Widgets Magazine

An Active InfoComm for Crestron

By AVNation Guest Blogger Todd Anthony Puma
Microsoft Surface Hub and Crestron
InfoComm was an amazing show and not just for the integrator in me but also for the live performance and musician in me. Seeing all of the great PA gear and stage lighting has been really cool. Even with all the exciting distractions I was able to collect and remind myself that I,Aeom here for work, put my head right, got down to business and headed for the Crestron booth. Once in the booth I saw a bunch of products and demonstrations that really impressed me and got me excited about doing more commercial AV projects.
The first product to wow me was the Microsoft Surface Hub. Running Windows 10 and serving as a full suite of conference room gear, the Surface Hub-*can be operated touch, stylus, or voice, is capable of displaying content from a PC, Windows Mobile, iOS or Android device, can handle video and audio conference calling, and can be used as a virtual whiteboard.
Microsoft and Crestron partnered in the development of the Surface Hub and, from an integrator,Aeos perspective, provides an advantage integrating directly with Crestron products through the use of the native Crestron app installed on the Hub to control lights, AV, shades and HVAC, and the Hub is Crestron DM 4K certified. All that for an MSRP price point of $7,000 for the 55,Aeu 1080p version or $20,000 for the 84,Aeu 4K version.
Other than playing with the Hub itself, the most rousing part for me is that Crestron is offering complete turnkey solutions with their packaged systems that come pre-programmed to run a conference room; making the sale, install and programming a seamless experience for you and the client.
 
Crestron Pinpoint
At CEDIA 2014 Crestron introduced Pinpoint and I was excited about the possible application in the residential market. In fact, since then I have put it into my home and it makes using the Crestron iOS app much easier because the interface automatically switches to the room controls you,Aeore looking for solely by walking into the room.
Seeing Pinpoint at InfoComm and all of the different situations it can be applied to was eye-opening. We all know how challenging it can be for a corporate enterprise technology team to help every user understand how to use the system in each conference room. With Pinpoint, as long as they have the Crestron app installed on their phone, once they walk into the room and open the app, they are immediately controlling that room with intuitive, familiar, easy-to-use iOS control. -*It makes the IT team,Aeos job that much easier, which means our clients are happier and we get more repeat work from the company.
Another application would be a school. If the Crestron app is on a professor,Aeos phone they aren,Aeot accidentally changing the presentation in another classroom because they forgot to switch control on the app when they went to the next class in the room next door. With the app automatically changing with the movement of the user there is less chance for error.
This is probably one of the biggest frustrations for multi-user installations ,Aei someone controlling the wrong room. When they walk into the room, the system is automatically set up for the way they like to present. The lights come on and set themselves to the preferred level, the projector, display or even the Microsoft Surface Hub turns on and goes the laptop input.
Pinpoint makes all of that a possibility and creates a smoother user experience with fewer service calls or complaints coming your way as the integrator.

About Author

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Todd Anthony Puma is the founder and CEO of The Source Home Theater, based in Matawan, NJ and serving the greater New York Metro area. Todd is a well respected Crestron programmer, media personality and business owner throughout the technology industry. After training, certifications, and success at a big box retailer, Todd founded The Source Home Theater to create the types of experiences he knew his clients craved: unique home installations, individualized attention, and access to top-of-the-line equipment.

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