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Crestron Outfits Offices And Remote Workers With Innovative Video Conferencing Tools For Covid-19 And The New Normal

Crestron Outfits Offices And Remote Workers With Innovative Video Conferencing Tools For Covid-19 And The New Normal

This article has been reposted from Forbes.com.

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has changed the corporate landscape dramatically. With many employees forced to work from home, video conferencing platforms have become essential alternatives to face-to-face meetings. Vendors across the technology spectrum have responded to the predicament by offering their cloud conferencing solutions for free, or by expanding the functionality of their existing free versions with more advance capabilities.

One company that might not roll off the tip of the tongue in the residential video conferencing space is Crestron. However, the company has been a mainstay in conference rooms across the global corporate world, with its video conferencing and automation solutions. Now, 48-year old company is leveraging its enterprise video conferencing chops to help support work-from-home users, and prepare organizations for their eventual, theoretical return to the office.

Early in June, Crestron teamed up with Logitech to launch the new HomeTime hardware bundle, optimized for Zoom video conferencing at home. This offering marks the emergence of a new category of video products for residential use. While many work from home users are content with a laptop’s video and audio quality, Crestron believes that there may be a class of work from home users who require better noise cancellation, cameras that compensate for poor lighting and other capabilities that deliver a more office-like experience. HomeTime seamlessly integrates Logitech’s MeetUp conference camera with the Crestron technology ecosystem. Not targeted for casual work from home users who have only sporadic video conferencing needs, the Crestron bundle is designed for individuals who want to see co-workers, friends and family in much larger video windows on a dedicated large format TV. It features built-in speakers that deliver high-quality audio throughout the room and a professional-grade full-duplex beamforming microphone for enabling natural conversation. Crestron also provides its own integrated remote control to initiate and join scheduled meetings, control the camera, and select the preferred view (e.g., speaker, gallery, or full-screen).

Crestron believes that there will be a significant percentage of workers who return to the traditional office at some point in the future. As such, the company wants to be in a position to ease that transition. The nature of video conferencing, even in a corporate setting, is bound to have changed during the pandemic. Crestron’s in-house data estimates that pre-COVID-19, only 7% to 15% of existing corporate conference rooms had video conferencing capabilities. With the explosion of video conferencing over the last several months (and the fact that many will likely continue to work remotely even as others return to the office), Crestron estimates that videoconferencing “spaces” in the office will need to increase as much as 85%.

Crestron is focusing much of its energy on Microsoft Teams and Zoom, due to their broad appeal with enterprise and work from home users. But here’s the kicker: because workers are not likely to be thrilled with the notion of packing a small conference room, Crestron realized that there is a real need for a smaller, more mobile integrated solution that preserves social distancing etiquette even in the office.

To that end, Crestron’s new Flex R-Series can be installed in minutes and wheeled into any existing space to provide one-touch video and content management. The level of flexibility that Creston is offering here is tangible—most companies do not want to (or cannot afford) to equip every conference room with a full-blown video conferencing system. The Flex R-Series is a cost-effective solution that has the potential to close the distance between remote teams, regardless of their geographic location.

A few closing thoughts

While the conventional wisdom is that significant numbers of workers will continue to work remotely after the pandemic subsides, I believe the jury is still out on that. There are still collaboration benefits from participating in in-person meetings. However, video conferencing is here to stay—particularly with workers who must engage with other co-workers that are hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

With this uncertainty, Crestron appears to be hedging its bets. Its HomeTime solutions bundle will appeal to those who continue to work from home, and desire a higher-quality video conferencing experience (though its volume potential will likely be limited to well-to-do homeowners and business executives, due to the fact that its pricing starts at $6,100). Meanwhile, Crestron’s Flex R-Series could be a cost-attractive, mobile alternative for corporate, government and even some small business accounts that require more professional-grade video conferencing capabilities. Starting at $9,000 (depending on the platform support needed), the Flex R-Series could be considered a bargain since its mobile format mitigates the need to outfit multiple conference rooms with fixed video conferencing equipment.

However things shake out, Crestron deserves credit for thinking outside of the box during COVID-19. Both are unique, premium solutions that are consistent with the legacy Crestron brand and extend the company’s value proposition to even more potential users.

Disclosure: Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analyst firms, provides or has provided research, analysis, advising and/or consulting to many high-tech companies in the industry. The author does not have any investment positions in the companies named in this article.

Listen Technologies to Create Inclusive Guest Experiences in Disney Parks

Listen Technologies to Create Inclusive Guest Experiences in Disney Parks

The following article has been re-posted from nas.solutions/blog:

Listen Technologies, the leading provider of assistive listening systems for 22 years, is collaborating with Disney Parks, Experiences and Products to develop advanced technology that provides a more inclusive experience for guests. Listen Technologies will develop assistive technologies and tour solutions utilising the Disney MagicALL suite of Disney SyncLink® Technologies.

MagicALL is an accessibility platform featuring a suite of proprietary technologies, intellectual property and patents that enable all guests to experience the magic of Disney. MagicALL is for guests with hearing loss, who are deaf or blind, or guests who speak a different language. Disney licenses MagicALL to other organisations so they can use this technology to enable magical guest experiences everywhere.

In collaboration with Disney, Listen Technologies solutions will pave the way to bring products to market that dramatically improve experiences and increase inclusion for users whether they are in a theme park, a performing arts centre, on a tour or other destination.

In 2018, Listen Technologies entered into a technology agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to use Disney SyncLink, a synchronisation technology that delivers customised content and information. Together, the technology and solutions will deliver the right information at the right time and place to the right person, seamlessly.

“Imagine entering an immersive ride, exhibit, or performance and being able to listen in real-time to synchronised audio in your native language or hear clearly despite having hearing loss,” said Maile Keone, president of Listen Technologies. “Disney and Listen Technologies are making this possible. Our solutions, combined with Disney’s SyncLink Technology, will provide inclusive experiences for guests with hearing, visual or translation needs.”

“Disney is synonymous with delivering magical experiences to guests so Listen Technologies is thrilled to team with Disney on its MagicALL initiative and bring greater accessibility, inclusion and engagement to all people,” said Russ Gentner, CEO of Listen Technologies. “Listen Technologies is committed to improving life’s experiences by providing exceptional, personalised audio and content on any platform at any venue.”

Listen Technologies products provide a new level of connectivity by utilising a variety of advanced solutions for assistive listening as well as customised content for guided and self-guided tours. Listen Technologies will extend the inclusive, Disney MagicALL experience to concert halls, museums, houses of worship, stadiums, walking tours, and more, providing the technology to allow all types of venues to offer immersive experiences.

“We have a commitment to share our accessibility know-how and technology with companies around the world to help enhance experiences for everyone,” said Chief Safety Officer and Vice President for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Greg Hale. “We are pleased to license Disney SyncLink® Technology to Listen Technologies to further develop seamless synchronised Disney© MagicALL experiences for guests with hearing, visual or language needs.”

How to sanitise Crestron touch screens

How to sanitise Crestron touch screens

Crestron touch screens are found almost everywhere: work, home, colleges and government offices. Given the current situation facing Crestron global customers, we wanted to provide simple steps on how to clean and disinfect Crestron touch screens to help protect the people who use them.

Keeping our customers and their families safe from the transmission of COVID-19 is our first priority. Per the CDC recommendations, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces is important.*

To clean Crestron touch screens

  • Use any commercially available non-ammonia glass or disinfectant cleaner.
  • Apply a small amount of cleaner directly to a microfiber or a similar disposable towel or cloth-be sure the cloth is damp and not wet.
  • Wipe the glass touch screen clean.
  • Do not apply cleaner directly to any interface (as most of our systems are not waterproof). And do not wipe the plastic surrounding the glass.

Our goal is to make sure we’re doing all we can to keep our customers and their families safe. For more information and updates on approved cleaners check our online help article here.

Samsung Partners with Golden State Warriors to Install NBA’s Largest Centerhung LED Scoreboard at Chase Center

Samsung Partners with Golden State Warriors to Install NBA’s Largest Centerhung LED Scoreboard at Chase Center

This article was pulled from displaysolutions.samsung.com

Samsung Electronics America helps the Golden State Warriors tip off the 2019-20 NBA season with a partnership that is revitalizing sports venues. Basketball’s newest arena, Chase Center, is a world-class sports and entertainment venue providing incredible fan experiences including more than 64 LED video displays including the largest centerhung video display in the NBA.

“Samsung is committed to changing the way fans experience live events through technology,” said Harry Patz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, B2B Enterprise Display Division, Samsung Electronics America. “Our product portfolio lends itself to seamless integration in a variety of industries, including sports applications, and in this case outfitting Chase Center with our displays. We are proud to partner with the Golden State Warriors, an organization that shares the same passion and commitment to delivering unforgettable experiences to their customers.”

“A project of this size and scope doesn’t happen overnight. It took years of planning and working side-by-side with the Warriors organization to ensure that the centerhung structure and LED video displays met all of the weight and engineering requirements to deliver an amazing experience,” said Don Szczepaniak, CEO of PRISMVIEW, A Samsung Electronics Company. “From the stunning outdoor LED Video Displays in the Plaza, to the massive centerhung the Chase Center is a world-class venue. It was an exciting challenge for us. We are very proud and grateful to be a part of this cutting-edge new venue.”

Samsung LED technologies showcase a detailed and realistic picture, ensuring each fan is immersed in the action every seat. The new Warriors centerhung main videoboard adds up to a massive 9,699 square feet of active video display, making it the largest LED video display centerhung installed in a sports arena. The centerhung integrates 15 displays varying from 6.7mm pixel pitch on the main displays and upper halo ring, to 4mm pixel pitch on the underbelly displays, amassing a total of more than 26.3 million individual LEDs.

To elevate the fan experience further, Samsung and the Warriors stepped outside the arena to install the first-ever full outdoor LED display in San Francisco. Fastened to the outer wall of Chase Center’s west entrance, the vibrant display provides a preview of the technology that can be experienced inside. The superior image quality of Samsung’s 10mm LED video display is second-to-none. The displays are built to withstand any environmental elements.

Epson’s Latest Laser Projector is a Portable 3.8-Metre Screen

Epson’s Latest Laser Projector is a Portable 3.8-Metre Screen

This article was taken from The Sydney Morning Herald

Setting up a shoddy old projector next to the Hills Hoist for a backyard movie night with a white sheet as a screen is a part of Aussie culture. The catchily-named EF-100, Epson’s new portable laser projector, is here to make that experience a bit fancier.

At 210mm x 270mm x 88mm and 2.7kg it’s extremely portable. As long as you have access to a power point, and the courage to transport your projector there, you can use this thing anywhere.

It’s also extremely easy to set up. Once it’s plugged in it just needs some kind of HMDI video source, and it’s even got a USB port built in to power a device such as a Google Chromecast. It has a built-in 5W speaker, but if you’ve spent $1699 on a projector you can probably also spring for quality speakers or headphones (there’s a 3.5mm jack and Bluetooth).

The throw distance is reasonable; to get a 60-inch (1.5-metre) display you’ll need to set the unit 1.8-metres from the screen. The WXGA resolution is comparable to HD, so you probably don’t want to sit closer than 2.5m to that 60-inch screen anyway. The maximum screen size is 150 inches (3.8 metres), but you’ll need a lot of room to make it work.

What I was really impressed with was the brightness of the screen. In a reasonably dark room, with some daylight coming through the side of the curtains, I could enjoy Supergirl perfectly. But it was watching Legends of Tomorrow with the curtains open, on an admittedly cloudy winter’s day, that made this projector seem completely worth its high price; the show still looked great. At 2000 lumens, this thing is bright. Bright enough to make me concerned about the cleanliness of the wardrobe door I was projecting it on.

Even the colours looked great in the bright room. Sure, there was definitely a lot details missing from darker scenes, but it was still far better than you’d ever expect from a portable projector. Epson claims a dynamic contrast ratio in excess of 2,500,000:1.

Because this is a laser projector there’s no expensive bulb to replace, just an air filter every few years, which significantly lowers the barrier to entry.

It also runs really quietly, with a quoted max fan volume of 29db, which falls somewhere between “rustling leaves” and “quiet rural area” on the comparable noise scale. Or, if you find it hard to picture quiet rustling leaves, it’s about one 16th as loud as a vacuum cleaner, which is not very loud at all.

If money is just enough of an object that 4K projectors aren’t an option, but not so much of an object that you can afford having a good TV and a portable projector, this is absolutely the one to buy.

Integrate 2019: Epson Showcase Next-Gen L-Series Projectors

Integrate 2019: Epson Showcase Next-Gen L-Series Projectors

The following post has been reposted from: https://www.channelnews.com.au/

At this year’s Integrate Expo, Epson Australia will demonstrate a 270-degree immersive video environment, which will house multiple L-Series projectors using cutting-edge technology and a seamless edge-blended experience.

The projectors will be housed in a custom-created structure built by Igloo Vision, who specialises in creating unique and bespoke audio and visual environments.

As a result, the combination of Epson’s projectors and Igloo’s structure will create a completely unique dark environment with content, including the latest geo-mapping.

Alongside the immersive video environment will be Epson’s “Size Matters” display area where visitors can experience the new 7,000 EB-L1070U paired with the ELPLX01 ultra-short throw lens.

Visitors will also be able to see exactly why “Size Matters”, particularly for education and corporate environments, by comparing different screen sizes and viewing angles on the stand.

The LightScene EV-100 projectors will also be presented to demonstrate real-time, real-world examples of what’s possible in these markets.

Epson, in collaboration with Avery Dennison, will also be showcasing its new digital signage solution which uses Vela switchable film and an ultra-short throw projector, which displays products behind a wall of glass that can be switched between clear and opaque.

Powered by “breakthrough” laser technology and a new 16:6 ultra-widescreen display, the interactive EB-1485Fi projector aims to demonstrate how they can “transform today’s conference rooms into the collaborative meeting spaces of tomorrow”.

This will sit alongside images created by the EB-L30000U projector, which is Epson’s brightest 3LCD laser projector with 30,000 lumens.

Sony Adds iRevo Digital Signage Software to BRAVIA Displays

Sony Adds iRevo Digital Signage Software to BRAVIA Displays

The following article has been re-posted from digitalsignagetoday.com

Sony has integrated the iRevo Digital Signage cloud-based software to its BRAVIA displays. The software offers both cloud capabilities and templates.

It also works directly with BRAVIA’s Android OS, which lets customers install the iDS App directly, which eliminates the need for a media player, according to a press release.

The BRAVIA displays offer 4K resolution, HDR images and HTML5. The iDS software can support videos, music, widgets, RSS feeds, social media content and live TV. Other features include:

  • Access playback screenshots and content analytics
  • Display emergency messages
  • Content scheduling

“As cloud adoption increases in every industry, we sought a provider who could bring those same benefits, including security, reliability and ubiquitous accessibility, to our community of professional BRAVIA users,” Mark Bonifacio, head of education segment, Sony, said in the release. “The iRevo integration for BRAVIA further supports Sony’s fundamental values of providing our customers with customizable solutions that support their business needs, while streamlining their workflow and addressing their largest challenges. The addition of the iRevo enterprise solution expands and differentiates Sony’s digital signage offerings, ensuring we have scalable options that meet a variety of customer requirements.”

Contact us at sales@visionone.com.au for more information.

Why Disney Cruise Line turns to Panasonic’s PTZ cameras

Why Disney Cruise Line turns to Panasonic’s PTZ cameras

The following article has been re-posted from na.panasonic.com.

Families on Disney cruises expect the kind of magical experiences the iconic Disney brand is known for, and a major draw is the world-class entertainment. Guests of all ages can enjoy interactive deck parties and immersive stage performances on the upper deck of each ship. This includes shows such as the “Frozen” Deck Party, Pirates in the Caribbean show and deck party and Sail-Away Celebrations that give guests the chance to see their favorite Disney characters.

To deliver outstanding live shows and entertainment on the outdoor stage, the production team at Disney Cruise Line utilizes point, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras positioned around the upper deck of each of the four ships in their fleet: Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Magic, and Disney Wonder. The back of house camera is particularly important. It is used to provide wide shots and close-ups, thanks to its straight line of sight to the stage.

When it came time for Disney Cruise Line to replace these entertainment workhorses on their fleet, the team sought to upgrade their current technology with state-of-art cameras that would deliver on the promise of an unforgettable experience.

A stable picture even at sea

Cruise ships present unique challenges for capturing high-quality video. Obviously, there are swells at sea, but even in port a ship is constantly in motion. And the back of house camera gets mounted outdoors, on the aft funnel directly above the hum of the engine room, where wind, salt and spray add extra hurdles.

These cameras on the Disney Fantasy, Dream, Magic and Wonder had all exceeded their capital life. When weighing their replacement options, the entertainment team decided to leverage this opportunity to seek out a solution that would outperform their current equipment.

“We were looking for a product with superior image stabilization,” said Rory S. Roseman, a production rep for Disney Cruise Line Technical Operations.

“If we’re trying to get a shot 100 feet away from the stage, with that long distance, you’re going to see that vibration,” notes Roseman. Without the right camera to compensate for this, the images displayed on the large screen could be grainy, especially in close-ups.”

Disney Selected Panasonic

Roseman reached out to Disney Cruise Line’s partners at Disney Parks Live Entertainment for expert advice, knowing its audio, video and lighting designers could suggest the best solution for his needs. Their video team arranged a meeting between the cruise line team and Wes Carr, sales representative from Panasonic, to discuss the AV innovator’s line-up of professional pan-tilt-zoom cameras.

Carr recommended the AW-HR140, a rugged outdoor PTZ camera designed to work well in various environments and still produce broadcast-quality results. Disney Cruise Line was interested in trying out the  AW-HR140, so Carr was able to quickly arrange a two-week demo on the Disney Fantasy. Panasonic technician Michale Rusynyak came on board to swap out the existing camera, mounted on a shelf in the aft funnel. The installation went smoothly and the  AW-HR140 was compatible with the ship’s current control systems. Now all that remained to be seen was if the new camera was truly seaworthy.

“The video quality was improved compared to our previous cameras, and the built-in image stabilization allowed us to zoom in farther.” – Rory S. Roseman, Production Rep, Technical Operations, Disney Cruise Line

A direct line of sight to the stage

After the two-week demo, the footage captured was offloaded and reviewed to assess the camera’s performance. The team at Disney Cruise Line was impressed with the sharp, stable footage the Panasonic camera was able to capture while at sea.

“The video quality was impressive and the built-in image stabilization allowed us to zoom in farther,” said Roseman.

The trial was a success, Disney Cruise Line made the decision to upgrade the back of house cameras on all four of its ships with the Panasonic  AW-HR140. Now, with the high-quality video Roseman’s team can project, the experience of each deck party is enhanced for the guests. Learn more about Disney and Panasonic collaborations.

Contact us at sales@visionone.com.au for more information.

Epson’s Education Solutions

Epson’s Education Solutions

The following article has been re-posted from menafn.com.

UAE- Epson’s education solutions demonstrated at GESS pave way for more collaborative, interactive and dynamic classrooms.

(MENAFN – Dubai PR Network) Dubai, UAE; 24 February 2019: Epson’s market leading solutions for the modern classrooms on display at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) from February 26th 28th, makes learning more efficient as they connect collaborative groups, and empower both teachers and students.

On display at GESS are Epson’s bright full HD Projector EB-990U that offers multiple connectivity solutions; EB-710UI, which offers ultra-bright 100-inch Full HD images, and a set of collaboration and sharing tools to make creating engaging lessons easier; and WorkForce Pro WF-C869RD3TWFC printer that prints up to 84,000 pages without having to replace the ink, and uses up to 95 percent less power than competitive color lasers.

Jeroen Van Been, Director of Sales, Epson Europe B.V says: ‘At Epson, we understand education, and our solutions take into account the collaborative, technology driven classrooms of today. Our interactive display solutions provide a scalable image size, so every student gets a perfect view without losing image quality or needing constant zoom adjustment. Having the right sized image for a room can make a huge difference to levels of concentration, enjoyment and understanding. Our 3LCD technology combines high resolution, brightness up to 8,000 lumens for dedicated education sector projectors. We also have projectors with lumens up to 25,000 for other sectors. Our technology provides rich colours to produce vivid, engaging images even in brightly lit classrooms. Teachers can easily move around the room and effortlessly share Chromebook content with wireless connection to the classroom’s interactive display.

‘GESS, being the region’s foremost event to learn and experience the best solutions for teachers and students, is the ideal event for us to showcase our products and technology’, adds Jeroen.

Epson’s EB-990U projector, on display at GESS, is a full HD projector offering 3,800 lumens. With the iprojection app, it is easy to display content from PCs and smart devices. It comes with 16W speakers that provides powerful sound even in large rooms and removes the need for additional speakers, saving both time and money. A microphone input is also available.

Another highlight at the Epson stand is EB-710UI. It is a multi-PC projection software that allows teachers and students to share content simultaneously. The projector ensures that students can read everything on the screen with the interactive ultra-short-throw laser display solution, delivering collaborative lessons on a large scalable display to promote greater sharing and participation in the classroom. The moderator function allows teachers to remain in control, choosing what student content to display. It comes with a dual-pen and finger-touch annotation for easy control.

Time and cost savings are important to the education sector and Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-C869RD3 TWFC, on showcase at GESS, saves on energy. Reduce waste with this reliable 4-in-1 business MFP, featuring predictable printing costs and low user intervention. The printer features a range of software and tools that provide secure printing options, efficient scanning and helps to manage devices remotely.

Epson will be present at stand B30, Sheikh Saeed Hall, DWTC.

Contact us at sales@visionone.com.au for more information.

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