If you're ever seen an article about "BYOD" (bring your own device) you probably know the term sometimes evokes fear and uncertainty. Privacy issues loom when employees use their personal devices for business purposes. Yet, as strategies and policies have been adopted across organizations, many realize that employees are highly productive when they're using their personal devices--from smartphones to laptops. These devices often help employees meet deadlines and create important, time-sensitive documents, photos or presentations. Considering personal devices a risk is no longer common practice because sharing and collaboration is vitally essential to any successful venture. With those security concerns addressed, employees can share information among their co-workers and clients, collaborating seamlessly using a variety of devices.
It was an exciting week at Conference Room Systems, as we debuted the premiere of CRS Tech Talk, a weekly show streamed to both our YouTube and Facebook channels, covering audio visual solutions and conferencing technology. The show, hosted by me, will air Wednesdays at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (11 a.m. Pacific). Please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and like our Facebook page for show notifications!
One of the signature product lines at Conference Room Systems is the PTZOptics camera line. These cameras offer broadcast quality that support camera control and allow users to control the pan, tilt, zoom and preset locations via a single USB camera connection.
As work spaces and the way we work is ever changing, we need audio-visual technologies to be implemented with ease. Currently, there are roughly 7 million conference rooms in the United States, but many of us are using co-working spaces or home offices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 23 percent of the U.S. workforce works remotely at least part of the time. These changes require products and solutions to accommodate both people and organizations.
Recently, the Conference Room Systems crew visited the Olivet United Methodist Church in Coatesville, Pa., to check in on some PTZOptics cameras that they purchased from us in late 2018. Did you know that CRS has a suite of products that are being used by houses of worship to live stream their services? Olivet, like many houses of worship we help throughout the United States, incorporates a live stream as part of its weekly service. Members of the church say the weekly live stream has allowed not only the worshipers inside the church to see the service projected onto two large screens but also congregants at home or those out of state are able to tune in. Additionally, the larger screens have also helped visually impaired congregants who have found the larger print on those screens easier to read, helping them to participate in weekly services.
We asked Mike Givler, whose been heading the church's live streaming efforts, some questions about his experience:
Recently, my partners at PTZOptics and I headed over to WCHE radio in West Chester, Pa., to produce a live video stream as part of a special mid-day broadcast. We wanted to demonstrate live video streaming as a powerful tool to engage with the radio station’s current listening audience. During our broadcast, we live streamed to Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube.
Radio station owners across the country can rejoice. The medium is far from dead. According to a Nielsen Total Audience Report based on first quarter 2019 data, 92 percent of U.S. adults listen to radio each week, the highest of any platform. Accompanying radio’s resilience is the massive growth of live video streaming, which initially began with individuals posting content to Facebook or Instagram Live, in addition to a variety of streaming apps. However, as live video streamers have grown into professional producers of content for outlets such as YouTube and Twitch, there is a growing demand among traditional media outlets, including radio, to incorporate live video streaming as part of their regular broadcasts.
While at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference in Philadelphia, we spoke to HuddleCamHD to talk about their SimplTrack2 camera. This camera features auto tracking of its subject, making it a perfect solution for distance learning. Educators can feel comfortable using the simple plug-and-play device with a USB 3 connection. The HuddleCamHD SimplTrack2 also has accompanying software, allowing an educator to control the camera's functionality prior to any lecture.
At the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Philadelphia recently, we had the chance to speak with Paul Richards about the tools schools can use to add live streaming to their day. Richards is the author of the "Accelerated Broadcast Club Curriculum: Accelerated Student Learning in Broadcast & Live Streaming."
Richards explained that today teachers at schools throughout the country are looking to create broadcast clubs and curriculum, where their students can learn how to live stream. Many students are interested in a future career in radio or television broadcasting, or even an up-and-coming field such as Esports. Every day school events, including morning announcements and sports, can be live streamed by students to Facebook or YouTube. Students can get both on-camera and practical hands-on technology experience from these activities. Feel free to share this with a teacher you know who may want to download this book for their students.
At the International Society for Technology in Education's 2019 conference in Philadelphia, Conference Room Systems had a chance to speak with Karliss from Catchbox. Catchbox is known as the world's first, wireless throwable microphone. This lightweight microphone is designed to promote audience engagement in a fun way, allowing a speaker to toss the microphone to others in the room. The key concept of the Catchbox is to get conversations started, and Karliss says this is a great way to get any Q & A session going.