Barco's new ClickShare products on the market

Barco has introduced two new collaborative ClickShare tools to make your meetings even easier: a dedicated huddle proposition, the ClickShare CS-100 Huddle, and a 4K collaboration solution, the ClickShare CSE-200+.

Smaller groups, quicker decisions

The ClickShare CS-100 Huddle, designed specifically for huddle and small meeting spaces, brings spontaneous, ad-hoc and swift content-sharing to small businesses or teams. This is ideal for short catch-ups or instant brainstorming with a limited group of people. They can now use the same intuitive collaborative experience in every type of meeting from a huddle space right up conference rooms.

New tools to boost exchanges

The ClickShare CSE-200+ introduces totally new features including annotation, black-boarding, touch-back and 4K support with every type of device. The integrated HD switch in the CSE-200+ model eliminates the hassle of manually switching between wired legacy sources (such as cameras) and the ClickShare wirelessly presented content. More interactivity and feature-rich sharing enables people to reach outcomes more quickly, thus making meetings both productive and efficient. 

More accessible, more flexible and more user-friendly, ClickShare continues to revolutionise meetings.

Why have Huddle Rooms become so popular?

Huddle Rooms: who needs them?

Huddle spaces have become all the rage and have made collaboration in small groups easier than ever. They are not only a cost-effective alternative to a single large boardroom, but they eliminate the cumbersome process of room booking and facilitate informal closeness and ad hoc conversation for those who want to meet quickly. Considering that there has been an increase in collaborative workflows, huddle spaces have become the perfect solution for many corporate spaces. 

Key features of Huddle Rooms

Regardless of installed furniture or technology, huddle spaces are:

  • Small and intimate — they typically accommodate groups of 2 – 5 people.

  • Versatile — huddle spaces are available as-needed to support any business objective and they are outfitted with a range of furniture, equipment, and AV technology (such as videoconferencing and touch screens) to support these needs.

  • Informal — if you need a quick conversation with co-workers, huddle rooms let you drop-in and out when needed.

  • All about spontaneous collaboration — they enable a spontaneous, collaborative flow of information.

So why are Huddle Rooms becoming so popular?

Business people meeting informally to strategise and share ideas is nothing new, but several key trends are fuelling the desire to create more huddle rooms. Among these are:

Flexibility

Many smaller meeting rooms eliminate issues with scheduling meetings since it is more likely that a room is available immediately, meaning that there is less need to book in advance. This also increases productivity because meetings can be called spontaneously to resolve urgent problems, and colleagues who are out of the office can be contacted and included using the AV facilities. 

Productivity

Often, when meetings are held in large boardrooms, time is wasted because a large number of attendees are invited, even though their presence may not be required. Contrastingly, smaller meeting rooms increase productivity since only the relevant employees are in attendance with a smaller group of people. This means that there is a higher chance that definite plans can be made in a more concise and effective manner. 

Mobility

Huddle rooms provide a space where employees both in and out of office can share information quickly and efficiently. In a smaller space set up with the correct AV technology, it is easy to contact others no matter where they are and include them in team discussions to provide updates and resolve problems.

Economical

While large conference rooms are expensive to set up and are not cost-effective if the facilities are rarely used, huddle rooms are just the opposite. This is because they are smaller rooms which do not require powerful AV technology, such as microphones and video equipment, and there is a greater chance that the space will be used more often for its intended purpose — therefore increasing productivity among employees.  


Barco Rigiflex — the latest projection screen on the market

Practicality 

Barco has recently revolutionised the AV and VR industries by introducing the Barco RigiFlex — the first rigid, rollable powerwall screen. In the past, powerwall screens have been extremely difficult to manoeuvre, but Barco has addressed this problem. The screen not only has excellent visual performance, but it’s flexible nature facilitates transportation, installation and maintenance. This new screen features a flexible surface which can be completely rolled up (so it can be easily brought inside any building), and is available in any size — up to 10 x 4 meters/33 x 13 feet.

Impressive Visual Performance

Despite its extremely light weight (0.5 kg/m²), the innovative woven high polymer fabric of Barco RigiFlex offers extraordinary visual performance. It has similar quality specifications as top glass screens, delivering an authentic immersive interaction, as well as extremely high tension on the surface, ensuring toughness and stability. The screen will not vibrate, even when doors are opened or closed, or when there is strong indoor ventilation. In addition, the projection screen on the frame can be replaced or upgraded to meet new operation requirements.

We think this new product by Barco will pave the way for projection screen technology and look forward to seeing how the market will change over the next few years!

The Benefits of AV Technology in Education

In the past decade, audio visual technology has made huge progress in the education sector by creating an exciting and interactive environment which is more conducive to learning. Studies have proven that students react well to audio visual aids since they are found to be more attentive and retain information better, increasing productivity in the classroom or lecture hall. 

So what are some of the benefits?

  • AV engages students who may otherwise be disengaged or bored and makes learning more enjoyable. 

  • Promotes collaboration and communication between students — education is increasingly being seen as a collaborative exercise between educator and learner, rather than a one-way broadcast of information. Teachers and lecturers must work with their students, and students must be able to flexibly explore and learn in order to get the most out of their lessons. For smaller learning environments, such as huddle spaces, there is a growing trend for turning larger display screens into interactive surfaces. Touch-screen overlays for high quality professional displays are creeping into classrooms and enabling more flexible, collaborative learning through interactivity. Numerous providers have introduced interactive displays that come with an embedded Android operating system which enables teachers to download a variety of apps and means that learners can easily share content from their own devices on these larger screens — once again improving collaboration amongst students and teachers!

  • Helps students visualise rather than guess — with an AV solution in place, students who learn from seeing and interacting can thrive just as much as those who love to listen. 4K laser projectors which produce extremely high quality images are becoming increasingly popular and serve to enhance presentations and captivate the attention of the class. 

  • Promotes a wider selection of teaching tools — when a teacher is stood there with a marker pen and a whiteboard, they are on their own in terms of tools. Tools such as WePresent allows up to 64 users to all share and present content on a screen at any one time, making it easy for students to contribute without having to crowd around a whiteboard. 

  • Encourages students with various learning disabilities — students with hearing impairments are able to hear more clearly with audio enhancement systems. Audio systems can be integrated with an interactive whiteboard to boost a teacher’s voice via a microphone worn around the educator’s neck, allowing their voice to be distributed evenly around the class through wall mounted speakers. This technology helps students with hearing impairments to understand what the teacher is saying and gives them the opportunity to learn more effectively. Furthermore, for students with dyslexia who may struggle to process information when reading a textbook, interactive whiteboards enable teachers to create lesson content with colourful text, video clips and images, making the lesson content easier to digest. Pupils with ADHD can also benefit from what interactive whiteboards and touch screens have to offer since this technology encourages them to get involved and helps them to remain focused throughout the lesson. 


How Voice Control is Starting to Impact the Workplace

The average boardroom meeting starts 10 minutes late due to technology-related challenges. 

Whether it’s a memory stick not working or failing to get clear audio on a videoconference, everyone has experienced a meeting room horror story that completely destroys any hope for a productive meeting. However, gone are the days where employees just accept this as an inevitability of work. Employees, and to that end employers are now demanding easy-to-use technology in office spaces of all sizes and functions.

A shift in power over the past decade has meant  also meant workplaces must now listen to what employees want, and as a result workplaces have had to become more flexible in how, when and where employees do their jobs. This has meant that tools that aid in real-time collaboration are becoming a necessity, not a luxury, in maintaining productivity levels. 

By bringing the home to the office employers are now starting to use technology such as Alexa to provide the convenience of voice control in an office setting, without having to provide any training etc, as this is technology many are already comfortable with using. For instance, employees can now start a meeting simply by saying, “Alexa, start my meeting.” From launching a web conference to pulling up on-screen presentation materials, Alexa and other voice controlled technologies can help ensure meetings are timely, productive and free from the “technological fumbling” that usually plagues meetings. 

Voice control is no doubt transforming the way that we live and work, as one of the first personal—and, now, professional—forms of artificial intelligence to play a key role our daily lives. 

However the demand isn’t just in traditional homes or offices, but rather,in every space in which we live and work, whether this be in the hospitality or corporate sector…

As voice controlled systems become smarter and possess a greater number of skills and capabilities, we will soon be able to offer a nearly touch-less living and working experience. Soon enough, the idea of having a virtual personal assistant in any environment, trudging through our emails and organizing our everyday schedule, or just adjusting room settings to our liking, will no longer be a fantastical dream but, rather, a lived, and very real reality.