Room scheduling, whiteboard capture, wireless presentation — see how Crestron innovations can meet the needs of the modern workplace

by Brianna Crandall — July 20, 2018 — Crestron, a global provider of control, automation and presentation technology for the modern workplace, announced several product introductions in recent weeks, highlighted below.

Room-scheduling touchscreens

Crestron debuted its new TSS-7 and TSS-10 room-scheduling-only touchscreens, featuring native partner room booking and an optional Room Availability Light Bar, at InfoComm 2018 in June. Based on the award-winning line of TSW touchscreens, the TSS-7 and TSS-10 touchscreens are simplified to reduce cost and meet the needs of a broader customer base.

TSS touchscreens currently support Appspace, Robin Powered, Teem, and EMS software for network room scheduling. Image courtesy Crestron

Crestron TSS and TSW touchscreens natively support a broad set of third-party partners so organizations can choose the scheduling provider that best meets their operational needs. TSS touchscreens currently support Appspace, Robin Powered, Teem, and EMS software to deliver network room scheduling.

Providing an alternative to the Crestron SSW-100 and SSC-100 Room Availability Hallway Signs, optional new Room Availability Light Bars for TSS and TSW models offer a high-visibility availability indicator for those who prefer to check at the touchscreen. The light bars create a glowing green halo around the touchscreen when the room is available and red when in use. Compatible with wall or glass mounts, the light bar can easily be added to any new or existing TSS or TSW installation. No special tools or configuration are required. The small control module fastens to the rear of the TSS or TSW and connects to USB. The light bars attach to the mounting bracket and plug in to the control module as the TSS or TSW is installed into the mount.

Whiteboard capture device

Crestron also demonstrated its new Crestron AirBoard network whiteboard capture device at InfoComm 2018. The innovative enterprise-grade appliance Crestron AirBoard enables both local and remote participants to see whiteboard content on the main room display and on their personal display device, and then share it with the touch of a button. Crestron AirBoard is said to be simple to operate and easily mounts above any surface using the included mounting kit.

The Crestron AirBoard enterprise-grade appliance provides ideal viewing of whiteboard annotation from every seat in the room, or for remote conferencing participants. Image courtesy Crestron

Dan Jackson, director, Enterprise Technology at Crestron, explained:

The whiteboard is the last analog device in the room, and with so much competition for “front of the room” space, they’re typically installed on the extreme sides of meeting rooms, where visibility is limited. Now, with Crestron AirBoard, the center room display or projector screen can show the whiteboard so everyone can easily see it. Plus, remote participants can actually see when someone writes on the whiteboard without holding up a phone or laptop camera.

Crestron AirBoard is essentially a camera on an arm that attaches to any electronic whiteboard via the included mounting kit. Only a single Ethernet cable to the LAN is required for video, power, and secure connection to the network and Crestron ecosystem. People can quickly capture and share content via Crestron touchscreens and integrated devices, such as Crestron Mercury.

With Crestron AirBoard, annotations can be easily captured, saved, and then posted, emailed, or texted to either a central web page (education applications) or to invited participants (corporate applications).

Nic Milani, director, Technology and Market Development at Crestron, stated:

Crestron AirBoard delivers superior value compared to interactive displays, which cost more and are often underused because their complexity can be intimidating to office workers.

Wireless presentation systems

An additional InfoComm 2018 introduction was Crestron’s new AirMedia Wireless Presentation Systems (AM-300 and AM-200) with built-in AirMedia 2.0 technology at InfoComm 2018. Crestron says AirMedia 2.0 is a fast, easy, manageable and secure wireless presentation technology. The AM-300 and AM-200 enable organizations to increase workflow and facilitate collaboration by turning lobbies, lounges, and other open spaces into productive meeting spaces. They mount discreetly behind wall mount displays and enable wired or wireless presentation. No furniture, dongles, or new Wi-Fi networks are needed.

Meeting with presentation systems

AirMedia Wireless Presentation Systems enable organizations to increase workflow and facilitate collaboration by turning lobbies, lounges, and other open spaces into productive meeting spaces. Image courtesy Crestron

Fred Bargetzi, Crestron CTO, remarked:

AirMedia set the standard for wireless presentation, and now it just got even better with AirMedia 2.0. It’s the only enterprise-grade wireless presentation solution that offers network security, cloud-based deployment and management, iOS mirroring without Bonjour – everything IT needs and expects.

AirMedia 2.0 technology delivers: the lowest bandwidth consumption for optimal network efficiency; the lowest latency so keyboard and mouse movements track in real-time; silky smooth video playback; on-screen display with connectivity instructions, plus room availability and meeting details when connected to a calendaring platform; easy cloud-based provisioning and management; and full mirroring for the following operating systems: Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS without Bonjour software.

While other products provide just a wireless access point, exposing confidential content to potential security breaches, AirMedia 2.0 is a network-based wireless presentation technology that leverages the latest security protocols: 802.1x network access control; Active Directory administrator authentication; AES-128 content encryption; and SSH, SSL, TLS, and HTTPS.

Because AirMedia 2.0 is a network-based appliance, it can be deployed, configured, and managed from the cloud, enabling deployment of a virtually unlimited number of AirMedia 2.0 devices. Simply connect them to the network and they immediately work, says the company.

Expanded connectivity and switching options

Crestron also showcased its expanded DigitalMedia (DM) product line, which delivers any content, anywhere via a wide range of connectivity and switching options for in-room presentation, corporate messaging, digital signage, video walls, active learning, and command and control. Customers can choose from networked, all-in-one, point-to-point, and standalone solutions to best meet their specific needs, with built-in network security at the product level.

Graphic illustrating connectivity devices for various digital devices

Crestron’s expanded DigitalMedia (DM) product line reportedly delivers any content, anywhere via a wide range of connectivity and switching options. Image courtesy Crestron

Andrew Ludke, director, Technology Management, at Crestron, stated:

DM is simply the most complete platform to transmit and distribute AV. Whether you have one room or thousands, an entire building or campus, or sites around the world, DM offers the perfect solution, delivering pure high-definition to every display, laptop, and mobile device.

DM NVX Series delivers secure 4K60, 4:4:4, and HDR video over existing 1Gb network infrastructure, with maximum flexibility and unlimited scalability.

Industry standard DMPS3 Series 4K DigitalMedia Presentation Systems provide everything needed to deliver the best possible 4K presentation experience. Now, AirMedia 2.0 technology is built in to provide fast, easy, manageable and secure wireless presentation capability.

DM Lite is a new ecosystem of simple, interchangeable video extender products that deliver a winning combination of low cost, high performance, flexible form factor, and wide selection.

Fully scalable and modular, DigitalMedia matrix switchers can accommodate any combination of digital and analog sources with the ability to combine copper, fiber, and streaming technologies on a single chassis.

Cloud-based provisioning and management solution

Crestron XiO Cloud, a “revolutionary” cloud-based provisioning and management solution, made its North American debut at InfoComm 2018. Built on the Microsoft Azure platform, Crestron XiO Cloud enables organizations to simultaneously configure and deploy an unlimited number of Crestron products, thereby reducing installation time by up to 90%. IT managers can then monitor and manage all devices from Crestron XiO Cloud, proactively resolve events remotely to prevent lost work time, and gather actionable usage data, all with no programming required.

Brian Donlan, Crestron Technology Manager, Enterprise Software, explained:

With XiO Cloud, you simply connect a device to the network and it’s automatically recognized. There’s no time-consuming programming, and Crestron devices around the world can be managed remotely. The device doesn’t even need to be online when it’s configured. It’s simple, worldwide, browser-based management with the network security IT professionals demand.

Crestron XiO Cloud provides IT managers with a powerful centralized tool that enables them to deploy and manage thousands of devices in the same amount of time as it would to manage just one. Using simple drag and drop functionality, devices can be named, configured, and organized by groups and subgroups. Settings and firmware updates can be securely and silently pushed to one or all devices. Device licenses can be quickly activated, transferred, or removed. Devices can be moved or replaced, and all the settings are automatically uploaded. No need to roll a truck or dispatch programmers onsite.

People are organizations’ biggest investment, and Crestron XiO Cloud helps ensure spaces and the technology in them are designed to support how they work. The Crestron XiO Cloud dashboard provides interactive charts that show how spaces and technology are used, a fully searchable activity log of all actions within the portal, and a group status page, with no programming required.

For more information, visit the Crestron website.