enterprise Solutions Manager Quint Andrae explained, "We had to figure out how to integrate all the new technology and come up with a path on how to reduce the console size." 


Mercury was born out of the necessity to address these challenges. It was designed to make better use of space for users and IT staff, incorporate new technology seamlessly, and improve the overall ergonomics of the workspace. Andrae emphasized, "We intentionally made all technology accessible from the front, so that even in tight spaces, telecommunicators and IT could have maximum access to the console."

Mercury’s modular and durable design

One of our key innovations was Mercury's scalability and adaptable design. Unlike traditional consoles that risk becoming obsolete as technology evolves, Mercury was future-proofed. "If things change, you can change,” said Andrae. “So, if your monitors change and your technology changes, we can update your console to fit that." Adaptability ensures that emergency control centers stay ahead of the curve and remain efficient in the face of technological advancements.

Another area where Mercury excels is its durability and warranty. Designers added features like four lifting columns instead of two for height-adjustable desks and used thicker materials to ensure longevity. Although we are confident that the Mercury will stand the test of time, our consoles are backed by a lifetime warranty, adding another level of comfort for customers making the investment.


Improved features, from comfort to lighting

The journey of Mercury didn't end with its first launch. The Watson design team continued to iterate, adding creature comforts and user-requested features like contoured worksurface edge for improved ergonomics, double cup holder, and stacker storage for better organization. These additions were aimed at enhancing the user experience and making Mercury the ultimate dispatch console.

“Some of the storage integration that we've done lately has to stay within the bounds of the console footprint, so instead of expanding out, we moved upward,” explained Watson Senior Design Engineer Silvestre Barajas. “The end stacking storage unit has been a huge success – we now have locker configurations that are very popular, and we expanded to add tech storage, which has been a huge game changer.”

It’s not only the dispatcher that Watson keeps in mind, the facilities team and IT managers needs are considered as well. To service the cabling on consoles, IT staff would need a headlamp or flashlight to work beneath the desk. The Watson design team listened to feedback from customers and responded by adding optional lighting zones. “Now we have the option to integrate an LED light system to any cabinet, and not just for tech - you could put it anywhere,” said Barahas.


Keeping telecommunicators top of mind

Looking ahead, the Watson Console design team is optimistic about the future. While the industry is constantly evolving, we believe that the core principles of ergonomics, technology integration, and durability will remain essential. Our consoles are evolving too, with modular add-ons like team tables to support collaboration and work islands that double as shared spaces for quick meetings and extra storage to keep the control room tidy.

Start Designing Your Next Console

Mercury Consoles offer the adaptability to fit your team’s needs. Explore features with our Console Builder and find the solution for your center.


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