Solutions: Connecting and collaborating with Mezzanine at PwC Paris21 October 2016
Initially intended only for experimental use by a niche group, this collaboration room has proved extremely popular with employees and visitors.
Global auditing and consulting group PwC required a next-generation meeting space to address digital needs for team discussions and client presentations at its Paris offices. The result was the dynamic and engaging collaborative workspace called the Delta Room, which has Oblong Industries’ Mezzanine immersive visual collaboration system at its core.
The room also benefits from specially designed furniture, and a layout that takes into account how users move around the room when using the different technological elements. The room accelerates decision-making, encourages idea generation and creates a user experience that has gone far beyond PwC’s original brief.
In this connected workspace, every screen in the room forms part of the environment, so at the most basic level there is more visual space to work. This means users can take in more simultaneous information from more devices, or use a bigger canvas to look at a single piece of data in more detail. Additionally, they can rearrange live or static content on the fly.
Three Sony 65in 4K displays form the main presentation area in the Delta Room. On an adjacent wall are three SMART touchscreens, two of which are Kapp iQ 4K models. These are primarily used as digital ‘corkboards’, on which documents and other information sources can be stored ready for use in the meeting, and parked after discussion.
By pointing the Mezzanine wand device at the screen, users and introduce new content, rearrange information, interact with live devices or capture key points. The interface enables a wide variety of information sources – such as documents, drawings, videos and videoconference feeds – to be accessed, interacted with and manipulated concurrently.
On the wall on the other side of the main display area is an Epson Brightlink Pro interactive display; content created on this projector-based solution can be brought into the Mezzanine system by an IP camera mounted above it.
Devices and participants
The Mezzanine system can connect up to 10 live devices: these can be connected via a cable in the room or shared by remote participants, through the inbuilt network sharing capability.
The Delta Room can connect up to 40 remote participants through web, iOS or Android clients, who can view any of the screens, live sources or static content being used in the room. They can take full screen previews of any content, annotate items for upload and sharing with those in the room.
The Delta Room was planned for a company-wide release in January 2016, but such was the buzz created by its initial pilot release to small group of users it saw over 75% utilisation in its first three months of availability between September and December 2015. On release to the entire PwC Partner base in January, this utilisation grew beyond 90% in its second quarter of availability.
Customers have been very impressed by the space, with 99% of them taking videos and photographs to show colleagues. The room has also proved a success commercially: PwC has quantified a contribution of over €10m in services from meetings which took place in the Delta Room.
Originally viewed as an experiment for a niche group of users, the Delta Room has proved so successful that PwC is considering plans to roll out the room to additional offices in the region.
PwC associate Anne-Christine Marie comments: “After a few minutes of surprise, our clients rapidly get used to our unconventional layout and better appreciate its intuitive interface. It gives us a new approach to sharing, going beyond the technology and allowing us to contextualise visual data quickly in co-creating innovative strategies.”
• Oblong Mezzanine collaboration software
• Oblong Mezzanine gesture UI tracking hardware
• Sony 65in 4K displays
• SMART Kapp iQ 65in 4K tactile displays
• SMART 65in 4k digital whiteboard
• Arecont IP camera
• Cisco C60 telepresence camera
• Epson Brightlink Pro interactive projector
• Revolabs wireless microphones