Securely save and share your whiteboard

Kaptivo Announces Kaptivo Enterprise for Secure, Real-time Whiteboard Livestreaming Across Global Teams

Whiteboard camera system digitizes standard whiteboards for remote collaboration, video conferencing, and secure information sharing

Kaptivo, the company that transforms any whiteboard into an online collaboration system, today announced the availability of Kaptivo Enterprise, a sleek, micro-optical camera and software system that digitizes dry-erase boards for instant, secure content sharing across teams. Designed to meet the needs of large organizations, Kaptivo Enterprise is the next generation of the Kaptivo whiteboard camera system that launched in 2016.

One in four people video conference every day, making it possible for global organizations to work together in real time. The rise of the remote team poses challenges for companies that rely on convenient whiteboards to enrich discussion and share information.

Employees often attempt to share information via insecure whiteboard photos or inadequate video conferencing cameras. With Kaptivo, IT can provide a more efficient and secure solution for employees collaborating remotely or saving images of the whiteboard. Kaptivo’s automatic image capture and live streaming enable teams to focus on the discussion instead of on snapping insecure whiteboard photos on personal devices.

“We developed Kaptivo Enterprise to better meet the requirements of our customers as they seek to solve the universal challenges of information security and remote collaboration,” said Nic Lawrence, Co-Founder and CEO of Kaptivo.

Employees can securely livestream crystal-clear whiteboard images through the web or video conferencing platforms, providing remote colleagues instant access to the latest content on any device, anywhere. Kaptivo Enterprise further addresses the challenge of information security in the enterprise. With superior quality whiteboard images, employees choose to use Kaptivo over alternative photo methods. SSL encryption and approval protocol for whiteboard sessions give teams granular control over content, and the option to connect via Ethernet provides added security.

The Kaptivo camera, which attaches to the top of any whiteboard, automatically saves images and shares content in real time via livestream or video conference integration. The images are instantly enhanced to remove any reflections, glare, and people blocking the board.  Content changes are compiled into ready-to-go, multi-page timeline presentations of the meeting.

“Kaptivo Enterprise represents a milestone in enterprise collaboration. No product to date has successfully enabled companies to bridge the gap between virtual and offline collaboration in a secure and streamlined fashion,” adds Adrian Cable, Co-Founder and CTO of Kaptivo.

Availability

Kaptivo Enterprise is available now for $995 which includes the Kaptivo hardware and three-year cloud service (SaaS) license.  There will also be options to purchase SaaS in one and five-year increments.

The availability of Kaptivo Enterprise precedes the fall launch of Kaptivo Education, a whiteboard image capture device to enhance visual learning and enable student collaboration.

For more information, visit kaptivo.com/kaptivo-enterprise-launch/

Industry Weapon for Digital Signage for K-12

Industry Weapon is offering applications and communication solutions for digital signage for K-12 campuses, mitigating areas where campuses lack fast, effective message broadcasting.

With Industry Weapon’s solution, schools create campaigns to communicate dynamic content to a larger audience than any previous form of messaging. From announcements to fun facts, students and faculty alike are more inclined to watch and retain information from the digital signs. Campuses can integrate directory and wayfinding applications for new students and visitors that need directions around the campus. Closed circuit television content can be transmitted onto the screens as well to broadcast live sports and school events.

“Our solution greatly remedies communication issues by allowing administrators to transmit content quickly and efficiently across the entire district:, said David Wible, CEO, Industry Weapon. “From safety announcements that alert the district in emergency situations, to content approval processes that allow students to create messages under supervision, we’ve designed numerous applications with K-12 purposes in mind.”

K-12 institutions do not have their own Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities to disclose information about crimes committed on or near campuses, Industry Weapon goes a step further for K-12 clients by providing the Alert Integration. This integration connects with software such as E2Campus, Simplex Grinnell, and Blackboard for immediate emergency messaging notifications. In the event of a safety breach, inclimate weather, fire, etc., the digital signage displays an emergency warning until the emergency has passed.

The digital media company also responds to the importance of test scores. For test-takers, digital signage enhances the standardized testing process by regularly providing them with simple preparation tips, broadcasting reminders of important test dates and times, and showcasing practice questions to familiarize students with the content. By creating campaigns that run during test days, students who are not being tested are informed of when to stay quiet in the hallways.

Crestron to Unveil SolarSync™ Color Temperature Daylight Sensor at LightFair® International 2018

New sensor analyzes the color temperature of ambient light and directs indoor lighting to automatically match the detected color

Rockleigh, NJ – May 3, 2018 – Crestron, a global leader in commercial lighting control technology, announced today that it will unveil SolarSync (GLS-LCCT), its new daylight sensor with correlated color temperature (CCT) and a luminous intensity meter, at LightFair® International 2018, booth #3012. The world’s largest architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, LightFair will be taking place at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, May 8 – 10.
SolarSync was designed to analyze the color temperature of the ambient light and direct the indoor lighting to automatically match the detected color when mounted outdoors or in an area exposed to plenty of natural light. This innovative sensor can drive indoor lighting to match the color and intensity of the sunlight throughout the day, or create artistic lighting scenes that make midnight feel like a sunny afternoon. SolarSync also has manual mode or inclement weather dead band settings to maximize the best lighting effect at all times with no effort.

“Tunable white has many benefits that have been directly linked to our health and productivity, and the idea of having an artificial light source to re-create the natural light has proven effects,” said Bill Schafer, Executive Sales Director, Crestron Commercial Lighting Control. “However, manual control has proven ineffective. Now, in addition to our standard time-based control, we now offer our SolarSync single point sensor, which reports back to your Crestron system to create a true reflection of the natural light outside.”

Crestron Commercial Lighting Control
Crestron simplifies design, installation, and startup of commercial lighting control with the right products and systems to meet the needs of each space in a building. Everything is easily integrated for enterprise-wide monitoring, management, and control. Our process dramatically reduces the time required to complete each phase of a lighting control project while greatly improving efficiency and scalability.

Visit Crestron at booth #3012 at LightFair International 2018, May 8 – 10, at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.

 

Crestron to Ship AirBoard Whiteboarding Solution

Crestron will soon be shipping the Crestron AirBoard PoE electronic whiteboard technology. Crestron AirBoard enables viewing of electronic whiteboard content on any display device, thereby solving the problem of meeting participants — remote participants, especially — not being able to see the whiteboard unless they’re seated with a direct line of sight.

Crestron AirBoard is essentially a camera on an arm that attaches to any electronic whiteboard via the included mounting kit. With PoE, only a single Ethernet cable to the LAN is required for video, communication and power.

With Crestron AirBoard, annotations can be saved and then posted, emailed, or texted to either a central web page (education applications) or to invited participants (corporate applications). Meeting participants simply choose “whiteboard” as a source on the in-room Crestron TSW or Crestron Mercury touch screen to start the session. When “end meeting” is selected, the user is prompted to save and send the file.

Remote conferencing participants can access the whiteboard session much like they would connect to Crestron AirMedia, by entering the URL (or friendly name) shown on the room display in their web browser. Once on the web page, the user simply enters the dynamic PIN or access code, which is also shown on the room display.

Attaches to any whiteboard
Crestron AirBoard is essentially a camera on an arm that attaches to any electronic whiteboard via the included mounting kit. With PoE, only a single Ethernet cable to the LAN is required for video, communication, and power.

Easy to operate
With Crestron AirBoard, annotations can be saved and then posted, emailed, or texted to either a central web page (education applications) or to invited participants (corporate applications). Meeting participants simply choose “whiteboard” as a source on the in-room Crestron TSW or Crestron Mercury touch screen to start the session. When “end meeting” is selected, the user is prompted to save and send the file.

Remote conferencing participants can access the whiteboard session much like they would connect to Crestron AirMedia®, by entering the URL (or friendly name) shown on the room display in their web browser. Once on the web page, the user simply enters the dynamic PIN or access code, which is also shown on the room display.

Staging AV systems

Thinking about testing AV systems….

Staging systems is a crucial process for all providing AV systems. All devices are tested and proven to be functioning well before shipping to the site! The control system is sorted out at the shop. All firmware and communication conflicts are addressed. Network devices are pre-configured with their actual IP information, so they can be plug and play when they are delivered. Staging certifies that the system is ready to be installed. All the bugs are flushed out so that, if anything arises during the installation, the issues are mostly reduced to field cabling problems, because everything else has been thoroughly tested. It makes the installation go like a hot knife through butter.

So, why doesn’t everyone do it?

The major reasons are as follows:

1. No buy in from management. Quality has to come from the top down to be truly effective. And, if the boss continually pushes for systems to be delivered without having been totally staged, it sends a clear message to the entire company where the priorities of the organization lie (sizzle > steak).

2. No holistic vision of the project. It is very easy for companies, especially large ones, to adopt a “not my monkeys, not my circus” attitude between departments. A shop manager might be inclined to ship a system before it has been staged, just to pass the buck, despite the fact that doing so will jam up the installation team. It might be great for the shop schedule, but the installation schedule is destroyed, the project schedule sees delays and the service team might be tasked with finishing the installation…again. If people are focused only on their piece of the puzzle, rather than the big picture, it is very easy for them to ignore the value of quality.

3. Lack of education or experience. If people don’t understand the purpose and/or value of staging, they are less likely to do it. If the people building the racks never had an AV Installation Nightmare (check them out on “The Facebook”), they are less likely to do it. Whenever staging is taught in an AQAV class, participants—designers, installers and technology managers alike—are constantly saying things like, “This would have saved me a week in the field…if I knew about this.

4. Lack of discipline. If a single person isn’t responsible for the staging, and the company just expects “the team” to get it done, it very rarely happens. The responsibility of staging must be designated to one person on the team, and it must become a habit of the organization. It takes discipline, but, once the process is ingrained in the entire team, projects begin to go smoothly. As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline Equals Freedom”—freedom from stress, worry, having to remember every little thing…oh…and losing profits.

Applying cute, little project-management tools and tricks won’t produce the results that adopting the AV-9000 approach can. Your team has to live, breathe and be quality. It’s gains o’clock, my AV peeps. Let’s gooooooo!

Four Reasons Room Scheduling Platforms Simplify Collaboration

Let’s imagine a scenario. Your business meeting is the epitome of collaboration, where great minds get together to discuss what makes your business tick, the entire team sharing ideas and making a brilliant plan. Yet, during the think tank of your dreams, you are interrupted by the next team, who seems to have forgotten to check the conference room schedule. Insisting that the meeting must happen, yours is shut down and you hope that you remember where you left off.

Does this sound familiar? Offices and meeting spaces are often chaotic, especially in booming businesses. Trying to keep track of which conference rooms are in use can be very difficult – more complicated than it needs to be.

New tech like room scheduling platforms can help. These platforms are designed to create an easier and more effective way to schedule meetings and keep track of which meeting places are in use to avoid the above scenario. True collaboration should be simple, and these platforms deliver. Here are four reasons why room scheduling platforms simplify collaboration.

Scalability

It is critical to be scalable in business today. This includes your strategy, your goals, and your tools. Room scheduling platforms are built to offer scalability, no matter the current size of your business. The room schedulers will fit, no matter the number of rooms or the size of your staff.

Options such as the meeting room booking by Condeco offer a 100 percent scalable solution to fit your business, no matter how fast or slow your growth. According to Pam Hildebrand, Condeco’s web services manager, “We’re seeing a major improvement in meeting room booking efficiency. With around 90 percent adoption rate in just one month, due to ease-of-use and the digital touchscreens, we’re already observing a positive change in behavior in how people book and manage their meetings.”

The word flexible is music to business’ ears, especially when tech grows so fast. Room scheduling platforms are created to work seamlessly with your other tools such as Office 365 and Google Suite. This means that your unified collaboration (UC) strategy doesn’t have to change to implement these platforms. Your team can collaborate through the UC channel and schedule meetings using the platform at the same time.

The best part? Some of these tools can interact and integrate with standard calendar platforms, allowing you to book meeting rooms from anywhere. The Creston Enterprise Room Scheduling tool, for example, allows you to book meetings in the hallway, in the room and from your mobile device using the application. Your favorite calendar works seamlessly to give you the best overall view of the rooms available, while not sacrificing a quality platform.

Plug-and-Play Speed

A slow solution for collaboration isn’t a solution at all. Room scheduling tools should offer plug-and-play speed, working as soon as you need them, where you need them. They are incredibly easy to install and even easier to connect. Most of the features of the solution such as the mobile applications can be downloaded and then used straight away. There isn’t much of a learning curve, allowing your employees to book meeting rooms and make changes efficiently, without the overwhelming cost of extra training.

Optimization

Room scheduling platforms give you and your employees a chance to truly optimize your meeting room space for the best usage. Tools such as the Condeco from above, offer reporting that gives detailed intelligence on room and resource usage and user activity. Using this information, the platform can help you decide what meeting room space you need, instead of using space that you don’t. The result? Money saved in resources and the decrease of overhead costs.

These platforms also offer video conferencing for those outside of the meeting space and optimized visitor management to keep track of meeting invites and visitor passes. Are you the host? They can also notify you of arrivals as they come.

Meetings and conferences are a huge part of collaboration within your business. By optimizing your space by creating an easier way to schedule rooms, collaboration will go on without fail. Room scheduling platforms offer flexibility for scalability and integration with speed and agility for busy and booming business.

Prysm Launches LPD 6K Interactive Large-Format Display

New Single-Panel Laser Phosphor Displays Aim to Set New Standards for Video Walls

Prysm has unveiled the Prysm Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) 6K Series. These interactive, large-format, single-panel displays represent a significant improvement over the company’s previous technology, with panoramic images uninterrupted by seams or bezels. The displays are shatter-resistant, flexible, and can even be rolled up for transport.

The LPD 6K is available in two sizes—135 inches and 190 inches—and can display content in both 4K and 6K resolution.

“Our LPD 6K is extremely versatile,” said Hannah Grap, vice president of marketing at Prysm. “We’re introducing a digital signage solution, a broadcasting solution, and the ability to create up-close and one-on-one interactive experiences right next to the video wall.”

Initially created as a means to work in tandem with Prysm software, the screen is compatible with the Prysm digital workplace platform for interactive operation.

“Most of our implementations go back to the need of video content sharing,” Grap said. “Whether that is in a boardroom or an experience center, we have quite a few customers using it in that high-versatility space.”

The LPD screen is touted to use 20 percent less energy than the standard LCD screen, making it extremely energy efficient; according to the company, its power consumption similar to a commercial coffee maker. The screen itself does not require a separate cooling system and 96 percent of materials used in the production of the screen are recyclable.

Enterprise Room Scheduling Platform

AV Control v2.0: The Industry’s Long Overdue Firmware Update

By Greg Mattson, product management, Installed Systems, QSC

You ever wonder why people avoid pressing that “upgrade firmware” button on their devices? I have a theory:

    • Some people suffer from a basic lack of awareness. They don’t know that a better solution is out there.
    • Some people are busy. They flat-out avoid updates because it might require them to learn something new.
    • Some people are weary of the consequences. It’s just easier to suffer through the quirks and simply turn a blind eye to the promise of improvement.

This scenario is pretty similar to the world of AV programmers. As control programmers, we struggle on a daily basis with the outdated process of AV control, dedicated hardware strung together with old tech, and antiquated programming languages. We either accepted these issues as necessary evils, or cling to the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Or maybe we are simply unaware of the alternative.

Enter the new breed of AV customers: IT end users and decision makers. This shift changed the world of AV control overnight. They are demanding control solutions that can easily integrate with standard IT infrastructures, and they want to enable their teams to potentially monitor and service these systems.

All of a sudden, the “firmware update” within our industry, which I’m calling “AV Control v2.0,” can no longer be ignored. It’s time to hit the “update button” and challenge our existing toolbox, and align our work with more standard IT environments and modern programming methodologies.

Step One: Remove the Complexity
In a typical meeting room, we are programming up to 90 separate control links. When a small change is made to the system—a control ID change, a component added, or even a simple gain structure change—there are repercussions that require several back-and-forth conversations between us and the DSP programmer, which can hinder getting a space up and running.

I ran into problems on a recent install that required me to sit down with the DSP programmer to assess the issue. The back-and-forth interplay between us took hours; the process can be maddening!

With a system that combines DSP duties, control processing, conference camera control, and routing under one platform, you start to eliminate hardware and more importantly, tons of integration points. There is no back-and-forth because the platform manufacturer has done that work for you!

Suddenly, the repercussions of one change aren’t quite as daunting and the complexity of building a system is dramatically reduced.

Step Two: Embrace Open Standards and Modern Languages
Our AV programming toolkit has remained relatively contained within our industry, primarily because the programming languages we use have not evolved at the same pace as the IT world. We have spent a good portion of our careers learning the ins and outs of these arcane languages with only a few outlets for training and sharing.

However, the available tools have evolved. There are better control solutions out there that use standard IT languages and paradigms that are far easier to use and much more accessible outside of this industry. This is a huge opportunity for us!

Transitioning to more open standards and modern control programming languages will enable AV programmers to work even more efficiently. Our value of that code does not diminish simply because we arrived at the solution with better tools. Quite to the contrary; working in some of these streamlined toolsets is going to open up countless business opportunities that the older architecture simply would not allow. It also frees us up: we can now have more bandwidth and resources to focus on developing solutions that are more advanced.

On top of that, being able to offer a system to the IT customer that empowers them to make those minute-to-minute troubleshooting adjustments will ultimately open more doors. The IT customer is more likely to embrace the solution if they know it is as accessible as the rest of their infrastructure.

Step Three: Allow for Scalability
As companies start to expand their AV capabilities on a global scale, they are looking to invest in technology they can grow at the pace of their business. Platform-based solutions built around IT standards eliminate the need to “rip and replace” the technology, and allow the end user to scale up or down while maintaining their entire AV programming design and end point configuration.

Furthermore, as these systems scale within the IT infrastructures, the need for system-wide management of AV devices becomes vitally important. Becoming familiar with software-based management will open doors for additional value-added programming opportunities and even additional revenue streams for our companies.

Let’s do this.

This a firmware update that our AV programming community deserves. It’s time to simplify our process and expand our business offering.

Crestron, Amazon Web Services Launch Alexa For Business

From launching a web conference to pulling up presentation materials on-screen, together Crestron and Amazon Alexa will help ensure meetings are timely and productive.

With Alexa for Business, Crestron is bringing voice control to conference rooms across North America with the availability of its enterprise skill for Amazon Alexa. Alexa for Business is a new service by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that lets you use Amazon Alexa to voice-enable your workplace. Now, employees can start a meeting simply by saying “Alexa, start my meeting.” From launching a web conference to pulling up presentation materials on-screen, together Crestron and AWS will help ensure meetings are timely and productive.

Alexa for Business
Photo: Amazon Web Services (AWS)

“Everyone has a meeting horror story, and it often involves trying to use the technology for collaboration or a presentation,” said Fred Bargetzi, Chief Technology Officer at Crestron. “It isn’t just annoying – meetings start an average of 10-12 minutes late, and unproductive meetings cost American businesses an estimated $37 billion annually. Now, leveraging the power of Amazon Alexa voice control, Crestron can handle it all for you. Today’s announcement is just the beginning – enterprise voice control is going to be a productivity game-changer.”

Crestron and AWS have been working together for more than a year in the residential and hospitality markets, using voice control to optimize living situations. For example, asking Amazon Alexa to set the mood for dinner could lower the shades and lights, and turn on a specific selection of music. Now, the many Fortune 500 companies that use Crestron technology can add similar voice-controlled skills to manage their office space.

“Voice control is transforming the way we live and work, so the enterprise skill is a natural extension of our existing collaboration,” said Dan Jackson, Head of Enterprise Innovation at Crestron. “People already love Amazon Alexa in their homes, and importantly, they already know how it works. We’re creating one consistent, responsive experience to anticipate your needs, no matter where you are.”