It’s often been said that the way of working will change even after COVID restrictions are behind us. More people are remote working, and that’s set to continue. But these changes have been happening in the background for a while – with new attitudes changing the environment we work in. Consider that regular work activity – the meeting. These are changing from longer ‘presentation-led’ meetings to more versatile collaboration-style ones using digital presentation. And those require a different kind of space and technology support.
New workforce = new work environment
According to Futuresource, 75% of the workforce will consist of digital natives by 2030. This makes them key factors in how the workplace will change1. This group thrives on digital ways of working, since they are the first group to have grown up entirely surrounded with digital technology. So a millennial is less likely to respond to a long meeting around a conference table with a turgid presentation.
The new attitude towards meetings is that they should be dynamic, with clear actions and results. These are more collaborative brainstorms, where a smaller group of people can really discuss and co-present. Many employees are much more likely to engage and be productive in this kind of environment.
There is one trend that has been directly affected by the pandemic – the flexibility of access to meetings. With more people remote working, the ability to connect together into a meeting space has become crucial. That can be done using an online platform, or as a hybrid, also including a smaller meeting room. In this way, more people can be included, maximizing effective outputs from the meeting. According to Reuters, in December 2019, Zoom reported 10 million daily users. Three months later, the number of Zoom’s daily participants jumped to more than 200 million2 .This was driven by the impact of the pandemic, but predictions are that significant growth is set to continue.
Enter digital presentation
This dynamic shift in the way meetings are held has a direct impact on the Facilities and AV/IT Managers of the world. These are the people tasked to make it work. In some organizations it’s even led to office redesigns, with more small spaces replacing the larger, more traditional conference rooms. This is a trend that’s also set to continue – according to Futuresource, 66% of companies say dedicated technology for informal meeting spaces is a medium/high priority.
But what about presenting tools? Although the majority of presentations are still done using Powerpoint, higher levels of collaboration need a different kind of screen, for example. It’s important for more than one person to be able to annotate the screen directly, for example. People need to be able to connect wirelessly from their own devices (also known as BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device) to provide input. Remote team members need to have a way to ‘dial in’ and be involved in the meeting.
This is perhaps why 2021 global sales are expected to grow to 2.5 million Interactive Displays, representing a 12% increase.
Making a screen interactive
All these functions are part of the design of Hikvision’s Interactive Displays. The embedded software turns the screen into a fully-functional white board. This means more than one person can annotate on it at any one time. They are able to write more ‘naturally’ on the sensitive multi-touch point surface. It also allows zooming in and out to focus on details as they work.
In the new digital workplace, meeting contributors want to be able to concentrate on the discussion. This can mean they aren’t distracted by taking notes at the same time. So they don’t miss anything, the screens save the input being created as the meeting progresses. There’s almost no limitation to the amount of pages stored, so even if participants are seized with inspiration, lengthening the meeting, the work is saved. The content can then be shared by email for further reference or action.
The screen design includes technologies to make them as clear as possible. They have 4K ultra-HD resolution, a crystal screen to resist scratches and anti-glare technology, so bright lights does not affect clarity.
Making digital presentation accessible
Usability is a central part of the Interactive Display design. They have simple icon commands, which react to use. For example, the whiteboard/annotation function icon pops up when the pen is picked up, ready for immediate use. They look good too, stylishly finished to make and meeting space look elegant and efficient.
Content can be sent to the screen directly, using it as an AP hotspot. This allows users to control their content presentation, even when it’s on their laptop or mobile device. The screens support wireless projections of up to 4 devices simultaneously, so multiple users can ‘present’, facilitating collaboration and brainstorming.
The screens can be used for fluid and seamless video conferencing, using Zoom, Teams, and Webex platforms. They are equipped with an integrated 8MP camera, incorporating the expertise of Hikvision as a leading camera manufacturer, making interactivity easier. They also come with an omnidirectional microphone, integrated speakers, and OPS box (to support Windows), making a complete video conferencing solution. There is even the option to mount the interactive display on a trolley to move around and use in different rooms.
All of this provides a flexible platform to host an effective, energizing meeting for the 21st century workplace.
The world of work has been changing for a while, and the recent global health phenomenon has fueled this transformation. By harnessing interactive screen technology, facility managers can meet employee needs by providing truly flexible and collaborative meeting resources. Digital presentations can be interactive and productive, leaving the traditional dry ‘death-by-Powerpoint’ experience firmly in the past.
1 Futuresource Changing Workforce Technology Trends 2020