Best of AV Tech: Interactive Touch Displays

Posted by / July 15, 2016

best_of_av_tech.pngThere’s been a lot of buzz in the AV industry around interactive touch technology following the release of Microsoft’s Surface Hub. More organizations are looking to use interactive touch for team collaboration than ever before. But while the Surface Hub is getting a lot of press, it isn’t the only option for interactive touch presentation. And it may not be the right solution for everyone. 

Interactive touch enhances collaboration by speeding up the workflow of your meeting. With interactive displays, teams can collaborate over data in real time with remote participants and in-person participants alike, making every meeting more productive. Although interactive touch is an effective collaboration solution, the most popular touch display—Microsoft’s Surface Hub—comes with significant obstacles.

One of the biggest problems with the Surface Hub, for users and integrators alike, is the price. Units sell for thousands of dollars more than leading competitors with similar features. Many users simply can’t afford the price tag of the Surface Hub and give up on the idea of interactive touch technology altogether because of that. But what makes interactive touch a valuable technology in the first place?

What’s So Great About Interactive Touch?

Interactive touch technology has the potential to revolutionize the workplace. Intuitive touch-controlled digital canvases aren’t just eye-candy for us tech geeks—they’re new and powerful tools that will drive better collaboration for teams that use them. These tools make it easier for teams to work together over the data they most need. 

Interactive touch systems create dynamic meeting environments that encourage participation and increase productivity. The best interactive touch solutions are feature-rich collaboration system. Some all-in-one solutions allow multiple users to simultaneously share from personal devices, connect via video conference, and manipulate shared data in real-time.

Although it does have many powerful features, the Surface Hub is not nearly as flexible as many AV integrators would like it to be for the price. With the Surface Hub, you’re tied to two canvas sizes—and to Microsoft’s hardware (some of its software, too). What if you want all the interactive collaboration features of the Surface Hub—but with a canvas twice the size? Or with multi-OS compatibility? Or with real-time screen sharing? 

Luckily, there’s a better solution.

Enter ThinkHub 

Our favorite interactive touch presentation system on the market today is the new T1V ThinkHub. ThinkHub helps teams ideate, visualize, and solve problems better and faster. Unlike the Surface Hub, ThinkHub is a software-based solution that isn’t limited by built-in hardware. In fact, it eliminates the need for much of the hardware that collaboration usually requires. Some of its key features include:

  • A scalable, easy-to-use digital canvas
    ThinkHub Canvas extends up to 20x the surface area of the physical touchscreen. Visual cues help users navigate the digital space, and the canvas can be drawn on directly for digital whiteboarding sessions. Intuitive pinch-zoom controls make it easy to visualize or focus on specific content.
  • Unlimited devices, unlimited content
    ThinkHub doesn’t cap the amount of content or number of devices that can connect. Users can simultaneously share content via USB, network drive, or cloud server. ThinkHub supports iOS, OS, Windows, Android, and Linux platforms. And with T1V’s TouchControl, users can even control devices directly from ThinkHub Canvas.
  • Built-in collaboration toolset
    ThinkHub’s toolset allows users to annotate anything on the Canvas. Images, videos, PDFs, live device streams, notes, sketches, web browsers, and even the canvas itself can be annotated. The notes, sketches, and multitouch web browsing make it easy to capture and share ideas immediately.
  • Real-time sharing with AirConnect
    AirConnect is T1V’s mobile application that enables wireless device sharing from a user’s laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The AirConnect mirroring technology allows that user to share anything on their screen to a window on ThinkHub Canvas. Users can also share to ViewHub (a non-touch version of ThinkHub offering the same user experience). 
  • Powerful add-on features:
    ThinkHub’s add-ons allow for even more flexible collaboration at any scale. With ThinkHub’s MultiSite add-on, you can connect up to ten remote ThinkHubs for real-time collaboration sessions. And with ThinkHub Videoconferencing, you can integrate any hardware-based equipment, opt for the built-in video conferencing via the T1V AirConnect App, or use any web-based video conferencing apps you prefer.

ThinkHub demoed by rAVepubs at InfoComm! 

The beauty of ThinkHub is that it’s flexible enough to be used for digital signage, video conferencing, presentations, and interactive collaboration. T1V’s interactive touch software can be used on a single flat screen display or extended to work with a video wall of connected displays. It’s easier to use, more flexible, and incredibly scalable in comparison with the Surface Hub.

Integrating ThinkHub into your workflow is a breeze. Not only can it connect to other devices via leading cloud-based meeting software, it’s also compatible with hardware-based video conferencing equipment from Cisco and Polycom. ThinkHub is a great example of technology that makes life easier—the way collaboration technology should. No training is required—it’s that easy to use! 

We’re not the only ones to notice ThinkHub, and it’s no surprise that they won rAVe’s “Best New Presentation System” at InfoComm 2016. We’re excited to see products like this that create an enjoyable collaboration experience!


We hope you’ve enjoyed this tech spotlight. If you want to drive team engagement with an interactive touch system, give us a call. We’d love to help you find the perfect solution for your team’s collaboration!

 

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