A recent Crestron event, “The Modern Work Summit 2023: At The Tipping Point — Adopting A Dynamic Digital Workplace,” highlighted survey results from 500 IT leaders about their plans to update their hybrid work strategy. The results show that hybrid work technology, including intelligent video, is evolving. An astounding 71% of survey respondents said they’d replace their existing collaboration platforms within the next 12 months as part of their digital transformation roadmap. 

Teams need the latest hybrid work solutions to ensure every meeting is inclusive and supports both in-office and remote work. Today, advancements in hardware and software solutions provide an intelligent video experience that delivers inclusive, equitable meetings. Let’s explore how we got here and how Crestron is redefining the hybrid work experience 

Is hybrid collaboration broken? 

We’ve been getting by with the collaboration solutions in place now. After all, teams have been meeting over video for decades and struggled through sudden, fully remote work just a few years ago. Think about the video conferencing experience of the past, though. It’s likely attendees did more observing and listening vs. participating.  

The static, single-camera view of the conference room didn’t encourage engagement. Remote attendees couldn’t react to gestures and facial cues since these actions were too small or blurry to see. For those in the office, remote team members were relegated to small boxes on the screen. If you shared content, your on-screen coworkers shrunk even more. 

The online meeting experience began to change after much of the world settled into hybrid work. UC providers like Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom upgraded their platforms with new features such as virtual backgrounds, transcriptions, and meeting summaries. Hardware and software providers stepped up with devices featuring larger displays, 4k video, and noise cancellation.  

Evaluating the technology experience 

Based on Crestron’s survey results, there’s still room to improve the hybrid work experience. The report concludes: “There has been a period of trial and error to better understand what employees need. As modern work approaches its tipping point, organizations are looking to proactively scale up a streamlined technology experience to optimize team performance.” 

Everyone needs to see and hear on the same level to participate in a meeting fully. How we capture and present people on video is critical to making this happen. In its latest round of hybrid work innovations, Crestron is redefining the in-person and remote experience with intelligent video solutions.  

How Crestron is redefining hybrid work with intelligent video  

In its latest round of hybrid work innovations, Crestron is redefining the in-person and remote experience with intelligent video solutions. Creston 1 Beyond cameras and Automate VX camera switching work together to keep everyone at eye level to create an inclusive experience that keeps employees engaged and productive, no matter where they work. 

Crestron’s approach to video includes understanding that much human communication is non-verbal. Teams must see each other’s gestures, facial expressions, and body language and make eye contact. For those in the room, that’s not an issue. However, remote attendees rely on display images.  

The video must show these visual cues essential to keeping participants in hybrid meetings fully engaged. Intelligent video solutions are also helpful for deaf and hard-of-hearing participants, facilitating lip reading and making meetings more accessible. 

Automated intelligent video solutions 

It’s essential that video processing doesn’t require manual adjustments that disrupt the meeting. Meeting video should be automated to provide a consistent, more dynamic, and equitable hybrid experience. Creston’s report notes, “The more remote participants see, the more they feel part of the team. The more automated the solution, the more worry-free it is for in-room participants. When remote and in-room participants can engage more naturally, they collaborate more effectively.” 

“They’re able to see exactly what they need to focus on — they can see those nonverbal cues,” says Cara Shannon, a senior product marketing manager at Crestron. “It gives the people on the far end more of an immersive experience, so they’re able to feel like they’re a part of the meeting, not just kind of viewing it from afar — like a fly on the wall.” 

Presenter tracking

Creston 1 Beyond cameras automatically track speakers as they move around the room. Remote attendees always have a close-up view of the person speaking. And the presenter can travel naturally around the room and not worry about where to look. Here’s how speaker framing works: 

  • Speaker Identification: AI algorithms identify the person speaking in the video conference. This is done through voice recognition or tracking lip movements and audio cues. 
  • Camera Control: Once the active speaker is identified, the system automatically adjusts the camera’s pan, tilt, and zoom settings to center the frame on the speaker.  
  • Smooth Transitions: Video conferencing systems with speaker framing capabilities smoothly transition between speakers when multiple participants are talking. The camera will pan and zoom to focus on the new speaker as they begin to speak. 

Speaker framing helps eliminate distractions and enhances the viewing experience by keeping the viewer’s attention on the current speaker. It also minimizes the need for manual camera control, allowing participants to focus on the conversation. 

Group framing

It’s natural for people in a meeting room to move around, leave, and re-enter during a meeting.

Group framing automatically adjusts the camera’s pan, tilt, and zoom so that all on-site participants are framed perfectly in the room, even when the number of on-site participants changes.

Multiple camera solutions

Using multiple cameras lets remote attendees see more than one view of the room simultaneously. For example, a virtual attendee can see a presenter, a person asking a question, and a broad view of the room. This dynamic view empowers remote participants to collaborate with their on-site teammates. fully 

Creston automates the multi-camera experience with the Automate VX solution. Automate VX AI-driven software enable dynamic views of the meeting room for virtual attendees on a single screen by: 

  • Interpreting microphone information: The Automate VX solution’s intelligent software interprets data from the in-room microphones, directs a camera to focus on whoever’s speaking, and then switches to that camera. 
  • Enabling smooth camera switching: Automatically control up to 12 in-room cameras, providing a natural remote experience with quick, clean cuts between speakers. The built-in noise delay eliminates unnecessary switching due to noise, coughs, or short utterances in the room. 
  • Pinpointing room positions: The software also uses the intelligence gathered by any beam-forming microphones in the room to pinpoint accurate positions in the room, such as individual seats, and refine the remote experience. 

Getting started with Crestron intelligent video solutions 

Adding intelligent video to your collaboration upgrades enhances video conferencing by improving audio and video quality, automating tasks, providing insights, and adding various features to make virtual meetings more productive and engaging. These AI-driven enhancements aim to make remote communication as effective and natural as possible. 

Contact AVI-SPL when you’re ready to refresh your collaboration tool and empower hybrid work with intelligent video. Our team will help you choose the best Crestron solutions for your needs and business goals.