Barco further boosts Corporate AV offering with Interactive Collaboration Platform for meeting and training rooms

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Barco has introduced an interactive collaboration platform that is claimed to truly empower all meeting attendants. According to Barco, this solution not only allows users to share documents, images and videos rapidly and straightforwardly from any digital device – it also adds exciting new functionality to the collaboration mix, including moderation and layout selection. Powered by ease of use, this system is ideal for large meeting rooms, conference theaters, and training rooms.

Collaboration in meeting and training rooms has evolved over the past couple of years. Most often in the past, just one person brought the content to present or discuss – either on paper, as a PowerPoint presentation, or in any other carrier – and the others would listen. But the introduction of a wide variety of mobile devices (including laptops, smartphones and tablets) has introduced a new challenge: now, every meeting participant brings his or her own content to the table. And might want to share it with the other attendees, in a quick and easy way. In other words, meeting room technology needs to be upgraded to the BYOD era.

Interactive collaboration made easy

To overcome these challenges, Barco is introducing its interactive collaboration platform for meeting and training rooms. This platform allows users to enrich the meeting with content from any digital device – not only laptops, smartphones and tablets, but also document cameras, networked sources, IP cameras, and more. The meeting participants have total freedom over what and how to share, making meetings ever more collaborative and engaging.

The platform's power not only lies in the range of devices supported – it also facilitates structuring in the collaboration mix. With an easy-to-use touch-screen interface, a moderator selects which content is shown on the large screen. This is especially useful in large meeting rooms or training rooms, where a lot of people want to share their views at the same time. Moreover, the touch-screen interface can also be used to select the layout of one or two central screen(s). This allows the moderator to highlight certain content windows by making them larger than the others. The system's intelligence proposes layouts to make sure the screen's pixel estate is used optimally.

A modular and future-proof platform

Barco's networked collaboration solution for meeting and training rooms is composed as a modular system. This means additional equipment and technology can be added at any time, making it an extremely future-proof system. At the heart of the system is Barco's new NRC-200 networked room compositor. This device receives all input sources (up to 8), does the necessary processing, and can drive two screens of up to UHD (4k) resolution. Both screens are controlled by a user interface on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) touch-enabled PC and can show completely independent content. Moreover, the solution consists of a ClickShare CSC system to connect laptops, tablets and smartphones. Optionally, AV-to-IP encoders can be added to connect non-networked sources.

"This solution, featuring the new NRC-200, is a great addition to our meeting room collaboration offering," says Romeo Baertsoen, VP Strategic Marketing Corporate AV at Barco. "It really focuses on the particular needs of large meeting rooms, training rooms and conference theaters, preparing them for the BYOD era. The system was first shown at the ISE 2015 tradeshow in Amsterdam, and responses were overwhelmingly positive. This has further convinced us that the market is hungry for the unique features we cover with this networked collaboration solution."

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