How to set up a Fully Functional Huddle Space within minutes

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Article: Abrie du Plooy

Huddle spaces are a very appealing concept in today’s corporate world. Small to medium sized meetings can be conducted quickly and efficiently, with all the benefits of modern technology without having to reserve the executive boardroom.

A huddle space is a small meeting room or private space that offers presentation, collaboration and video conferencing functionality for up to 6 people. Employees no longer need to underutilise large meeting rooms in order to have a quick meeting.

A huddle space is a great way to keep teams productive and include team members working from remote locations, via audio visual channels. Huddle rooms add value to companies by increasing productivity through improved communication.

To set up a fully functional huddle space one needs a few basic components:

  • A small room or private space with a table seating 4 to 6 people
  • A large display screen is recommended to ease visibility - even though the participants are seated close to a display area, spreadsheets and detailed drawings with text may still be quite small and challenging to see
  • A high quality camera that can deliver high definition video to remote colleagues
  • A decent microphone and audio system to make remote participants audible (the importance of audio far outweighs that of video, as the meeting can be concluded without image, but not sound). Lastly, albeit not required to conduct quick online meetings, a wireless presentation and collaboration component that creates a close to real meeting space for optimum brainstorming and creativity

Huddle spaces should deliver the same quality audio visual equipment as large meeting rooms. Online meetings are highly reliant on quality audio and clear video. The most cost effective way to deliver a quality system is to use a LCD touch screen with an integrated OPS (Open Pluggable Standard) processor. The ProSpectre series of large screen interactive computers offer just that. Screen sizes up to 86” with integrated Intel i5 processors and 10-point touch screens provide an all-in-one solution. ProSpectre professional displays have high quality integrated speakers that deliver crisp and clear audio, removing the need for external speakers.

To complete the ProSpectre solution and create a full huddle space system, a camera and microphone might be added. The Lumens high definition PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) camera has the ability to zoom in on multiple locations and capture Full HD images at 1920x1080 resolution. The camera connects directly to the integrated i5 processor via USB. For the microphone component, an Acoustic Magic microphone array is installed at the camera location eliminating the need for additional cabling between the LCD screen and the meeting table. The Acoustic Magic microphone also connects to the integrated i5 processor via USB and captures clear audio from anywhere in the closed off space.

A wireless presentation and collaboration component is available in the form of Kramer ViaWare, a software package with all the functionality of the Kramer VIA Campus. With ViaWare installed, Microsoft Windows applications such as Skype for Business, annotations and whiteboard functionality through Microsoft Edge can be used. Additionally, wireless presentation and collaboration from any participant with a mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone can be displayed.

By using a ProSpectre interactive display, with Kramer ViaWare, Lumens PTZ USB camera and Acoustic Magic microphone array, a complete Huddle Space solution, with video conferencing, wireless presentation and interactive collaboration functionality can be installed and configured in no time at all. A quick set up without the need to install cabling between the table and the display.

Contact Electrosonic SA to discuss your Huddle space solutions: sales@electrosonic.co.za or 011 770 9800.