Giving huddle rooms the investment they deserve
Zoom and Microsoft Teams have essentially become the default for hybrid meetings. Now it’s AV innovators’ job to think about how we can complement these platforms, by bringing solutions that make hybrid meetings more lifelike, inclusive, and interactive.
True, no one’s going to invest $100,000 in a huddle room, like they do for their boardroom. But, as the most used – and popular – collaborative space, huddle rooms deserve more investment. In fact, they deserve all the equipment of a boardroom. But since that’s a hard sell (financially) and a major paradigm shift, the goal is to get that $100K value for far less.
AV innovation is paving the way forward
That’s why solutions are already being “scaled down” to make this happen at a much lower price point, and with the smaller form factors required for huddle room spaces. For example:
- Screen management – The visual experience can be significantly improved with a videowall that can make a single screen out of four, and the reverse. While a screen management solution is currently past the price point for the average huddle room, new display perspectives are at work to get the costs down.
- USB-C and USB-C handling – With the recent EU legislation requiring all new smartphones to have a common charging port by 2024 and laptops by 2026, USB-C is the way forward. And not just for chargers, but for seamlessly connecting multiple displays, screens, cameras, and more.
- Whiteboards and additional cameras – The future of digital whiteboards is IFPs (interactive flat panels). But sophisticated touch technology with an immediate response is expensive. Creating solutions for more cost-effective multi-camera setups that capture the intricacies of each person’s interactions with the whiteboard will enable a similar experience in huddle rooms. Cameras should capture the whiteboard, crop it out, and provide a separate video feed showing just the board.
With the costs of equipment going down significantly, plus new innovation, instead of selling the huddle room short, the huddle room is primed to continue its ascension. These developments and others are already paving the way to democratizing everyday meetings – bringing the boardroom experience to huddle rooms where, in my opinion, they can have a bigger impact as an essential tool for more effective work.