Blog

Our blog is how we communicate with you. Here you’ll find news about the industry, features on new products and our suggestions for improving your professional communications.

Wireless conference rooms: new technology is living up to the hype

January 11, 2016 | POSTED BY Jodie Paradis

 

It’s a dream that we’ve been patiently waiting for: a completely wireless conference room; a space free of unsightly cords or the hassle of plugs and wires that are embedded in walls and tables. Not to mention, who wouldn’t want to eliminate the danger of tripping head-over-heels on loose cords, plugs and other odds and ends when walking into an important meeting, or the hassle of having to call up an IT department when you can’t find the right connection for your device?

Crestron AirMedia

Wireless technology isn’t exactly new, so – if you’re like me – you might wonder why the wait for a wireless meeting room has taken so long. The short answer is that while the technology might have been feasible a few years back, until recently, its performance hadn’t quite lived up to expectations.

That’s all changed.

 

In recent months, we’ve watched as some exceptional products have emerged on the market. They deliver the kind of performance, connectivity, flexibility and ease of use that we have been waiting for in our wireless conference rooms. The buzz from the industry and our customers alike has proven that the time has come for us all to seriously consider integrating this technology into collaborative spaces.

 

Standout wireless presentation products

 

There are many big names that have come out with wireless presentation solutions, along with a few emerging and up-and-coming players as well. The standouts right now in terms of performance, connectivity and ease of use are:

 

 

 

That’s not to say some newer names aren’t promising. Some other wireless solutions include:

 

 

All of these systems have one thing in common: they eliminate the need for wires or special connection equipment for devices in a conference room. To present in a space equipped with one of these, simply bring your own device and (sometimes with the assistance of a simple downloaded app or the local network) connect to the shared display. Most of these systems, with the exception of Apple’s solution, work across platforms, meaning that any device from an iPhone to a PC, a MacBook to a tablet, can connect to the display.

 

Once the computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone is connected wirelessly, the information – whether it’s a presentation, video, photos, or spreadsheets – is not streamed (contrary to popular belief). Rather, information is “scraped” from the device and duplicating, or copy and pasting it, to the display. This results in a smooth, seamless final picture up on screen.

 

Many of these wireless presentation systems also allow multiple users to connect and share their information, improving collaboration or allowing for seamless transitions from one presenter to the next.

 

We’ve noticed a lot of our business and commerce customers are excited about installing these presentation systems in conference rooms where they are looking for a sleeker environment that will leave a good impression on visitors.

 

We also imagine that our education customers will also be equally excited about the possibilities a wireless classroom can provide: these solutions offer easy connectivity and transition from one class to the next, allowing lecturers to transition smoothly between presentations.

Our recommendations for wireless conference rooms

 

Now that we’ve sold you on the idea of a completely wireless conference room – how about some words of wisdom on which one to choose?

 

Our favorite wireless presentation system of the moment is Extron’s Sharelink 200. It allows anyone from a laptop, smartphone or tablet to access the shared display. It includes a wireless access point, supporting the display of content from up to four different devices at the same time. Its collaboration mode allows anyone to share content and control the presentation, and WebShare enables attendees to view slide images on personal devices on a Web browser.

 

Another great choice is Crestron’s AirMedia. It allows dozens of presenters to collaborate at the same time on any type of device. It works smoothly when accessing anything from files to videos to presentations from different devices. All it requires is a free app to work on mobile devices and tablets.