By Ira Weinstein
Sr. Analyst, Consultant and Partner, Wainhouse Research
Collaboration Displays, Video Walls and Interactive White Boards
While at the show, we spent a few minutes at the Microsoft booth where the star of the show was Microsoft Surface Hub. While it doesn’t appear that Microsoft announced any new Surface Hub features at InfoComm, the large crowd at the Microsoft booth shows just how interested the AV community is in the company’s collaboration device. And for good reason. While no technology device is perfect, Surface Hub combines ease of use with advanced collaboration capabilities, in an attractive package. Microsoft also attended (and briefly presented) at the joint WR / GPA end user roundtable event.
Video wall and collaboration company Prysm showcased its complete product line including the Olympic 4K UHD video wall and Cascade collaboration solution. Powered by the newly announced Synthesis 2.0 software, Prysm allows up to ten Cascade systems to be mirrored in real time. Note that in the Prysm environment, mirroring means viewing and co-controlling the pixel canvas. The mirroring function also uses an innovative approach that maintains the proper aspect ratio of shared displays, while allowing each location to access and use its entire display space. See Ira’s discussion with Prysm below.
The Smart Technologies booth featured the newest (and according to Smart the cleverest) member of the SMART kapp family – the SMART kapp IQ, a 4K interactive flat panel system that supports the SMART kapp workflow which allows users to pair the display with their smart phone, and then share content with up to 250 remote users and even other kapp IQ displays in other locations. The kapp IQ display also includes an HDMI input, allowing it to act as an interactive 4K touch display / electronic white board as well. Although WR has extensive experience with the classic kapp solution, we have yet to formally test kapp IQ. The demo, however, was quite impressive. The kapp IQ product comes in two sizes – a 55″ version (MSRP $3,999), and a 65″ version (MSRP $4,999).
Oblong Industries gave WR a demo of the newest release of its collaboration solution, Mezzanine 3. Newly added capabilities include support for 4K displays / content, and a feature called “expanded workspaces” which allows users to easily move content between walls of different configurations (e.g. from a 2×2 workspace to a 3×1 workspace). Behind the scenes, this involves a seamless hand-off of content between Mezzanine servers, which we expect was no easy feat. Other features include support for remote video and audio participants, and the ability to launch calls on standards-based video conferencing systems from within the Mezzanine UI.
Final Thoughts on InfoComm 2015
Unfortunately, the InfoComm show floor was open for three days only, so we couldn’t see everything of possible interest to our Clients and readers.
Note to vendors – if your offering and/or InfoComm announcements warrant some attention, please send the info through and [if appropriate] we’ll give you some love.
-The WR VC / AV Team
Follow me on Twitter at @iweinstein.