The unprecedented acceleration of our digital economy has made digitising work imperative for organisations of every type and size, across every industry. This, in turn, is driving the need for new productivity tools that were designed to help users adapt to this new normal and achieve true synergy and collaboration between their devices and the cloud.
This intelligent collaboration has become a critical enabler of the digital transformation, says James Nel, Huawei business unit manager at Pinnacle. “Intelligent collaboration has also become a vital element of enabling the new way of working in a post-Covid world. It allows staff members to connect, communicate and collaborate with each other, with clients and with third-party partners in an intuitive, engaging and, most importantly, effective way.”
And when one thinks of collaboration, says Nel, the first thing that springs to mind is a whiteboard. “The whiteboard was the first true collaboration tool. Whiteboards allow teams to brainstorm ideas, strategise for the future, draw mock-ups and even explain their ideas to fellow employees. Whiteboards are an essential item in most offices as they help collate all the information and ideas coming from multiple individuals in a single space.”
According to Nel, over the years whiteboards have been highly effective. “However, this was only the case before the pandemic swept in and changed the face of work forever. Even in our post-Covid world, an increasing number of organisations are supporting remote work. The pandemic made it clear that employees do not need to be at the office every day of the week, and although there are many benefits to having remote employees — such as lowering overhead expenses like rent and utilities and saving time spent commuting — there is a downside too.”
Whiteboards can only work when you have team members in the same space, so as entire workforces began working from home practically overnight, digital solutions were needed to address this challenge. “Having teams scattered around meant whiteboard sessions were skipped, and collaboration returned to a volley of e-mails, which is a cumbersome and ineffective way of working.”
This is where digital whiteboards saved the day, allowing teams to bypass the messy e-mail chain and collaborate effectively once again. “Not only can digital whiteboards show teams all the scribblings and ideas, but they can also be transformed into a tool that makes meetings infinitely more engaging.”
For example, Huawei’s latest innovation, the IdeaHub, has transformed the whiteboard into a platform for true intelligent collaboration, not only in offices, but for a range of sectors including education, healthcare and government.
Nel says it does this by integrating intelligent handwriting, high-definition projection, flexible video conferencing and access to applications in a single, dynamic screen. “In fact, the IdeaHub retools your average whiteboard into an incredibly interactive one, boasting features that promise clearer audio, smoother video and efficient writing.
The Pro version comes with a professional-grade 4K camera, which boosts both the streaming and viewing experience of users irrespective of where they are located. In addition, its 12 linear microphone arrays enable the IdeaHub to pick up sound from within an 8m radius on a 20kHzz full band, which allows users to be heard more clearly.”
In addition, it has a capacity of ultra-low writing latency of a mere 35 milliseconds, which makes writing on a screen both easy and superfast, he explains. “Also, its intelligent handwriting recognition allows users’ writings to be translated to either text or graphics for improved readability.
Over and above being a truly intelligent whiteboard, the IdeaHub makes video conferencing far more professional by merging native 4K and AI technologies. “The AI technologies that have been integrated into the solution bring more focus on the meeting and its attendees. For example, the “acoustic baffle” feature blocks unnecessary noise from outside of the meeting area, and the “intelligent speaker tracking” feature can automatically focus on the individual who is currently speaking. It also has the ability to automatically frame the conference view based on the participants.”
Nel says it offers dual operating system support if the OPS PC is bought with the unit, which gives users access to Android 10.1 on the board and Windows 10 on the OPS PC. It also boasts full integration with any Windows-based systems, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype for Business and Education, and vocational software.
The IdeaHub can deliver 4K conferencing using H.265 video encoding for less bandwidth usage and up to 60 frames per second of smooth projection, and can also easily switch from one live view to another through SVC multi-stream. “All these incredible features are enclosed within a sleek, user-centric and elegant design,” Nels says. “It is yet one more of Huawei’s innovations that aim to digitally transform offices into both smart and more productive spaces.”
Built on the foundation of entrepreneurial spirit, Pinnacle is South Africa’s leading ICT distribution company. We offer a broad range of world-class technology products seamlessly delivered across an expansive footprint. Everything we do is underpinned by our technical expertise, drive and determination – we call it delivering the exceptional. For more information about Pinnacle, visit our website http://www.pinnacle.co.za or contact our offices on +27 11 265 3000. You can also follow Pinnacle (@Pinnacle_ICT) on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.
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