Volume 2, Issue 2 — February 19, 2016
|The Emotional Arc of Meetings|
By Christopher Jaynes
CTO and Founder, Mersive
I’ve started the New Year with a near constant tour of conference rooms, war rooms, classrooms, huddle spaces and other places where meetings of any kind are held. In the first three weeks of the year, I’ve visited four major cities and countless business and university campuses. I’ve been trying to gain a deeper understanding of meeting culture and how technology is impacting those trends, for better or worse.
Some of the most consistent and obvious themes that I’ve noticed is that meetings need to start faster, involve more input from participants, and support seamless collaboration, which is centered around the content we all carry on our devices. Most AV companies and integrators are already aware of this trend and are looking at better meeting scheduling systems, more interactive spaces, and better data connectivity. These same issues are also a major reason why our customers are adopting Solstice in the first place. But if you look beyond those important challenges, I’ve noticed another pattern. A potentially more important pattern. This is that meetings burden attendees with a certain amount of emotional and mental burdens that impacts productivity. Many organizations now know this, and AV should take notice.
But what does this mean? I’ve heard “meetings suck” before. But what’s actionable here? For the groups I’ve been meeting with it means that their employees only have a certain amount of intellectual and emotional capital to spend throughout the day and meetings seem to have a high price. These astute companies have discovered something very interesting:
Meetings, more than anything else at work, impose an emotional tax on attendees — that isn’t being spent on more productive tasks.
The root cause for this emotional tax is related to the additional stress that a fixed, planned, and “on-stage event” creates in the minds of the attendees. The interesting thing here is that the emotional exhaustion doesn’t arise from the work itself. Most workers love what they do, and seek out opportunities for collaboration. The emotional tax arises from the stress of having your technology lag or falter while others are waiting on you. We often have to suffer through “I pushed the conference call button and still don’t hear you!” or “Did you try this?” All while the group waits.
When you combine these technical issues with the social pressure to involve others, to be nice to everyone else in the group, and to generally just give off a good vibe – the emotional tax grows. This type of social interaction is referred to as ‘social acting’ or ‘surface acting.’ Psychologists have shown that semi-public interaction that involves feigning interest, insincere laughter, and keeping the peace causes a huge drain. One study by the British Psychological Society blog reports that surface acting can impact other tasks throughout your day, and that individuals who are consistently emotionally exhausted are harder to retain in an organization.
Now, here’s the kicker: A meeting that involves higher emotional tax creates ‘meeting recovery syndrome,’ which leaves individuals less effective for a long period after the meeting ends.
These recovery times can be as much as 50 percent of the meeting length of the meeting itself. We’ve all experienced the emotional drain that comes for a long, top-down, “important” meeting and the impact it can have on the rest of your workday. As someone that is designing software to improve our customers’ ability to collaborate and meet more effectively, this may be the single biggest area of productivity gain for us to focus on in the next year. So, while it’s true that we’ve been able to address the seven minutes of meeting startup, decrease context switching costs in meetings from minutes to seconds, and allow a more collaborative experience with multi-source content sharing – I’m excited to look at ways to help organizations manage the emotional arc of the meetings itself. Imagine attending a stress-free, collaborative meeting that is a joy to attend.
I’m working with some of our partners to define how our software can help make this happen in order to let company culture to shine through the decades of fog that single source, video cables, and hour long PowerPoint sessions have created. If you’ve used Solstice, you might have seen hints of “joy” in the user-interface – but there is more to come – so stay tuned.Leave a Comment
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|Who Owns the Code?|
By Mark Coxon
Let me start by saying that I know this blog is going to draw criticism from both sides. This is a long standing argument in the AV community, one that has yet to be universally agreed upon, and I’m certain this piece will NOT change that fact. There will still be people who fall on both sides of this argument, but perhaps at the end of this you will either understand the issue better, or potentially even jump from one side to the other.
First, let’s define what code we are talking about. When we ask “who owns the code?”, typically we are talking about the code for the control system we use to control our installed AV systems. When we ask “who” owns the code, I think we generally agree the programmer, being an employee of a company, does NOT own the code. Where we disagree is whether that code is owned by the integrator or whether that code is owned by the end user who paid for the AV system and its corresponding hardware, programming, and installation.
Some integrators claim the code is “my Intellectual Property” or “my IP,” while others assert that the end user should get everything required to maintain the system as part of their purchase.
First I’d like to explore the concept of “my IP.” Is this code actually copyrighted by the sheer fact that it was written by the integrator? To answer this we have to look at a couple factors.
First, in general, a copyright is “a property right that springs into existence when a sufficiently creative idea is reduced into or onto a tangible medium.” –Hawley Troxell
By this measure code, meets the copyright standard. Some of you are saying: case closed. Not so fast.
Let’s quickly think about a piece of code for an AV control system. First the code is written in a language like C+, Java, Simpl, etc. and the control system manufacturer lays out the rules by which this language can be used in their systems. Secondly, the code includes what I will call “industry code” from manufacturers that includes all the commands needed to execute operations on those devices. Thirdly, there is “operational code” that creates an execution of, combination of, and transition between those “industry codes” to operate the system. Finally there is code that pertains to the GUI or the look and feel of the interface.
Can the integrator lay copyright claim to all of these types of code individually?
Programming Language: This language itself already has a copyright owner. A programmer using common instruction sets from a programming language really hasn’t exhibited a “creative idea” at this point, and would have no more claim to a copyright on that than I would on the English language because I wrote this blog using it.
Industry Code: This code typically already has been written by someone else. Many times the control system manufacturer even manages a library of these code sets for their programmers to use. Given this, the integrator would have no copyright claim to this piece of the code. As an exception, sometimes this code DOES NOT exist and must be written. We will tackle that soon.
Operational Code: This is where the integrator strings operations together utilizing both the programming language and the Industry Code above. This part of the code is at least reasonably able to be claimed as “my IP.” We will return to all this later.
GUI Code: Many times, the GUI is created from an existing template provided by the control system manufacturer or a third party. In those instances, the copyright actually resides with them and not the integrator. An integrator may claim that their arrangement of those items within the template is still “my IP” and we will also revisit that shortly. However, if the integrator creates a custom GUI with new graphics and objects, that would definitely be their IP, no argument there.
Alright, so let’s come back to operational code and arrangement of items in an existing GUI template as potential IP. In order to accurately assess this, we may have to look past copyright in general. This really comes down to if the assembly of existing parts in a particular order is protect-able.
There is a great scene in Flash of Genius when Ford’s attorney asks Robert Kearns if he invented any of the parts within his intermittent windshield wiper circuit. He answers no on all counts. Under cross examination, his own attorney asks him which of the words in his plays Shakespeare created. Again the answer was none, and the attorney asserted it was in fact the order of the words that made them unique and not the words themselves.
By this test alone ,it would seem operational code and GUI arrangement is IP, but the U.S. Supreme Court may see that differently.
In 2007, “the Supreme Court decided that when elements, techniques, items, or devices are combined, united or arranged, and when, in combination, each item performs the function it was designed to perform, the resulting combination — something the court called “ordinary innovation” — is not patentable. This can be true even if there is no teaching, suggestion, or motivation to make the combination.” (1)
In other words, a new control module not in the existing library for a piece of equipment, operational code, and GUI arrangement are most likely “ordinary innovation”, not IP. These are no more an original work than copying 10 pages from 10 different books and binding them all together. Kearns’ situation was different in that he combined parts not previously combined to perform a new function not performed before.
Given all this, the only part of the control code that can realistically be called IP is custom GUI code. Now this could be a GUI that the integrator built and uses across several clients and projects, or it could be one created specifically for the client at hand.
In both cases, it seems that the problem is that there is no practical way to provide the end user a file that includes the industry and operational code (not IP) while excluding the custom GUI code (IP).
The interesting shift in the conversation here is that most integrators I have spoken with about this, actually don’t care too much if the customer has the code or not. They typically can’t do anything with it on their own. They don’t have the hardware or the skill-set to use it to launch internal DIY efforts and circumvent the integrator in the future.
The main concern seems to be that it will wind up in the hands of their competitors. The client may hire someone else next time, and if the customer has the code, they can hand it to the new firm who can then utilize it in future rooms as well as other jobs. (In the majority of cases, a large chunk of the code needs to be redone each time anyway to adjust for different components and room functionality).
So what is an honest integrator to do to protect the work they’ve done?
All of the following solutions require the integrator to do one thing they may not typically do. Have a conversation with the client at the beginning of the job specifically about code ownership.
My problem with the whole “who owns the code?” conversation is that in my experience, the client rarely knows that he won’t get the code as part of the project, that the code can’t be pulled from his system by another authorized dealer and that without the code, only the original firm can ever work on the system to maintain or upgrade it. In short, the customer is getting less than what he thought he was getting.
I’d never buy a car that could only be fixed at the dealership I bought it from.
By having a conversation up front about code ownership, the integrator and the client can come to a common agreement and appropriate price structure based on what code they want to own.
The code can be defined specifically as “work made for hire” meaning the end user owns it and pays the associated cost. Any client specific GUI should be done this way in my opinion, as it can’t be leveraged elsewhere anyway.
The integrator could provide a licensing agreement that defines how the code can be used. This would allow the end user to own the code, but also pay a per-device fee for its use. This is helpful when the integrator has invested in developing an in house custom GUI they want to leverage across multiple jobs, as they can offset the development cost through licensing per system.
The integrator could relate they never sell their code and allow the end user to decide up front if they are comfortable with the arrangement. In this case, it would be ethical to include a clause that says if the integrator goes out of business, they will relinquish the code to the client at that time.
The integrator should also include contractual language to the effect that the GUI used in the system is their copyrighted IP and cannot be reused elsewhere.
If you are providing systems with custom GUI code then you do really have IP. Have the code discussion up front. Define the client’s wants and needs and price them accordingly. If there is additional work being done specifically for this client that will never be leveraged anywhere else, define it as a work made for hire, charge accordingly and relinquish the code to the end user as part of the close out package.
If you are providing a control system from a manufacturer programmed in their language, using existing industry code, and utilizing an existing GUI template, I would assert that by the standards above, no IP has been created here. The only reason to not include the code as part of the project in this case would be to maintain an unfair advantage on the customer in case they try to hire another integrator later. (If you disagree, there is a comments section below, so fire away).
Systems that implement wholly new ways of doing things or combine things in ways that are not obvious, logical extensions of existing arrangements would also be an exception.
So who owns the code? Well possession is nine-tenths of the law so if the integrator chooses not to release it as part of the project, that is ultimately up to them.
From an IP standpoint, most of the code is likely not protect-able as the integrator’s IP, either in its written form or methodology, so there is really no reason not to include it as part of the project. In the rare cases that the system GUI is completely custom, IP claims are justifiable. In all cases, a code discussion should be had with the end user up front to set proper expectations for what will and will not be included, and if done properly, the appropriate pricing can be assigned to that agreement as well.
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|Digital Signage – Three Predictions for the Future|
By Alex Bernier
Digital Signage and the Future…
It’s the turn of the year and once again I feel old. But at least I don’t age like digital signage technology. If the dog/human age ratio is around 7:1, then digital signage must be around 47:1. Amiright?
During my recent reflection while setting travel plans for DSE 2016, I realize that I’ve been working with digital signage for over 10 years…so in a sense, I feel 147 years old. My underarms may sag to the floor, but hey, I’m still a spring chicken.
We can’t help but look at where we’ve come and attempt to extrapolate where we’ll go in the coming years. To me, we’re still in the middle of a digital signage software revolution.
To guide this extrapolation (I love that word), here are three technological principles that I will use to my own advantage to hopefully shed some light on the future. Today, I’m ONLY going to talk about the future of SaaS digital signage. This is all my opinion by the way, and I’m eager to hear any other points of view. Like Gerber’s E-Myth…the world is open to interpretation.
Principle 1: Software-Stumps Spread Their Branches Through Integration
As digital signage attracts more of a mass audience, the needs of the customer gradually become more clear. This natural progression occurs because customers need time to know how to apply the technology to their lives. For example, software needs for features like scheduling, user management, distribution grouping and info feeds seem to be a standard necessity for digital signage customers nowadays.
Once those basic needs are fulfilled, SaaS tends spread it’s branches and integrate with other complementary platforms. Protocols and connector-apps develop to help information flow from one database to another. Why? The answer is two-fold: Associative on boarding…which means users of one platform will gain exposure to the other. As well as the obvious answer — to deliver more value and one-up competitors. Though they are not primarily used for digital signage, an example of connector apps would be something like: IFTTT or Zapier.
Principle 2: Decentralization of Bottlenecks
Decentralization tends to occur as the gears in the whole system become heavier. It takes full companies to turn these gears eventually. Decentralization means that market opportunities develop due to the formation of bottlenecks; things like nationwide installation, content creation / feeds and IT support will become digital signage industries of their own.
It’s already common place for a customer to obtain their digital signage SaaS from one company, have it installed by another, have the content fed in from a creative agency, and have it all monitored and supported by yet another firm. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters. I’m not sure why.
My prediction is that this trend will continue and digital signage companies in all areas will become more invested in other firms to handle their personal bottlenecks.
Principle 3: The Niche Revolution
Let’s face it, we’re all screaming babies when it comes to our apps, emails, CRMs and the like. We want the apps to speak to us like a mirror on the wall, telling us we’re beautiful and they know just the answer for all of our shortcomings.
The snowy-niche-driven-digital-signage-storm (I went cross-eyed just typing that) will begin to develop… and hanging icicles pierce cross-sections of the market with ever-growing product depth. Whole products of digital signage are placed on digital shelves to serve the long tail of specific customer needs.
White labeled SAAS will become standardized for integrators with a special hold on these cross-sections of customers. They’ll be able to customize the structure of their SAAS software to match the needs of the end-user perfectly. Some major problems will be solved. For example, we know the digital signage pricing game is insanely dis proportioned. There’s no right way to set a price that makes everyone happy. Enter the white-labelers to tailor their product offerings, content offerings and hardware offerings through online marketplaces with special access granted only to those that fit the niche.
A classic example and proof of this concept — check out Rise Vision’s big discussion about white labeling.If you’re for it, go ahead and create a free online account and give them your opinion. They respond to almost every post:
To sum up…These aren’t very specific predictions… but again — Michael Gerber or a palm reader will remind you — the world is open to interpretation. Especially in digital signage… Those who realize this fact have the most control over the elements in the inevitable painting. And somehow… Al Gore takes credit for all of it.
See you at DSE, planet Earth.Leave a Comment
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|Mackie Extends SRM Portable Series With 1200W SRM1550 SubwooferMackie just launched a new subwoofer built from the ground up to be the companion to its SRM450 and SRM350 powered loudspeakers, dubbed the SRM1550 Portable Powered Subwoofer. Featuring a powerful 1200-watt amplifier, custom high-output 15-inch woofer, digital variable crossover, the new SRM1550 is front-ported. Equipped with stereo XLR inputs, full-range and high-pass outputs, the SRM1550 also features a variable digital crossover that includes presets for the Mackie SRM350 and SRM450, for simple and fast setup at every gig. Plus, built-in Smart Protect DSP protects the 15-inch woofer when pushed to the limit. Compact, lightweight and affordable, these subs are ideal for being used with the SRM Portable Series for a PA setup.
All the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Sony’s New Laser Projectors Include 4K and 6K Lumen ProductsSony is broadening its line of laser light source (Z-Phosphor) projector line in the mid-brightness range with three new models between 4,100 and 6,000 lumens. The new models are the VPL-FWZ65 (6,000-lumen WXGA); VPL-FWZ60 (5,000-lumen WXGA); and the VPL-FHZ57 (4,100-lumen WUXGA).
Designed for commercial applications including education, corporate, large venue and entertainment, the new models expand Sony’s laser-based professional projector family to a total of nine, starting at 2,000 lumens and going up to 7,000 lumens, in WXGA, WUXGA and 4K resolutions.
Sony is also adding two new lamp-based models (VPL-FW65, 6,300lm WXGA, and VPL-FW60, 5,200lm WXGA), for installation applications better-suited to lamp-based projection.
The new projectors share many features with the existing models in Sony’s line. Each uses BrightEra panel technology to reproduce natural-looking and vivid colors.
The new models are designed to deliver enhanced picture quality with features such as “Reality Creation,” a technology already in use by Sony’s home theater projection systems for high-end consumer entertainment. The Reality Creation engine analyzes and processes every input signal to refine detail, clarity and sharpness for naturally up-scaled images. This provides higher-resolution perspective, even with the lower-resolution WXGA series.
Sony’s laser light source means there’s no lamp that needs to slowly warm up or cool down, no lamp to limit tilt angle and no trade-off between high brightness and high resolution. The laser projectors are designed for up to 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, depending on the usage environment, which contributes to reducing users’ total cost of ownership.
In addition to the long-life laser light source design, the projectors are designed for energy efficiency due to the 3LCD engine. The VPL-FHZ57 operates at 370W power, making it the most energy-efficient laser light source projector. The low power consumption also reduces heat dissipation, in turn lowering fan noise. The VPL-FHZ57 laser projector has the quietest operation in its class (32dB, 28dB at Standard Brightness mode).
The new models have a wide powered lens shift, which can help in challenging installation environments, for example maintaining audiences’ site lines by installing the projector above a screen, or horizontally avoiding HVAC ducts on the ceiling.
The new models can be combined with a variety of optional lenses, including a short throw and tele-zoom covering up to 4.84:1 throw range, and they use a bayonet lens mounting system for easier and quicker lens changes.
Sony’s newest lens option is the VPLL-3003 ultra-short throw lens, the first-interchangeable ultra-short throw lens for 3LCD projectors. This lens offers sharp focus and minimized picture distortion due to a large mirror system, and easy adjustment of lens shift and focus via remote control. Its 0.33:1 throw ratio allows it to be used in tight spaces with no clearance from the wall.
The lens can project an 80” to 300” diagonal image with minimal throw distance (39” throw distance for 140” diagonal image), making it ideal for small meeting rooms, as digital signage or use in museums.
The new models all have built-in HDBaseT interfaces, enabling easier connectivity and reducing total system costs by using a single cable which runs all the video, audio, control and IP signal up to 328 feet (100m).
All of them are here.Leave a Comment
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|Barco Launches 13K Lumen 4K Laser-Phosphor Projector in F90The new Barco F90 series projectors are solid-state laser-phosphor light source projectors spec’d at 40,000 hours of operation time without need for lamp changes. The line includes both 2K and 4K projectors.
The F90-4K13 is native 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,400) resolution projector and the WUXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600) F90-W13 both meet the Rec. 709 color space.
The solid-state Barco laser light engine allows the projectors to run in any orientation. This gives system designers extended flexibility in projector location and orientation for complex setups, demanding applications, and blends. Coupled with a wide array of high-resolution Barco FLD and FLD+ lenses – ranging from ultra-short throw (0.28:1) to long throw (9.75:1) – each providing a wide lens shift range, the F90 series can accommodate almost any projector configuration. What’s more, these lenses are compatible with the Barco F32 and F35 projectors.
The entire F90 line is here.Leave a Comment
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|Prysm Intros 98″ Collaboration DisplayPrysm today introduced a new 98” collaboration-based LCD display that will enhance the collaboration across the enterprise. The company will demonstrate the display in conjunction with the new Prysm Enterprise solution and Skype for Business integration at ISE 2016.
Today’s collaborative decision-making process is increasingly reliant on combining data from multiple locations and sources in real time. With a stunning screen resolution and a user experience that is immersive and engaging, this larger screen serves a need in the market for larger, fully integrated Visual Workplace solutions for a new generation of multi-purpose conference rooms. The integrated digital canvas allows users to share, annotate, and edit office docs, web apps, multimedia files, and video from multiple simultaneous sources including laptops and mobile devices. Content can be positioned and resized dynamically through multi-user touch. These capabilities along with a larger, standard screen size offers a breakthrough collaboration experience that raises team productivity and engagement to a new level.
“With the release of our new 98″ LCD display, we are providing our customers with yet another option for their collaboration requirements,” said Paige O’Neill, chief marketing officer for Prysm. “With screen sizes ranging from the largest custom video wall all the way to mobile devices and any size in between, only Prysm has such a wide range of display options available as part of our Visual Workplace platform.”
The Prysm 98″ display will begin shipping in spring 2016. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Kramer Introduces Kramer Network — An AV Over IP System — at ISE 2016Kramer Electronics is introducing something called Kramer Network, an enterprise management platform for AV over IP solutions at ISE 2016. This new solution from Kramer enables the routing, management and control of standard AV and AV over IP systems and it’s being launched in the Kramer booth, F20 in Hall 1 at the ISE show this week.
The Kramer Network is a bridge between the traditional AV world and the evolving AV over IP world. It is one platform that they say can manage everything. Kramer Network is an enterprise software platform that lets you route, manage, control, operate and maintain all your Pro AV, IT and IP solutions with one convenient web-based interface. Kramer Network is designed to be a hybrid approach to AV networking as it manages both legacy AV devices and newer IP-based AV devices. On top of that, Kramer Network integrated enterprise grade Dante integration for enabling user management, authentication, predefined connection configurations, dedicated virtual matrix, customized room view.
Kramer Network is aimed at letting both AV technology managers and IT managers to configure, control and maintain large AV deployments from any single point.
There are three basic components to the Kramer Network that allow users to route, manage and control a system. The first is the Virtual Matrix. With Kramer Network you switch any number of audio and video sources to any number of destinations on an IP-based AV network. The software can easily scale from a few devices to hundreds and thousands devices. Users can simply just click in order to make audio, video, or audio and video connections from any sources to any destinations.
The second is Enterprise Management. The Kramer Network provides a dashboard to manage all your AV and also AV over IP resources and provide system analytics, and is has user access rights management hierarchy built-in so access rights can be assigned locally or remotely.
The third is Control. The Kramer Network allows users to control both AV components as well as room functions, such as lights, shades, screens, displays, etc. Users can also remotely configure and control all the devices in any IP-based AV system. Kramer products introduced to the Kramer Network will be auto-discovered, and other products can be easily added as well.
The Kramer Network can be installed on standard, enterprise, virtual, or cloud servers, and the whole system can be web-managed, so it can be accessed or operated if desired from anywhere, any time, through a web client using a laptop, PC, or mobile device. With the Kramer Network there are both “Tree View” and “Room View” options for operation.
Since the Kramer Network deploys on a standard Microsoft Windows platform and Kramer says there is no programming necessary. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Epson Takes Aim at Staging Market with New Laser Phosphor Projector|
Epson today announced its new Pro L-Series large venue laser projectors, including the world’s first 3LCD projector with 25,000 lumens of color brightness and 25,000 lumens of white brightness. The Pro L-Series projectors are also the first to integrate a laser-light source with an inorganic phosphor wheel in combination with inorganic LCD panels for outstanding image quality, durability and reliability. Epson’s new 3LCD laser projectors will be on display at ISE 2016 in Amsterdam from Feb. 9-12 at Epson booth, #1-H90.
Leveraging Epson’s 3LCD technology and new inorganic components, the Epson Pro L-Series laser projectors deliver advanced performance, quality, reliability, and flexibility. The Pro L25000 features 25,000 lumens of color and white brightness and a wide range of 4K-compatible lenses, while Pro L1000-Series comes in six models ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 lumens and offers nine optional lenses, including the world’s first zero-offset ultra short-throw lens.
The Pro L1000-Series combines a laser light source and 3LCD technology to generate 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation. The new Pro L1000-Series includes:
The Epson Pro L1000-Series will start shipping in July 2016 and all the new projectors are here, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Prysm Launches Prysm Enterprise for Scalable CollaborationPrysm today unveiled Prysm Enterprise, a hardware and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution which enables businesses and their employees to easily collaborate in-real time across every size screen — from mobile devices to custom large-scale video walls. With Prysm Enterprise, the newest offering in Prysm’s Visual Workplace portfolio, applications, content, video conferencing and the web are all combined into cloud-based visual workspaces where anyone can create, edit, share and store work, and then go back and re-access the saved workspaces later from any location via the cloud. Prysm also announced new SaaS pricing for the Enterprise offering, making it possible for companies to continue to expand this powerful collaboration footprint beyond connected meeting rooms, and across a broader mobile and remote workforce.
With Prysm’s Visual Workplace portfolio, enterprises can improve collaboration and employee engagement with a tech-savvy workplace that bridges the gap between in-office and remote workers. In addition, Prysm digitizes the collaboration process and pulls disparate tools together into one highly visual system. This leads to the creation of a rich palette for data visualization that speeds insights, ushering in an entirely new approach to collaboration. By leveraging this new Visual Workplace, enterprises can discover new insights that they would not otherwise have found.
Prysm Enterprise features added support for web browser-based access to the Prysm Application Suite via Prysm Mobile, which enables access via any mobile device and opens up greater collaboration throughout the enterprise, be it from a large 190″ auditorium video wall to a remote worker’s smartphone. Prysm Mobile is the only solution that permits simultaneous reviewers of content, where up to 25 users can share and edit information in real time.
The release also provides a completely integrated experience for Skype for Business, further adding to and simplifying the collaboration experience.
Prysm’s new Enterprise offering includes:
- Prysm Cloud: application server(s), dedicated or multi-tenant option
- Prysm Application Suite: Software that enables users to collaborate and store content in cloud-based workspaces
- Prysm Displays: with standard sizes of 65″, 85″, 98″, 117″ and 190″, as well as custom sizes to fit any size meeting room(s).
- Prysm Mobile: Web browser access for any mobile device including Apple iOS, Android, and Windows
- Services & support: One point of service and support contact and service supplier
- A new SaaS-based pricing model for the software
More details are here.Leave a Comment
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|InFocus Introduces Canvas Touch as ISE 2016InFocus today announced Canvas Touch, developed to offer Canvas customers an all-in-one Canvas touchscreen display, Canvas Touch connects to other Canvas users on smartphones, tablet, PCs and video walls. Canvas Touch combines award-winning Canvas collaboration software developed by Jupiter Systems with touchscreen technology from InFocus to expand the use and ease of Canvas. Jupiter Systems was acquired by InFocus Corporation in October 2015 to create ground-breaking solutions in collaboration and communication. InFocus Canvas Touch will debut at the InFocus booth (A-252) at the Integrated Systems Conference (ISE) in Amsterdam, Feb. 9-12.
Canvas software creates a consolidated operating picture for enterprises by enabling the easy real-time sharing of live video, data, applications, web pages and whiteboards — on any device, from any location, for seamless collaboration. Canvas Touch extends this power by placing Canvas, along with its rich collaboration toolset, anywhere the enterprise needs it, conveniently housed in a display unit with on-board PC and operable by the touch of a finger. Using the same dynamic, bi-directional annotation, editing and data sharing power available in Canvas along with an HD capacitive touch display, users can share and collaborate in real-time from multiple locations, just as they would if they were working in the same room.
Canvas Touch displays up to six simultaneous sources from the Canvas environment, including H.264 streams, VNC viewer windows, web windows and SimpleShare windows, which enables wireless presentation of content from any laptop or desktop. Windows 10-based, Canvas Touch features an elegant, familiar interface with extended features. Standards compliant and network agnostic, remote users without a Canvas client can share video and audio connection from a SIP-based videoconference system. Microsoft Skype for Business is also supported.
Canvas Touch is available immediately in a 65-inch diagonal screen size. The product is available for purchase through select InFocus resellers; pricing dependent upon the model size and resolution options. For more information on InFocus’ other collaboration systems, go here.Leave a Comment
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|HARMAN Pro Claims Lossless 4K Ultra HD Video Over Standard Ethernet at ISE 2016HARMAN Pro is using ISE 2016 in Amsterdam to launch the NMX-ENC-N2151 4K Encoder and NMX-DEC-N2251 4K Decoder that AMX says provides the same scalable solution as the rest of the AMX SVSI N2000 series but at resolutions up to 4096×2160. AMX says that JPEG 2000 compression allows Ultra HD media to be switched and distributed over standard gigabit Ethernet networks. Ultra HD signals from the NMX-ENC-N2151 encoder provided simultaneously as: 1) a JPEG 2000-compressed 200-600 Mbps stream through the RJ-45 connector and 2) an uncompressed stream through the small-form-pluggable (SFP+) connector compatible with fiber or copper. Any source can be sent to any number of displays by routing through layer-three switches. System scalability is limited only by uplink and stacking connector bandwidths but can accommodate up to 100 Ultra HD video sources at once.
Standard features, like input and output scaling, bi-directional serial, IR, embedded 7.1 audio and KVM-over-IP extension, are included. The NMX-ENC-N2151-C and NMX-DEC-N2251-C form-factors are compatible with the NMX-ACC-N9206 card cage for high-density applications.
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|Mitsubishi Electric Announces Two New VideoWalls at ISEMitsubishi Electric has announced at ISE 2016 two WUXGA models in 62″ and 72″, and two 1080p versions in 60″ and 70″, each offering a minimum 100,000 hour lifespan — over 11 years of 24/7 operation — irrespective of the brightness mode employed. This represents a significant improvement over the 80,000 hours of earlier models when operating in Bright, Normal or Eco mode. 100,000 hours of continuous use was previously achievable only when operating in Advanced Eco mode. Mitsubishi’s air-cooled projection engine requires no additional maintenance over its lifetime, representing a substantial reduction in operating costs.
The new projection engines deliver a contrast ratio of 3800:1 — double that of earlier models — and achieve similar light outputs but with a significant reduction in power consumption, helping to reduce running costs still further.
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|Extron Updates Room AgentRoom Agent software turns TouchLink Pro touchpanels into full-featured room booking appliances that display a room’s meeting information and availability. With Room Agent, the touchpanels require no programming, as they simply become a client of the existing Microsoft Exchange server. Booking a room from the touchpanel is as easy as tapping the “Reserve” button. The interface also provides at-a-glance room availability and a timeline view of the room’s status for the rest of the day. In addition to the customizable touchpanel interface, bright LEDs within the bezel provide at-a-glance room availability status from down the hall. Multiple mounting options are available, including on-wall, in-wall, as well as secure mounting to almost any flat surface, including glass or granite.
Depending how they are set up, Extron TLP Pro 520M, 720M, and 720T TouchLink Pro Touchpanels can be configured and used as either traditional touchscreen controllers or as full-featured room booking appliances. Once the touchpanels are set up with Room Agent, they seamlessly tie to Microsoft Exchange without complicated setup or programming. Simply connect the touchpanel to your computer, open the free Room Agent software, fill in the required fields that compose the user interface, and you’re done. Customization options allow fields to be shown or hidden, depending on user preference.
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|Auralex Intros ProPanel Acoustical AbsorptionAuralex Acoustics is offering a number of new solutions based around its ProPanel Fabric Wrapped Acoustical Absorption Panels, including ProPanel Cloud panels and all-in-one ProKits. ProPanel Cloud panels are designed to hang horizontally from a ceiling to help control and reduce sound reflections. ProKits are all-in-one, cost-effective acoustical treatment packages engineered to control excess mid- and high-frequency reflections in the room.
The ProPanel mix cloud system is configurable in three popular sizes: 4′ x 4′, 4′ x 6′ & 4′ x 8′. A ProPanel Cloud installation is composed of 2′ x 4′ x 2″ ProPanels in a frameless design and includes mounting hardware. ProPanel Clouds are available in Obsidian (OBS) or Sandstone (SST).
Based on the Auralex Class A fire-rated, fabric wrapped fiberglass ProPanels, ProKit-1 and ProKit-2 acoustical treatment packages provide state-of-the-art absorption performance with high build quality, great aesthetics and low odor. The included panels cover more surface area than competing offerings, a more effective resolution to your room’s acoustical problems. Both kits include 2’x4’x2″ beveled wall panels and reverse mitered corner bass trap panels to provide low-frequency absorption, critical in small to medium-sized rooms. The ProKit-1 and ProKit-2 room treatment systems are available in two standard fabric choices, Sandstone or Obsidian, and include all mounting hardware. Additional ProPanel Cloud and monitor isolation solutions are also available.
- For rooms 12’x12′ and up
- Two M224 Mitered Edge SST & OBS
- Seven B224 Beveled Edge SST & OBS
- For rooms 18’x20′ and up
- Six M224 Mitered Edge SST & OBS
- 12 B224 Beveled Edge SST & OBS
ProPanel ProKit Add-Ons:
- ProPanel Mix Cloud system
- ProPAD and SubDude Monitor Isolation Platforms
- ProGO Freestanding Absorption Panels
The following ProPanel components are available:
- 2′ x 2′ Wall ProPanel; Beveled or Straight Edge, 1″& 2″ Thicknesses
- 2′ x 4′ Wall ProPanel; Beveled or Straight Edge, 1″ & 2″ Thicknesses
- 4′ x 4′ Wall ProPanel; Beveled or Straight Edge, 2″ Thickness Only
- 4′ x 8′ Wall ProPanel; Beveled or Straight Edge, 2″ Thickness Only
- 2′ x 4′ Corner ProPanel; Reverse-Mitered Edge, 2″ Thickness Only
- Custom panels also available
ProPanels are offered in the following standard fabric colors: Obsidian, Sandstone, and the following premium fabric colors: Patina Petoskey Cobalt, Poppy, Henna, Pumice, Ebony, Mesa, Shadow and Beige. Proprietary mounting equipment options include impaling clips, offset impaling clips, corner impaling clips, cloud anchors and snap-on anchors. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Audio-Technica Intros New Desk Stand and Boundary Transmitters for System 10 Digital WirelessAudio-Technica introduces two new desk stand and boundary microphones compatible with System 10 PRO Rack-Mount Digital Wireless Systems and Stack-mount Digital Wireless Systems: the ATW-T1007 System 10 Microphone Desk Stand Transmitter and the ATW-T1006 System 10 Boundary Microphone/Transmitter.
Designed to work with phantom-powered, condenser gooseneck microphones with a three-pin XLRM-type output, the ATW-T1007 System 10 Microphone Desk Stand Transmitter pairs with the System 10 PRO or System 10 digital wireless receiver of your choice to provide rock-solid, 2.4 GHz wireless performance. The transmitter is equipped with a three-pin XLRF-type input, and features a touch-sensitive user switch that can toggle between talk and mute modes, or function as a press-to-talk or press-to-mute button. Two red/green LEDs – one visible from the front of the unit, the other from the rear – indicate toggle/talk/mute mode, battery level, and charging status. The ATW-T1007 offers three levels of input gain (-6 dB, 0 dB and +6 dB), which can be selected via a switch on the bottom of the unit. Another switch engages the low-cut filter.
A perfect fit for conference rooms and other meeting spaces, the ATW-T1006 System 10 Boundary Microphone/Transmitter likewise pairs with any System 10 PRO or System 10 digital wireless receiver to provide clear, natural sound quality with reliable 2.4 GHz wireless performance. This cardioid condenser boundary mic is also equipped with a touch-sensitive user switch that can toggle between talk and mute modes, or function as a press-to-talk or press-to-mute button. Two red/green LEDs – one visible from the front of the unit, the other from the rear – indicate toggle/talk/mute mode, battery level, and charging status. The mic also offers three levels of input gain (-6 dB, 0 dB and +6 dB) and the low-cut filter switch.
For both units, a 3.7V rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides nine hours of use on a full charge and is easily recharged with the included USB charging cable.
ATW-T1007 and ATW-T1006 features:
- Pair with any System 10 PRO or System 10 digital wireless receiver
- Digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation for ultimate sound quality and dependable performance
- Operates in the 2.4 GHz range — completely free from TV interference
- Gain Control switch allows selection of three input gain levels: -6 dB (for loudest voices), 0 dB and +6 dB (for softest voices)
- Two red/green LEDs — one visible from the front of the unit, the other from the rear — indicate toggle/talk/mute mode, battery level and charging status
- User switch can be set to toggle between talk and mute modes, or function as a press-to-talk or press-to-mute button
- Switchable low-cut filter
- System ID Display located on bottom of unit
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|InFocus Debuts ConX Collaboration Solution at ISE 2016InFocus unveiled its new video conferencing platform today at ISE 2016. InFocus ConX is a collaboration solution offering a customizable combination of products, software and services that allow businesses, schools and facilities to connect to anyone, virtually anywhere, and collaborate. The platform facilitates the large-scale connection of people and ideas, making multiple streams of information meaningful and actionable. ConX integrates advanced video and information-sharing technologies into one fully configurable and scalable solution for sharing ideas and working on solutions that spans mobile devices, office desktops, huddle rooms, board rooms, and video walls.
The ConX platform offers several enterprise-ready solutions, including the new ConX Wall and ConX Exec systems. Both are video conferencing solutions that feature multi-endpoint video conferencing and content sharing, configurable for a range of applications, from the executive office to the boardroom. Using multiple ultra-narrow-bezel HD displays, users can customize ConX solutions for any wall size ranging from a single display to a large videowall.
What sets ConX Wall and ConX Exec apart from a basic video wall is an integrated video conferencing multipoint control unit (MCU) server. The server enables users to instantly configure and change each input image to any number of the displays. This allows in-room participants to focus on whatever content they want at any given time, such as a data or video stream from a remote participant. This unique ability to create a user-defined layout and to have control from all kinds of devices makes ConX Wall and ConX Exec ideal for enterprise management, public services, education and training.
Like InFocus Canvas Touch, also announced today at ISE 2016, ConX combines the technology strengths of Jupiter Systems and Avistar, both recent InFocus acquisitions, to provide scalable, flexible and affordable solutions. The platform that can connect anyone across the globe, from a mobile device to a desktop video phone, computer, video wall, or another videoconferencing endpoint, such as the InFocus Mondopad.
Video collaboration with users across a broad range of devices is made possible by ConX Video Meeting, InFocus’ cloud-based meeting service. Users of ConX Wall and ConX Exec systems can connect with colleagues on their ConX Phone, Mondopad, PC, smartphone, tablet and third party SIP-compliant and H.323 systems. Callers on standard phones can dial in as audio-only participants.
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|Extron Debuts eBUS Button Panels for Decora WallplatesFollowing last week’s eBUS control system debut, Extron this week is launching a series of eBUS button panels in the form of the EBP 105 D and EBP 106 D eBUS Button Panels for Decora-style wallplates. These button panels are fully-customizable AV system control interfaces for Extron eBUS-enabled control systems. They connect to an IPCP Pro control processor to perform a wide variety of AV system functions. Customizable, soft touch buttons are backlit for easy operation in low-light environments. Two eBUS ports are available for easy system expansion. eBUS button panels connect to the control processor and to each other using a single cable that carries both power and communication. The EBP 105 D and EBP 106 D mount in a single gang junction box, and include black and white Decora wallplates.
eBUS button panels connect using a unique digital bus architecture that allows for control system expansion, more design options and future upgrades. This also allows a single button panel to be used in a smaller system, or easily linked via a single cable to other button panels and touchpanels in more elaborate control system applications.
Since eBUS button panels have the same physical appearance as Extron’s MediaLink controllers, they can be used alongside them throughout a facility while preserving a consistent look and user experience. The buttons on the EBP 105 D and EBP 106 D can be easily customized using the online Custom Button Builder application.
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|Clear-Com Ships DX410 Wireless IntercomClear-Com has announced that its DX410, two-channel 2.4 GHz digital wireless intercom system is now shipping. The new system which features 7 kHz wideband audio for exceptional audio clarity is the first DX Series wireless intercom system to offer this level of audio frequency range. The company says it’s easy to set up and configure, the DX410 also features lightweight yet rugged beltpacks and All-in-One wireless headsets.
Each BS410 base station can support up to 15 registered BP410 wireless beltpacks and/or WH410 All-in-One wireless headsets. In a single-channel operation, any four beltpack users can engage in simultaneous, full-duplex (talk-listen) communication, while three users may be in full-duplex mode in a dual-channel operation. The BP410 and WH410 have rugged, reinforced casings and long-lasting keypads with no mechanical switch, proven to withstand harsh production environments. Fast charging Li-Ion batteries takes only 2.5 hours to provide up to 12 hours of battery life.
The DX410 system features 7 kHz wideband audio. The high quality audio expands audio range and increases intelligibility in high RF environments so even soft whispers can be heard clearly. With an upgraded radio and a lost packet concealment capability, the DX410 delivers an improved experience in performance, range and sound.
DX410 also features 2-wire and 4-wire bridging and 2-wire auto-nulling. The bridging capability allows the option for combining the 2-wire and 4-wire ports together on either channel A or B, allowing operators to use a 4-wire out to send all the audio to a mixer, matrix intercom or other audio source. Two-wire auto-nulling enables fast and accurate integration with Clear-Com or TW wired partyline systems.
The DX410 uses a frequency hopping system (FHSS), and offers spectrum-friendly and Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) modes, to avoid interference with Wi-Fi, while operating in the 2.4GHz band means that DX410 does not require radio licensing for use.
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|Auralex Offers Studiofoam SonoTechAuralex Acoustics has launched something they are calling SonoTech, that uses Auralex’s proprietary Studiofoam. SonoTech offers effective absorption treatment, on a budget, for home studios in need of a softer aesthetic than offered by other Studiofoam products.
This unique 2″ thick profile is available in a 2′ x 2′ format and is a great choice for a variety of residential applications. SonoTech panels are available in charcoal and are made from Auralex’s long-lasting, melamine-free formula, which won’t crumble with age.
Studiofoam SonoTech panels include EZ-Stick Pro tabs for convenient mounting to most surfaces. Available from your favorite authorized Auralex dealer, Studiofoam SonoTech can be purchased in two-packs, allowing for customers to purchase acoustical treatment as budgets allow.
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe AVBuyers.Club out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV and HomeAV industries, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write or say anything good (or bad).
To send me feedback, don’t reply to this newsletter. Instead, write directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or for editorial ideas, Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at email@example.com.
A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue, which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe [Publications] has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe ProAV Edition is our flagship newsletter with what we believe is a reach of virtually everyone in the ProAV market. rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA and launched in February 2004, is, by far, the largest ePub in the HomeAV market. We added rAVe Rental [and Staging] in November 2007, rAVe ED [Education] in May 2008 and then rAVe DS [Digital Signage] in January 2009. We added rAVe GHGav [Green, Healthcare & Government AV] in August 2010 and rAVe HOW [House of Worship] in July 2012. rAVe Radio, our podcast network, was launched in 2012. AVBuyers.Club, our first publications targeted at end users, launched in May 2015. You can subscribe to any of those publication or see ALL our archives by going to: http://www.ravepubs.com
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