AV technology is evolving rapidly as a confluence of market forces and technological developments collide to form new possibilities and requirements. Huddle spaces and open floor plans are replacing traditional conference rooms and concepts such as ideation, AV over IP, and immersive technologies have taken shape. These tectonic changes in both meeting culture and the technology that powers it have exposed an unfulfilled need to seamlessly bring content into our meeting spaces.
Our mobile devices travel with us everywhere we go and provide us with access to more information faster than ever before. As a result, digital content has become integral to our daily lives, but unfortunately meeting technology has not kept up. With roots in telephony and broadcast paradigms, conference room solutions have generally focused on voice and video conferencing, leaving digital content behind. But with the swift global adoption of mobile computing, the need to bring content into the meeting room via laptops and mobile devices has become a critical requirement. These factors have led wireless collaboration to become one of the hottest product categories in the broad landscape of meeting room technologies.
Enter Mersive Solstice
We designed Solstice to put digital content on-par with audio and video in the meeting room. Conferencing solutions have offered multi-threaded voice and video support for years, but content has been relegated to non-collaborative single-threaded presentations. Since its launch in 2013, Solstice has supported unlimited content sharing by any number of users from their laptops and mobile devices to a meeting room display. With the addition of the Multi-Room capability, Solstice users can now connect and share content collaboratively across multiple participant locations and geographies on an enterprise network.
Multi-location content-driven meetings are a common and important use case that has been largely overlooked by traditional conferencing solutions. Solstice fulfills this market need for non-proximate team collaboration by supplementing existing conferencing solutions’ support for multi-threaded voice and video with Solstice’s support for unlimited content. Solstice Multi-Room is the ‘content conferencing’ parallel to existing voice and video conferencing solutions.
Solstice transforms ordinary meeting rooms and learning spaces by placing content at the center of the user experience to drive better engagement, collaboration, and decision-making. By doing so, the product helps organizations better leverage the intellectual capital of their workforce through more efficient and effective meetings. With Solstice, meetings start faster, participants are more engaged, and meeting results are better – driving productivity and ROI.
Requirements Beyond the Meeting Room
Of course, there are important considerations beyond meeting-room capabilities for end users. While the industry has standardized on wireless IT protocols for streaming content from user devices to meeting room displays, products in-market today offer very different approaches to getting user content on the screen.
The most fundamental question is whether the solution leverages an existing WiFi/Ethernet network or creates a separate wireless collaboration hotspot network for users to connect and share content. While Solstice supports both, the vast majority of our customers deploy Solstice on an existing network to make it easier for their users (i.e. users don’t need to join an additional network) and to avoid ‘WiFi islands’ on the corporate/campus network (since independent hotspot networks often violate IT policies).
For enterprises and universities, once the decision is made to deploy on the existing network, the solution must meet IT security policy requirements and be deployable and manageable by the IT team. This is no small order since security is paramount on most enterprise networks and independently managing multiple meeting rooms is impractical. Our team went to great lengths to enable Solstice with security and configuration capabilities needed to comply with strict IT policies, and we created the Solstice Dashboard to facilitate centralized management of large scale deployments.
And finally, you have to consider cost. As changes in workplace design democratize meeting spaces, cost should not relegate wireless collaboration solutions to specialized rooms. Solstice is priced as an ‘every room’ solution and has been deployed across borders, verticals, room types, and organizations of all sizes, from top financial institutions to top universities and small-medium business environments. This is made possible by leveraging (and enhancing) the existing technology investment/infrastructure – network, mobile, and display – to reduce the learning curve, increase user adoption, and keep training costs low.
The need to quickly and easily bridge digital content into the meeting room isn’t going away, and at the current rate of market adoption, wireless collaboration solutions will be standard in meeting rooms in a matter of months not years. The products that are successful in real-world work places are able to meet the requirements of both end-users and technology managers across a broad range of use cases and network topologies. These solutions facilitate better collaboration and decision making for meeting participants and streamlined deployment, monitoring, and management for IT teams.
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