THIS IS A PROMOTED POST
The infamous 2020 is the year of social distancing. Limited travel. Working from home. Dogs barking at the mailperson. Videoconferencing fatigue. No doubt, today, there’s a certain “art” to being present. How do you stay engaged in our current climate of 2D meetings and, er, less-than virtual meetings and events? Almo Pro A/V and ARHT Media (pronounced “art” media) are on a mission to make “staying present” happen through ARHT Media’s hologram technology — a unique solution that AV teams can work with Almo on to bring to clients for exceedingly better virtual experiences.
Through ARHT’s HoloPresence tech and a newly announced platform called HoloPod, distributed through Almo, AV and IT teams are empowered to bring more engaging virtual experiences to their customers. It delivers on something that’s always created intrigue for the end user since it first showed up in the movies: the ever-elusive “hologram.” If you’re a technology purist, you know that holograms, in their truest sense, have yet to be realized. But ARHT Media has accomplished what, to the average user, very much appears to be one — inspiring minds and creating awe in the process.
When Almo and ARHT decided to have a webinar called “The ARHT of Being Present with HoloPresence Technology” to discuss the technology, it couldn’t be just any ol’ webinar. So, naturally, Andrew Dorcas, SVP of global sales at ARHT Media, came to us live from Toronto as none other than … a hologram. Via the Virtual Global Stage (VGS), powered by patented transmission software known as ARHT Engine, we were able to see Dorcas at full scale as he gave us the lowdown on HoloPresence and offered some key perspectives on how meetings have changed this year.
How the technology works:
After learning about the ARHT ecosystem, it was time to dig into the “why” of this webinar. We got into some great learnings and points of discussion. Here are a few you should know:
- Meetings have changed drastically, and hybrid experiences are growing, growing, growing. “Hybrid” is the new buzzword — and soon-to-be-fully-realized hybrid events and experiences (with some participants in physical locations and some participants in remote locations, like at home) will only continue to balloon. Gone are the days when we can ignore, or even deprioritize, remote participation in any event — even something like an AV industry trade show that has, traditionally, only accommodated for the main in-person event. Ultimately, this is all for the better; it will force us all in the industry to be more creative in how we innovate our AV experiences around time and geography.
- More than 50% of communication is nonverbal. It’s not just about getting more people to the stage/meeting itself. It’s about creating engaging experiences when we’re there. Viewing a hologram presenter (as opposed to a flat, 2D image) improves key presentation elements — like engagement, recall and brand value — as viewers can see and read body language. I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s worlds more effective than the web conferencing we know now, staring at a screen full of talking heads.
- Customer expectations are changing. There’s no turning back; after this year, there will only be more heightened end-consumer expectations that technology can accomplish practically anything (no, really) in the virtual-event space. People will be looking for — and will perhaps start expecting — more elevated remote experiences. As we inevitably move into more virtual and hybrid events, customers will want flexibility and more options; hologram technology affords customers the opportunity to get creative and engage more participants and presenters, both remotely and in person — whether one to one, one to many, many to one, or many to many.
Think of these points as ARHT Media’s value propositions, as discussed next in the webinar:
1) Breaking the barriers of time and geography.
2) Creating “wow” moments at home.
3) Offering our customers new innovations and high tech.
Imagine the possibilities when you can invite prospective speakers to the “stage” who no longer need to get on a plane and physically travel to an event — they need merely to “beam into” it via a studio equipped with this transmission solution. (A one-up for the planet, as well.) It’s a lot simpler than you think too: The network ecosystem (check that image we included above) uses ARHT’s proprietary technology, capture studios — with open-market AV equipment and studios many partners and end-user clients already have — and standard projection equipment to transmit signals, simply, via the internet.
Why This Matters
There’s an argument to be made that hologram technology can be used anywhere to make in-person and virtual experiences better. Take this webinar! How much more engaging was it to watch Dorcas present as a real person, not a flat image behind the videoconferencing platform, with a near-real “presentation stage” behind him? You have to attribute some of that success to the fact that our eyes received the information in a unique, visually interesting format, being able to see Dorcas and read his cues. I also attribute some of my engagement to Dorcas’s sense of humor and knack for presenting — he had some fresh jokes that were really on cue.
Picture this technology benefitting some of the busiest and most sought-after industries for sales in AV: higher education, live events, advertising and entertainment, healthcare, corporate spaces, meeting spaces. If this sort of thing intrigues you, there are a few things you can do next to learn more about ARHT’s solution:
- Read Almo’s three-part blog series:
- Watch the Almo webinar we reviewed in this article.
- Bookmark the AlmoProAV.com/Holographic-Telepresence tab.
Then get in touch with an Almo SDM (services development manager) via the third link I provided above. Your rep will be listed by region on the beautifully color-coded map at the bottom of that Almo microsite.