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New Tech Alert: Prysm's Videowalls for Meeting Rooms
Can videowalls function as collaboration tools? We are about to find out thanks to Prysm's new Collaboration Videowall Solutions. Large videowalls never fail to impress and get attention. As a result, they have traditionally gravitated toward advertising or signage applications (see below), whereas, meeting rooms generally use multiple 55" to 60" displays for videoconferencing and collaboration.�
We strongly believe that the technology supporting a collaborative session should be hidden from the user as much as possible. When the technology distracts users, it lowers productivity. Multiple monitors, with obvious bezels between them, may provide a less natural, and less immersive experience than a single monitor used correctly as the bezel is the brain's chief psychological cue that it is engaged in an observant experience. With this in mind, we are open to the idea of collaborative videowalls and hopeful that they can be implemented with an immersive experience in mind.
The real question is whether this new videowall meeting experience encourages a productive collaboration session. That will depend upon a combination of Prysm's feature-set, and its proper implementation. First, let's take a look at the specs. Prysm is offering the Collaboration Videowall in two sizes.
- Videowall for Medium Meeting Rooms
- Display Diagonal: 117"
- Display Width by Height: 100" x 60"
- Resolution: 2,135 x 1,280 pixels (1080HD capable)
- Ideal Viewing Distance: 6' to 40'
- Videowall for Large Meeting Rooms
- Display Diagonal: 190"
- Display Width by Height: 180" x 60"
- Resolution: 3,843 x 1,280 pixels (2x 1080HD capable)
- Ideal Viewing Distance: 6' to 60'
The Videowall itself is capable of displaying up to four feeds, in split windows. What makes this collaboration package different is that the wall is bundled with an integrated Cisco C-Series videoconferencing codec and camera. The solution functions as a traditional video endpoint, with the ability to displayed the incoming signal either full-screen, half screen, or in a quadrant along with other video sources.
We note that some of the images used here show overly large remote participants. This may be expected with this solution in certain cases. For example, remote participants calling in from a desktop or mobile application will likely present a "headshot" view. On a videowall this could result in the huge head syndrome. This may be optimal when a presenter wants to be seen by people in the back of a larger meeting room. But it is not optimal if you are looking for a natural, face to face, across the table, interaction. This can be addressed in a number of ways, including intelligent use of the videowall's inherent windowing functionality.�
With a careful and considered deployment, these solutions could potentially support highly immersive configurations. The result could attempt to approximate a natural, across the table, experience that feels like an in person meeting, and as a result, is nearly as productive as an in person meeting. Prysm videowalls support a 178 degree viewing angle, which allows everyone in the room to see the content just as well as the people sitting directly in front of the screen, improving the overall experience.
Videowalls are here to stay. Their adoption in the advertising and signage arenas is undeniable. Whether they can further expand into the meeting room depends upon whether it can be adapted to provide a superior experience to the common multi-monitor set-up, at a comparable price. We expect, in the short term, this will be a bit like the fountain in the lobby. Everyone will want one, but only those willing to take the time to do it right should really be getting one.
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