High-level ideation on a canvas: meet the interactive display

Meetings come in all sizes and forms. Depending on what you want to do in the meeting – come to a team decision, come up with new ideas, present a proposal or share your project status – you may require different meeting tools. In this article, we’ll discuss a technology that caters to a set of very specific meeting needs: the interactive display.

An interactive display or collaboration display is an all-in-one digital whiteboard solution that can also be used as a remote meeting and collaboration platform. It usually consists of a large-size flat panel display with an integrated room computer and audiovisual system. Meeting participants can use an interactive display to draw and make annotations, to pull in live video from a remote location, or to share screen content on a digital canvas. Since a few years, interactive display technology has managed to attract a sizeable audience in the corporate and educational market.

What will an interactive display be used for?

Due to its form factor and technology features, an interactive display will typically be used for:

  • Brainstorms and ideation sessions: Interactive displays are great for users who like to interact with their screen content. Most interactive displays allow meeting participants to perform the typical whiteboard actions, like annotation, zooming and adding sticky notes.
  • Presentations: Most interactive displays come with some kind of easel or rolling stand. As such, they encourage meeting users to engage in a more traditional, presentational style of use, with one person using the interactive board at a time.
  • High-level ideation sessions: Although there are many different types of interactive boards, the solutions at the higher end of the scale will typically be used in executive boardrooms and for high-level ideation sessions.

Adapting to hybrid ways of working

It’s safe to say that the way we have meetings, presentations and brainstorms, has dramatically changed due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, technology has provided us with ways to adjust to the new normal. Now as we begin to emerge from lockdown, we are increasingly having videoconferences with multiple, remote attendees and organizations are embracing a hybrid model of remote and in-office working, which requires different meeting technologies.

Those hosting conferences from the office meeting rooms, for example, are looking at how they can wirelessly connect peripheral camera and microphone equipment to their own screens and stream that rich, audio-visual content to remote workers to enhance their virtual experience.

Those working from home are increasingly relying on their own preferred devices and software. Remote meeting participants like the convenience of their own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and their own video conferencing app. This is a trend that has been dubbed as Bring Your Own Meeting’ (BYOM).

Bringing BYOM to the interactive screen

A solution like ClickShare Conference is a perfect match for the new reality, because it allows meeting room users to wirelessly connect their laptop to meeting room peripherals. In addition, it gives them the freedom to use any conferencing tool whether they were in the office or working remotely.

But what can the role of an interactive display be in this new reality? Due to its form factor, the interactive display will be less inviting to do videoconferencing calls. The typical whiteboard setup is not ideal for video conversations with multiple remote attendees. And as the recent BYOM trend has made clear, people prefer to use their own hardware and software in meetings.

The answer lies in the combination of technologies. Although with an interactive board, you are tied to the conferencing app that is associated with the hardware (for example, Microsoft Teams for the Microsoft Surface Hub), you can still follow the Bring Your Own Meeting approach by connecting a ClickShare Conference Unit to your interactive display. This way, you can use the whiteboarding features of the interactive display, and combine this with the video conferencing power of ClickShare Conference.

Conclusion: ideation or conferencing platform?  

An interactive display is a great, high-end solution for brainstorming, ideation and whiteboarding. If you love the convenience of a big canvas to present and manipulate your content in an in-room meeting, then interactive displays can be a good solution for you.

However, due to its specific form factor and feature set, the interactive display will only cater to a limited amount of meeting needs. Interactive displays are probably not the preferred technology for quick, spontaneous meetings or remote video conferences. Solutions like ClickShare Conference on the other hand offer more flexibility, as meeting participants can bring their own devices and conferencing tools to connect remotely with their colleagues.

But what if you need all these functionalities? Say you want to have a high-level ideation session and you want to easily share this session with remote colleagues? Then it’s perfectly possible to combine the best of both worlds into one set-up. Just connect your ClickShare wireless conferencing system with your interactive display to share your ideation session with remote colleagues, using the videoconferencing software you prefer.

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