Have you heard of a “capacitive touch panel” before? While you may not have heard it in that technical term, you definitely have used the technology before, and may even be doing so right now.
The Growth of Screen Technology
Touchscreens have only been around for a few decades, and only recently have they been widely available for consumers at affordable prices. You have probably experienced earlier and different touch screen technology before, with ATMs and restaurants being two of the earliest places to use the basic touchscreen technology.
Your first phone that was touch enabled probably used resistive film, a technology that required a firm touch to make the screen recognize your selections by physically causing two film layers to touch. This was not great for touching multiple places at once or light touches, and the film caused the screen to look rather dim.
When it comes to this capacitive touch panel technology, you have the perfect example of it in your pocket (or you may be even reading on it right now). Smartphones commonly use this technology because it works well and allows for the screen to produce a high level of clarity. Capacitive references the fact that your screen responds by sensing the electric pulse from your finger touching a point on the screen below the protective layer.
In the office, this technology can be used to improve access of all your employees to the most up-to-date technology possible. It is far more user-friendly than many computer programs, and direct touch allows for a much simpler and more comfortable experience for even the least computer savvy in your office.
Interactive whiteboards use the technology and are changing the ways businesses collaborate and presentations are given.
A network operations center, or NOC, is like a company’s nervous system, overseeing the performance and health of a telecommunication network at all times of the day. Not every business needs NOC support, but those that do need it will be at serious risk if they go without it. In-house monitoring, for example, can seem like an attractive option due to its reduced cost, but it doesn’t provide the kind of round-the-clock support that today’s businesses need from their network support specialists.
It’s best to think of NOCs as that first line of defense against the myriad of disruptions that telecommunication networks suffer from, though that’s not all they do. But what makes them tick? What kind of technology is needed to ensure they operate efficiently at all times? Let’s explore
The Anatomy of a Network Operations Center
NOCs perform a variety of roles, though again, they are primarily tasked to respond to a variety of alerts, including communication line issues and power failures. NOC engineers are responsible for handling these alerts, working to pull resources to compensate for any performance drop, and dispatching crews to fix any physical damage to the line. Beyond this, NOCs may do the following:
Develop reports for network performance, optimization and health.
Install, update and troubleshoot software on any device connected to the network.
Monitor and manage firewall and network security software.
Spot and analyze attacks on the network from outside sources.
Patch network device software.
Provide antivirus support.
Back up data stored on network devices.
That’s a lot to handle for a single team, but NOCs and their skilled engineers are trained for the task. But they can’t do it alone, and this is where A/V technology comes into the picture. Modern NOCs look like something out of a movie, with an impressive array of display and audio technologies that deliver a wealth of information to NOC engineers. Some of that A/V technology includes:
1. Video wall displays – A video wall consists of an array of displays, arranged in a grid-like pattern and tied together so that they can operate as a single display unit. The strength in a video wall is in its modularity, as displays can be partitioned off to provide several images at once, at large sizes and at high resolutions. A popular application of video wall technology in NOCs is to maintain a visual map of the network as the main focus. When there are alerts, it is first represented on this map, giving engineers instant feedback on where the issue is, and whether it is tied to a particular device or a line issue.
Aside from this visual map, NOC video walls are used to track weather conditions, with radars and forecasts that may be relevant to where the network’s assets are located. It’s also common for NOCs to reserve some room for broadcast news feeds, which can also help NOC engineers react to events that may have an impact on the company’s operations.
NOC video walls are connected to workstations located on the NOC floor, so when there is an alert, NOC engineers from their desks can bring the alert’s details up on the video wall screen. So instead of people crowding around a couple monitors to review information, everyone in the NOC can review information relevant to the alert and respond faster.
2. Workstations with extra displays – Clearly, much of the information a NOC deals with is visual, and so it is important that engineers and technicians have the ability to comb through this information with as much space as possible. In addition to robust workstations, dual display setups give technicians and engineers much more desktop space to work with. More space means more data can be monitored at once, which improves efficiency and response speed.
3. Integrated audio inputs and outputs – Audio is typically considered secondary for NOC performance, but it can still perform an important role for NOC technicians. Some NOCs can be quite large, which makes it difficult for engineers and technicians to talk to each other and be heard. Audio inputs installed at each desk can lift a speaker’s voice so that it can be picked up everywhere in the room. This audio is run through a processor that gathers and directs input signals to speaker outputs. These speakers can be mounted to the walls around the room, or integrated directly into the ceiling. In most cases, wall mount speakers are the preferred option, as they are easier to install and do a fine job of dispersing audio effectively. However, in the rare situations where aesthetics are important or regulations disallow wall mount speakers, ceiling speakers are a strong alternative.
In most NOCs, there is a separate conference room that is set off from the rest of the NOC floor. This conference room may be reserved for variety of purposes, including acting as something like a command center when there is a particularly troublesome alert ongoing. But when people are inside the conference room, they are effectively sealed off from the rest of the NOC. To combat this, A/V integrators can provide zoned audio technology so that people inside the conference room can pick up on any conversation on the NOC floor, or any sounds that play when an alert occurs.
4. Control interface – All of this A/V technology needs to be controlled, and a standard option for doing so is with a touch panel interface. This panel can be installed anywhere, including in a separate control room. One option is to install touch interfaces at the workstations, giving every technician and engineer some limited control over the system. A master control panel can be placed at a supervisor’s desk.
This is a lot of technology to bring into concert, and not something that can be managed without a reputable A/V integrator helping out. A talented A/V integrator can provide plenty of options in laying out display and audio devices, taking advantage of the NOC’s layout to ensure that optimal video and audio quality is achieved. In short, A/V integrators can provide a custom solution for all of a NOC’s needs. A larger video wall, interactive panels for rapid collaboration, advanced audio lifting technology – these are the kinds of A/V decisions an integrator can assist with.
And, of course, an integrator can perform long term support as a partner. This means tracking the performance of the A/V technology to verify that it is working to standard, responding immediately when there are technical issues and replacing older technology with new, better performing technology when possible.
NOCs are a critical element of network stability and security, and with the right A/V technology facilitating communication, they can operate at peak efficiency, morning, noon and night.
As millions of students graduate college this spring, Google could not have timed the release of their new Google Jamboard any more perfectly, to welcome them with a familiar interface as they arrive on the doorstep of corporate America. And the best thing is that they did it with their usual Google flair, and the Jamboard is downright fun!
Reminiscent of their childhood tablets, just in a 55” 4K display, the Jamboard is packed with familiar Google apps students use for school, transitioned to be used in business as part of the G-Suite that Google designed with business in mind.
Google has worked for years to develop some of the best cloud-based applications that have changed the face of how businesses interact with each other. And they have also improved how teams interface with each other, regardless of the team member’s proximity. They have provided an online cost-effective alternative to the Microsoft 360 and its predecessor, Microsoft Office by offering similar word processing and spread sheet capabilities, as wells their famous Gmail and shared calendars for businesses at a fraction of the cost.
Many students are already familiar with whiteboards, the modern day replacement for the old-fashioned blackboard and chalk method, and the Jamboard uses an interactive whiteboard as its “fun”demental building block. But don’t be fooled, this is where the similarities end. Sure, you can write on it. But it is also jam-packed with technology that allows for teams to collaborate via a physical device, but using cloud-based applications and technologies everyone has come to expect from Google.
Join the Jam and Make Brainstorming Easy
Brainstorming with a remote group often can be challenging. It’s precisely this interaction they were trying
to address. Google has always been innovative in the work space challenges and this has been one hurdle many struggle to solve. Google has bridged the gap with communications though their Google Hangout, the ultimate conference room, allowing remote team members to attend meetings just as if they were there in the room. This is just how business is conducted in 2017, and Google has helped map out that paradigm. But there was something missing, namely a shared workspace where remote locations could interact with each other. This is where Google Jamboard takes center stage and shines.
The companion apps allow a video conference or what is now known as “Jam” session. Each remote team member can easily join a video call using their phone or tablet, making it easier than ever to interact with each other regardless of location.
Do Not Erase
Your team has your project all mapped out on your whiteboard and carefully writes, “Do Not Erase” at the top, or your team member photographs the board to save the work. Anyone who has ever worked on a whiteboard knows that writing Do Not Erase does really ensure the masterpiece isn’t accidently erased. This is a familiar scenario for any whiteboard user. But Google knows its human users and knows how important that save can be, so it does it automatically, via a quasi-artificial intelligence that saves every interaction in the cloud in real time. Adapting Google Drive into the interactive whiteboard framework allows endless possibilities of collaboration, and saving that important piece of work you just created.
Google Drive Puts Your Team in the Driver’s Seat
Because of the Google drive integration there are endless possibilities that are opened. And there are multiple ways to interact with Jamboard from connectivity to other Jamboards, to remote team members using their own personal tablet or cell phone. But entire teams can work together on reports, presentations or other creative elements that are easily dragged into the shared work space.
Editing a document is as easy as opening it on screen and starting to edit. And in some of their demos Google demonstrated how easy image and graphic integration is by simply opening the file and dragging it on to the screen.
And of course, no Google product would be complete without a web search feature that easily allows the look up and display of information from the Google search engine and Google Maps.
16 Touchpoints to Touch Enterprise Clients
The Jamboard’s 55-inch 4K screen is also a touchscreen that has 16 simultaneous touch points that allows the Jamboard to decode even the messiest of handwriting or the worst artist. It takes the writing and automatically turns it into text, and even the oddest shaped circles and square are painlessly switched to a precise rendering of what is drawn. And each Jamboard has a fine point stylus as wells as an eraser to help users interact and collaborate. Best of all, wiping away a mistake is no differe
nt than erasing a chalk line on a blackboard, for those old enough to remember that activity.
These special touchpoints allow multiple team members to be working or interacting with Jamboard simultaneously. What that means is that an entire team, even those who are remote can collaborate in real time, at the same time making Jamboard a robust solution for most office collaboration projects.
In addition to this special touchpoint interface, the Jamboard has the standard items that one would expect to see in an interactive white board, namely a built-in camera so that teams can see each other as well as connectivity though either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, to provide adaptability to easily allow network administrators to insert the Jamboard into their network.
Microsoft Surface Hub and Cisco Spark have long been industry leaders in the interactive whiteboard space. But Jamboard has muscled its way on the playing field with a few specific features. Jamboard has a far more favorable price point at $4999, whereas Surface Core can be double that. But it also brings something else unique.
Although Jamboard is not designed for the educational space, there is now an entire generation of college graduations that have been using G-Suite for their entire academic careers, making a natural familiarity with G-Suites. In doing this, Google has cut the learning curve of the other and arguably beefier whiteboards. And most millennials just say the Jamboard is downright fun, which makes for a natural leader in the space, even though it’s the newest kid on the block. It taps right in to how millennials work in corporate spaces.
What’s Under the Jamboard Hood?
So now for the geeks, here’s all the tech specs for the Jamboard:
55 Inch 4K UHD Display
120 HX touch scan rate
16 simultaneous touch points
Handwriting, shape and voice recognition
HDMI 2, USB Type-c, 2x USB 3.0
SPDIF audio out
WI-Fi 802.11ac, 2×2/one Gigabit Ethernet
On the Horizon
And keeping with the Google tradition of innovation, Google has already started the evolution to add popular collaborative apps, allowing the Jamboard to display and utilize the ease of an app such as Trello. This will lead to further tool development of new widgets to be used with Jamboard to make collaboration even easier.
So, although though some consider this a really large tablet that can hang on a wall, the Jamboard is anything but. Just as the simplicity of the Google search engine brought it to public prominence years ago, the Jamboard has put itself on the same path, and although it is simple, it is quite possibly the best, with a fun and quirky edge.
Streaming video capture has revolutionized how businesses operate across the globe. Communication technology as a whole has seen tremendous leaps forward through the past decades. Companies have become more flexible, highly responsive, and far more integrated into dealings with their clients, consumers, and employees all over the world.
The shift has been nothing short of a communication revolution. Consider training as an example. In the past, the bigger the company, the more complex the training process. Training representatives once visited every company office to share information. It was a time-consuming and resource intensive process. And for it to work with any level of efficiency, each office had to observe a strict schedule.
This practice is no longer necessary. Live video technology can now be found just about everywhere. Live streaming is a feature built into smart devices across the world by default. And while live streaming technology plays a crucial role for a number of organizations in today’s business climate, it’s streaming video capture technology that is truly revolutionary.
Rather than streaming a training session live to every relevant individual throughout the company, this technology allows companies to simply record the transmission for later viewing and sharing. And companies need not worry about quality: with today’s high-resolution displays, the quality of today’s recordings is so high that a standard digital recording is crystal-clear.
If an organization is considering taking advantage of this technology, it’s important not to treat the process as a do-it-yourself project. Instead, turn to experienced audio-visual integrators for a consultation and expert advice.
Bringing in an experienced audio visual specialist before making any decisions regarding purchasing or installing communications technology is always the right decision. Whether the systems are intended for a school, a business or some other organization type, having a professional A/V integrator to consult with before draining a hard-won budget is a wise move.
Not only can an audio visual specialist advise an organization on the right solution for their goals, a specialist can also provide recommendations for cost-efficient solutions and discuss how these solutions may withstand and accommodate changes in technology over the years to come.
In addition, with the assistance of an A/V integrator who makes A/V equipment and solutions their profession, an organization can expect that the job will be done right. Today’s world is highly centered on communication. Of course, not every organization would consider itself to be on the cutting-edge or even prepared for the challenges that come with modern communication needs. Yet every educational institution and business is increasingly expected to meet the communication challenges of today by students, faculty, and clients alike.
Fortunately, there’s never been a better time to bring communications equipment up to and beyond standard. Modern A/V solutions are more available than ever before, and they are far more affordable than ever before. To find out what an A/V integrator can do for an educational institution or business, call Data Projections for a consultation.
Video conference equipment brings the future of sophisticated communications to the office of today. With this technology, a company can stay connected with employees who work in remote locations. Telecommuting is here to stay and will only become more of an option for folks who want a balance between work and lifestyle. Video collaboration enables workers to attend meetings and take part in discussions and planning groups, from the road or from home. With the advent of the internet, business has gone global. Traveling to meetings is cost-prohibitive and time-consuming. Video conferencing allows instant communications with offices across the country, or on another continent.
The use of high-tech video conference equipment has proven to increase productivity across the board. Employees can attend meetings without leaving their offices, freeing them to focus on the discussion at hand. Suppliers can communicate with manufacturers about products with instant results. Customer service reps that use video can develop a much deeper rapport with clientele, providing a vastly superior experience to standard phone or email communication, kindling loyalty, and greater customer satisfaction. Video conferencing technology is advancing quickly. What was once considered a futuristic method of communication can transform the way a business operates today.
An audio video integrator, or AVI, in the Austin area is an expert on improving a company’s or organization’s communication technology. And few cities are as receptive to modern, sharp communication techniques as the capitol of Texas. With a major university campus in the heart of the city, plenty of public spaces, and a huge number of nonprofits in the area, audio and video technology can help an organization stand out among the crowd. When handled by an expert and implemented creatively, an audio and video installation can raise excellent awareness about certain products, events or initiatives, and attract customers and followers.
An AVI in Austin has access to a variety of technology that can be used to execute an installation, including high quality digital displays, digital billboards, and interactive displays. High quality digital displays are perfect for a college campus, as they can be used to announce events or utilized as part of an alert system in the event of an emergency. Digital billboards let companies and organizations use time sensitive advertising to quickly raise awareness of local events. And interactive displays allow users to quickly swipe through product menus, photos, and other media in a public space or retail store.
In the office, conferencing technology allows company managers to contact clients and partners in distant cities, making it much easier for a nonprofit to coordinate its various branches and personnel.
These are just some basic solutions that audio and video technology can bring to a business or organization. With the help of knowledgeable experts like Data Projections, there is no limit to what can be done.
A digital billboard is one of the most promising new trends in advertising, and it offers excellent utility to all kinds of organizations, and even government entities. What makes these large LED displays so useful is their versatility and responsiveness. An LED display can be updated in real time and present an endless array of designs, giving display owners and advertisers excellent tools for producing an amenable relationship. And, of course, consumers respond to these displays extremely well, with industry surveys determining that about 90 percent of drivers and pedestrians notice them.
At its core, a digital billboard is just a giant LED display, which means it can do things like display multiple advertisements at once, cycle through a series of advertisements, or be programmed to only display certain advertisements at certain times. This last option is essential to a highly effective form of outreach known as time-sensitive advertising. For example, a radio station might advertise their morning show while people are commuting to work, and advertise their evening show when people leave for work, and use the same display to do it.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is that these displays can be used to display Amber alerts and emergency warnings. Cities can take this approach, for example, to alert drivers to major accidents or disasters, and suggest alternate routes to save lives or time.
This technology will become the standard as time goes on, but forward-thinking businesses and municipalities can take advantage of its novelty now and improve their outreach greatly.
When it’s time to turn that meeting space into something worth using, an AV expert can provide the perfect conference room design. Communications is a weak spot for a lot of businesses, and meeting spaces are often emblematic of this fact. In a lot of offices this space goes unused and becomes a glorified closet. Make it work for the business by setting it up with a sophisticated AV communications system. With modern AV technology, company personnel can communicate with each other, and with people around the world, much more effectively.
A conference room design may focus on something as simple as a quality digital projector or display. A proper display will give presenters better tools for communicating and improve employee engagement. It’s also ideal for training new hires. An interactive whiteboard is a popular choice for companies that organize a lot of planning or brainstorming meetings. The whiteboard connects to a computer and allows the presenter to use software to show off everything from animations to concept drawings. Interactivity allows presenters to navigate through their material quickly and without interruption, and provides additional functionality, such as polling employees anonymously.
Of course, AV technology can also be used to connect a meeting with personnel, clients or partners all over the world. Modern audio and video input and output devices make for crystal clear call clarity, both in terms of visual and audio data. Face to face interaction improves recall and cooperation between parties, and can greatly reduce travel costs.
An AV expert can do things with a meeting space that companies would never dream of, making an instant impact on the business’s operations.
An effective audio and video integrator, or AVI, in San Antonio has many tools at their disposal to better shape an organization’s operations. The foundation of every successful business or organization is communication, and the successful companies realize this. That’s why they make use of the best technology available to connect their employees and management, interface with clients and partners, and make training more efficient and more effective.
The Alamo City is home to many medical and military facilities, as well as one of the nation’s most popular commercial walking areas with its Riverwalk. This makes the city uniquely suited for audio and video technology, and an AVI in San Antonio can help an organization make optimal use of the technology.
Among the city’s integrators is Data Projections, which has been an industry leader throughout Texas for more than 30 years. What makes Data Projections stand out from its peers is its unrelenting dedication to every project, no matter its size of scope. Any integrator can sell equipment and perform basic installation duties, but an accomplished firm like Data Projections knows that the job is only beginning once everything is installed. The system will have to be analyzed for its effectiveness and reconfigured if need be, and ongoing technical support will be a must. Data Projections’ goal is to act as a partner to every one of its clients, and with a dedicated partner in the AV industry, an organization will always have access to the most effective technology on the market.