As the use of rich media in mobile devices and smart environments becomes more sophisticated, so must the design of the everyday objects used as containers or controllers. Rather than simply tacking electronics onto existing furniture or other objects, the design of a smart object can enhance existing ap-plications in unexpected ways. The Convertible Podium is an experiment in the design of a smart object with complex integrated systems, combining the highly designed look and feel of a modern lectern with systems that allow it to serve as a central control station for rich media manipulation in next-generation confer-ence rooms. It enables easy control of multiple independent screens, multiple media sources (including mobile devices) and multiple distribution channels. The Podium is designed to ease the tasks involved in authoring and presenting in a rich media meeting room, as well as supporting remote telepresence and in-tegration with mobile devices.