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Changing Technology of the Huddle Room: Our InfoComm Takeaway

Huddle rooms are nothing new, but in the past few years we’ve worked on a ton of office build-outs with a new emphasis and dedication to these little collaborative work spaces. According to research from Gartner, the proportion of video systems purchased for huddle rooms doubled from 10 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2016. This same research predicts a 400 percent growth in group video conferencing usage by 2019 (1).

A quick trek around the InfoComm showroom floor confirmed suppliers are stepping up their game in the world of huddle rooms, and there is a lot of new technology for adding high quality, software-based codec video conferencing features to these rooms.

Audio
For high-end audio installation solutions, many small Digital Signal Processors (DSP) are making their way to the market. Here are some products we’re excited about:

Biamp has a new 4in/4out DSP with a broad selection of audio components, routing options, and signal processing. It can handle the open standard Audio Video Bridging (AVB), or Audinate’s proprietary Dante. Plus, it supports Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) audio codec – Available October 2017.

Shure has an affordable Dante enabled 8in/4out DSP with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), made to pair with their ceiling array microphone, or two table array microphones. Shure also has a 4in/4out for soft codecs that supports one table array mic, however, this unit does not have AEC built in.

Application of either of these products allows a broader selection of microphones and speakers for installation, and for precisely tuning a room for the best audio performance. This can create a no-compromise professional audio experience in huddle spaces as they become a larger part of the day-to-day work experience.

The Biamp and Shure products operate as standalone DSP deployments. Meanwhile, QSC Audio Products is encouraging integrators to centralize DSP resources and allocate portions of large DSP servers to support several rooms, which may be more cost effective in certain deployments.

For mid-range installations, products like Biamp’s Devio and Sennheiser’s TeamConnect are designed to add quality audio into Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) spaces with minimal fuss by reducing connection requirements to a simple USB cable.

Finally, for quick, simple integrations, products like the Yamaha CS-700 and the Logitech Meetup integrate cameras, speakers, and beamforming mic arrays into a soundbar-like USB device that mounts below the display.

Video
On the video side, Atlona showed their new small presentation switchers for huddle rooms. Crestron and Extron are well established in this space, but Atlona is a new player, bringing an interesting perspective to the fold.

Atlona’s HDVS-300 incorporates a USB hub to allow BYOD equipment shared access to installed webcams and other USB hardware — a feature that’s typically anchored to a fixed PC. It also eliminates the need for a separate USB extender in more conventional builds. Additionally, Atlona’s UHD-SW-510W attempts to remove the need for wires entirely by incorporating AirPlay, Google Cast, and Miracast into one device; this allows wireless display mirroring without the need to install an extra application or driver. The unit is also one of the first – if not the first – to feature a powered USB-C port, which can be used to charge laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Solutions for huddle rooms should be easy to install and cost effective. As always, Presentation Products is here to help you wade through the changing trends in AV conferencing. Contact a PPI Account Manager to take the conversation about your business’s huddle room implementation and strategy to the next level.

PPI Huddle Room Portfolio Examples
BuzzFeed
Horizon Media
Viacom
Dropbox

Related articles
An Analysis and Comparison of Software-Based Codecs Against the Landscape of Video Conferencing 

 

(1)     Gartner, “The Rise of the Video-enabled Huddle Room in the Digital Workplace,” December 2015

Celebrating Women in Technology

On Wednesday, May 10 the women of PPI had a blast attending InfoComm’s networking happy hour event focused on women in technology.  Our rock star employees proudly represented the diverse departments of the business.  Pictured from left to right is Project Coordinator Victoria Hamilton, Administrative Coordinator Casey Jin, Corporate Account Managers Jamie Cristafulli and Tullya Bertrand and Sales Engineer Sarah Reinold.  Overall, it was a fantastic night for celebrating women in technology and business.  Here’s to the continuing success, innovation, and progress for the AV industry as a whole!

The AV Industry: From Humble Beginnings to Las Vegas 2014

Better Technology, Better Solutions

The AV design and integration industry provides unique, simple technology based solutions for businesses that seek to advance their performance and services through increased communication and better collaboration. The AV industry has evolved rapidly and continues to propel itself into the future.  According to the most recent report released by InfoComm International, the main contributor to AV Standards, the audiovisual industry churns out an impressive $78 billion globally and is forecasted to expand to $115 billion by 2015.

Audiovisual firms can tackle one or a combination of four main categories of AV work which are the hardware (physical level), software (programming level), environment (business level), and content (data level). These components serve to meet different needs, but collectively function to meet one goal, the advancement of all forms of communications throughout an administration. The industry can be broken down into this classification system based more exclusively on services offered, as opposed to the actual merchandise provided. These distinctive services have separated IT specialists from AV professionals, whom have the necessary skills and training to provide optimal AV performance.

 

New Demands, New Frontiers

The AV industry can be categorized within a few major markets that include, but are not limited to: Corporate, Colleges or Universities, K-12 Education and Government or Military (click to see typical solutions).  Recently the AV industry has made strides to begin and further its involvement in: Retail, Sporting Establishments, Museum Showcases, Meeting Rooms, Convention Sites, Healthcare Organizations, and Places of Worship. As the world becomes more technologically advanced and interconnected, this technology will continue to gain entry into more markets and advance its presence in the industries listed above.

Audiovisual Technology emerged out of a demand for products like overhead projectors, screens, and simple audio equipment. As we fast-forward from these nascent stages, our audiovisual needs have drastically changed. Nowadays successful businesses are likely to have advanced forms of rapid communication not only to allow the business process to move swiftly, but also to display high forms of functionality. Audiovisual design and integration firms have met the challenges put forth by their customers and continue to push boundaries by now finding new applications and creative solutions for its clientele.

 

What to Expect: InfoComm 2014

Las Vegas will be home to InfoComm 2014 from June 18-20. The convention will be featuring a plethora of new, cutting edge technology from some of the AV world’s top contributors and innovators. Sponsors and partners include all the major names, including Crestron, Microsoft, SMART, Samsung, and Panasonic. This conference will be the top AV event of the year with over 950 exhibitors and 35,000 participants who collectively represent 110 countries. With a clear international presence, InfoComm will be featuring a Latin American Breakfast and an international reception, business center, and buyer program. Beyond these international showcases, there will be more than enough activities and showcases to look forward to.

Specifically, the seminars will feature show pavilions with the most desirable audio, digital signage, conferencing, and lighting and staging solutions. Audio demo rooms have been designated as testing spaces for attendees to experience some of the industries recently developed audio products. InfoComm University will be providing hands on tutorials focused on advancing AV professional’s abilities in the industry. Participants will also have the opportunity to get a first hand look at an audiovisual installation while on a tech tour. Some past highlights that will be making a return to InfoComm this year include: the rigging safety presentation, Technologies for Worship magazine’s live events stage, a production camera display, and many others. For the first time the convention will turn its attention towards a “tech-know job fair”, which will also prove beneficial both for job hunters and employers.

 

Product Spotlight

SMART kapp™ by SMART Technologies is the next evolution dry erase board that allows you to capture, save, and share all of your content. Building off its predecessors, SMART kapp™ takes the simple writing style of the marker and dry erase board, but allows users to “work and share with others in real time- all using your smartphone or tablet”. This digital capture board is taking us one step further in maximizing our connectivity with the ability to share data seamlessly in real-time and it will hit the market at InfoComm 2014. For advanced information on SMART kapp™ Sign up to receive information on the day of release.

smart-kapp