On the road again with Crestron
When the pandemic was beginning to wane, Crestron made the commitment to exhibit at InfoComm 2021. But then the various variants that violated the vestiges of society reared their ugly heads. Crestron still showed up to Orlando, though in a much-muted way. As COVID began to calm down, the New Jersey AV manufacturer hit the road. With a new CEO in place, Crestron NEXT is aiming to bring their vision of the future of AV, UC, and work to a city near you.
My stop took me to the Minneapolis version of Crestron NEXT. Housed just 20 minutes from the MSP airport, the space was large and diverse. With Crestron you have the benefit of seeing innovations in both the commercial and residential spaces.
The same “Teams”
The integration of soft codecs within the AV space is crucial to a company like Crestron. Their newest versions of their Crestron Flex Phones for Microsoft Teams allow for full Microsoft Teams functionality. It isn’t like having an extra appliance, it is exactly having an extra Teams-specific device on your desk. In that way you can still be on your call and access your computer as well.
I may be of a certain age, and that’s fine. I’m too old to care anymore. Having an actual physical handset to pick up, talk into, and “hang up” is very gratifying. It’s almost comforting. A technical version of a warm blanket or the smell of my grandmother’s biscuits.
Supply chain disruptions impact us all. Crestron is no stranger to that either. One solution the company has come upon is to streamline some of their most popular products with chips and parts they can still access. DM Lite is one of those innovations. Take the popular DM product line, remove some of the features that aren’t always used, and you have DM Lite.
These products have a much shorter lead time than traditional DM devices, and most of the functionality. With the introduction of DM Lite, Crestron has also been able to develop DMPS Lite. The “room in a box” solution that Crestron popularized over a decade ago also have shorter lead times than the legacy versions of DMPS.
Crestron’s AirMedia technology has also had an evolution. The AirMedia Connect adaptor brings detethered wireless presentation to the AirMedia lineup, providing a simple and intuitive way to make any space a meeting and collaboration space. With AirMedia Connect, you can add wireless presentation capabilities to any space without the need for additional wiring or infrastructure. AirMedia Connect also provides a way to simplify guest presentation, without the need for presenters to connect to the internal network. Native support for Microsoft Teams or Zoom video conferencing ensures that meetings happen within seconds, either through a wireless connection on the AirMedia network or by plugging any USB-C device into the AirMedia Connect, without the need to download additional software. If you weren’t aware, AirMedia can also be used as a digital signage solution throughout the network.
As the world comes out of its two-year hibernation, companies like Crestron will continue to reach out locally. Certainly there are members of the AV community who either don’t feel comfortable in large spaces and gatherings or aren’t allowed to get together because of employer restrictions. Localized events like Crestron NEXT give us in the AV community the chance to reconnect with colleagues, customers, and friendly competitors.