Next up in our countdown to this year’s AV Technology Awards, we take a closer look at the shortlisted nominees for the Collaboration Product of the Year.
This year’s awards will be announced during a brand new digital Awards Week running from 23rd to 25th June. The awards programme is held in association with Awards Partners Crestron, Integrated Systems Europe, and the Technological Innovations Group (TIG), and Association Partners AV User Group and Women in AV (WAVE).
Nominees for Collaboration Product of the Year
EP65, from AVer
The EP65 is an all-in-one interactive whiteboard offering 4K video, high-quality audio, ease of use for administrative management and “superior touch quality”. According to AVer, the EP65 was the first device to be preloaded with and certified for Zoom Rooms for Touch for seamless integration.
“We’ve worked closely to ensure that customers will be able to deploy Zoom Rooms for Touch with ease by bringing together the best of both worlds – Zoom’s world-class video conferencing and Aver’s expertise in high-performance A/V peripherals,” said Chris DeNovellis, Hardware Partner Manager at Zoom.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, no less, uses an EP65 in his personal executive office.
DuoBoard, from BenQ
BenQ said it released DuoBoard – the platform-agnostic interactive flat panel display – to cater to the growing need for flexible collaboration solutions in business environments.
The DuoBoard comes in two sizes – 65”(CP6501K) and 86” (CP8601K) – at 4K resolution, and facilitates front of room presentation, video conferencing and whiteboarding.
“DuoBoard combines all the technologies you would normally require in a meeting environment. It conveniently takes the place of your current display, whiteboard, and video conferencing set-up. With just one device, you can foster creativity, engagement, and synergy in unprecedented ways,” explained Royce Lye, managing director, BenQ UK&I.
Crowd Mics, from Biamp
Crowd Mics is a collaboration technology that boosts interaction by transforming a participant’s smartphone into a microphone and interactive response system.
Crowd Mics enables live event presenters and attendees to “connect on a personal level”. Moderators can manage audience participation on their own laptop or tablet while attendees can use the Crowd Mics app to enable them to use their smartphone to ask questions or text comments, as well as participate in live interactive polls.
“Crowd Mics was a game-changer in terms of audience participation,” said Megan Dutta, content director at Systems Contractor News after using Crowd Mics at the AV/IT Summit last August. “The thing I enjoyed the most about CrowdMics was that it allowed me to control the conversation – I could see questions in advance and then share the most thought-provoking ones with our panelists.”
Immersive Workspace, from Igloo Vision
Launched at the start of 2020, the Igloo Immersive Workspace is a collaboration solution for all sizes of business which makes it possible to transform any meeting room into an immersive workspace, and engage with “any digital or immersive content in any format, from any source”.
Previously, Igloo clients needed to buy a structure (a dome or cylinder) to host Igloo’s Shared VR technology, but now it can be retrofitted into rooms of any size or shape. Igloo uses an automated workflow to scan and map a room, create a bespoke projection template, specify the right projectors and projection points, and configure the Igloo ICE Box. This minimises the cost and fast-tracks the installation process.
“I was completely blown away at how useful, how immersive, how sharp the projection was and how easy it was to interact with the data and bring up various forms of information very quickly with a handheld device,” said Jim Angelillo, vice president, Advanced Visualization Group.
SMART Learning Suite
SMART Learning Suite (SLS) software is used by over 60 million students and teachers worldwide. The software allows teachers to deliver interactive lessons which has changed the way lessons are delivered in many schools. The benefit of interactive lesson delivery and SLS is proven in research conducted by SMART about the use of technology in education and how it relates to learning outcomes. The research found that high-outcomes schools were more likely to use software that enables assessment, game-based learning and student collaboration.
“We have a number of children, 3 or 4 years ago, we weren’t able to get them to come out of their shell,” said David Denchfield, headteacher at Benhurst Primary School, Essex, UK.
“What we found with technology, and in particular if I take SMART amp™ as an example, the children have suddenly found a voice.”
Solstice Conference, from Mersive Technologies
Mersive Solstice is an in-room wireless collaboration platform that allows any number of users to share and control content from their devices to an in-room display. Users are able to add remote participants to their Solstice-enabled meeting with one-step bridging to any video conference, enabling a collaborative meeting experience for both on-site and remote attendees.
“I’ve been an advocate of the Solstice product nearly since it was launched. The idea, at the time, was quite unique – put content at the center of collaboration and even when we are together, productivity and engagement go up,” explained Ralf Schmidt, director Euskirchen Envision Center, Proctor and Gamble.
“I couldn’t be happier with the Solstice Conference solution – it’s truly a game changer not only for P&G, but for how the world thinks about video room systems.”
UX Pro, from Clevertouch
UX Pro is a “highly versatile display” that was launched at ISE 2020. According to the company, “it’s the central hub within an evolving work space; a tool that seamlessly integrates and connects with other devices and network functions across an organisation.”
The company says that UX Pro connects multiple users on a common platform, supports unified communications and BYOD concepts, WebEx, Teams, Zoom and STAGE to enable end users to overcome barriers to collaboration. “Packed with easy to use and essential collaboration features for users and the IT department, UX Pro is a touchscreen designed for all meeting spaces and ease of use.”
Windows collaboration display, from Sharp
The “world’s first” Windows collaboration display from Sharp, with Skype for Business certification, is a next generation interactive display designed to support and improve teamwork.
The 70” 4K interactive display for enterprise and small to medium business (SMB) offices, which meets Microsoft Windows collaboration display specifications, “combines Sharp’s award-winning touch technology and sensors that can work with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins to monitor collaboration spaces.”
“We are excited to work with Sharp to deliver the first certified Windows collaboration display to the market,” said Sven Gruenitz, director of technical sales, Microsoft. “The Windows Collaboration Display from Sharp (PN-CD701) empowers businesses to have more productive meetings and integrated sensors that connect to Azure IoT make the spaces smarter.”