Barco has announced that it will soon deploy to the market the latest iteration of its ClickShare technology, which enables wireless conferencing and gives participants the freedom to BYOM (Bring Your Own Meeting), allowing meeting attendees to remotely join any type of video conference from their own, familiar devices, whether they are in a huddle space, a meeting room or a boardroom.

David Fitzgerald, at the announcement event

ClickShare Conference works seamlessly with videoconferencing software and any camera brand or laptop, says Barco. The new ClickShare Conference system is the latest version of a conferencing system that has become a standard for conferencing since it was introduced eight years ago, said David Fitzgerald, vice president of Global Alliances, during an introductory event held in New York City Jan. 27.

The new system is what Barco calls triple-agnostic; users decide how they wish to collaborate securely, from whichever device they want to, in any meeting space, while they enjoy all the familiar benefits of the UC (Unified Communications) or videoconferencing tool of their choice, and of all AV USB-peripherals available in the room.

The system allows setup of meetings from a laptop and works with the owners’ preferred conferencing software, connecting in an easy way to the meeting room hardware. The new system is also enterprise-grade: highly secure, connected and cloud-managed, says Barco.

The new system, with its built-in flexibility, answers changing workplace scenarios and conferencing needs that entail both virtual and physical working spaces and also different worker age demographics, Barco’s commissioned research shows.

The ClickShare Conferencing Button

“From our research we’ve discovered that today already 50% of all meetings include remote participants. Moreover, 70% of employees can choose the conferencing solution they want to use, and on average people use no less than six different conferencing solutions in their day-to-day professional life,” said Wim De Bruyne, vice president and general manager, Meeting Experience at Barco, in an announcement statement. “Needless to say, this brings new frictions with challenges to select and start up one of the conferencing tools, connect the right conferencing hardware and start sharing with the rest of the team. With ClickShare Conference, we bring better collaboration for all meeting participants, and this, in any type of meeting room, regardless of the conferencing solution you need to use.”

Connecting wirelessly to AV meeting room equipment, ClickShare Conference combines the power of UC with the simplicity of wireless collaboration.

According to Michaël Vanderheeren, product management director for ClickShare, who demo’ed the technology at the event (see photo), “it gives you the choice to use the conference tool that you find most productive and connects you to cameras, speakerphones, soundbars and other USB-peripherals in the room for a better, more immersive meeting experience. Everything becomes part of your laptop.” For example, say you start a remote meeting at your desk, you can simply continue with the immersive experience of a meeting room by plugging in the system’s Conferencing Button. It allows that same room to be used with the Unified Communications (UC) platform of choice without the need for changing setup or configuration when switching between UC platforms.”

The new ClickShare Conferencing Button makes meeting room USB peripherals available to a laptop; the button plugs in, and then the user is able to share all the video and audio streams with the meeting room peripherals.

Barco has also added a set of interactive features to its ClickShare Collaboration App, accessible via the additional Quick Button. These include retrieving a local view of the room display, and allowing sharing of room content remotely. The App allows instant connection to the meeting room thanks to presence detection from a laptop or mobile device, permitting access to wireless presenting and interactive sharing.

“You connect to the meeting in less than seven seconds, with both Button and App. They work perfectly together and offer a single unified, intuitive user experience throughout the entire enterprise, in any type of room. Gone are the days of poor AV quality, troublesome set-ups of room devices and never being able to connect to remote participants,” Vanderheeren added in the statement.

The new ClickShare Conference range consists of three different models: the entry-level CX-20, the CX-30 and the high-end CX-50. The CX-20 is suited for huddle pods and small meeting rooms, offering the key functionalities of wireless collaboration and conferencing. The CX-30, for standard meeting rooms, adds a set of interactivity features such as touch back support, moderation, blackboarding and annotation. The CX-50, for large meeting rooms, brings a premium AV collaboration experience with superior audio and video quality and offers the best possibilities to integrate into an IT or AV environment.

ClickShare Conference either connects directly to a company network or through set-up to a user’s own VLAN. Using Barco’s XMS management dashboard, units can be managed and updated. And all units feature Barco’s SmartCare offering, including five years of coverage, advanced access to Barco’s helpdesk and a license to the XMS Insights module.

More information is available at www.barco.com.