Mezzanine 3 delivers the WOW at InfoComm15

We have just returned from Orlando, where InfoComm 2015 attracted more than 35,000 attendees to see what’s next for AV. This was our unveiling for Mezzanine 3, the latest release of our conference room solution for visual collaboration, and it certainly proved popular at the show. Not only of great interest to the market, but Mezzanine 3 was also named 2015 BEST for Collaboration by the industry’s leading reading, Commercial Integrator magazine. 

Over the course of three days our booth was packed with representatives from global organizations, systems integrators, and AV consultants keen to see Mezzanine 3’s innovative features in action. And, with perhaps the ONLY interactive video wall hung from the ceiling in the entire venue, the booth became a destination to visit again and again. It was clear to us that word-of-mouth buzz was quickly spreading through the show. 

The new Mezzanine 3 workspace, available autumn 2015, supports 4K displays for the first time, and offers a near endless variety of screen configurations across multiple walls. This upgrade also brings new remote participation capabilities to enable virtual collaboration with Mezzanine directly from the application at any location. Mezzanine is the only conferencing and collaboration solution that delivers Infopresence™ which goes beyond telepresence to unite participants in multiple locations, not just with voice and video, but also with all of their content and data streams simultaneously. With Mezzanine, all the participants in the meeting can see what everyone is talking about.

Mike Brown, global vice president of sales reports, “InfoComm was a great venue to reveal Mezzanine’s new features. Our booth was packed with client organizations as well as potential channel partners, and their reaction to the simplicity with which you can control our sophisticated solution was gratifying. Mezzanine enables multiple participants, from multiple locations, to share their image, voice, devices, and data simultaneously – delivering a truly collaborative business process, breaking through traditional boundaries.”

In addition to the exhibition, InfoComm is a celebrated venue for industry education and discussion. Oblong’s VP of Product Strategy, David Kung, joined a panel of peers organized by the IMCCA to address the role of interactive whiteboards and touch displays in the workplace. While Mezzanine has integrated with Smart boards and offers opportunities for touch control via iPad and Android devices, plus mouse and keyboard control via web browser, we see a clear preference for gesture control, which puts the power of the room in the palm of your hand and right from the seat at your table. It’s gratifying to point at content on screens while discussing it, to scale it for emphasis, and to drag and drop images and live streams across display screens all around the room. These are features you’ll only find with Mezzanine. 


Working with Watson

The goal of each Watson Experience Center—located in New York, San Francisco, and Cambridge—is to demystify AI and challenge visitor’s expectations through more tangible demonstrations of Watson technology. Visitors are guided through a series of narratives and data interfaces, each grounded in IBM’s current capabilities in machine learning and AI. These sit alongside a host of Mezzanine rooms where participants further collaborate to build solutions together.

The process for creating each experience begins with dynamic, collaborative research. Subject matter experts take members of the design and engineering teams through real-world scenarios—disaster response, financial crimes investigation, oil and gas management, product research, world news analysis—where we identify and test applicable data sets. From there, we move our ideas quickly to scale.

Accessibility to the immersive pixel canvas for everyone involved is key to the process. Designers must be able to see their ideas outside of the confines of 15″ laptops and prescriptive software. Utilizing tools tuned for rapid iteration at scale, our capable team of designers, data artists, and engineers work side-by-side to envision and define each experience. The result is more than a polished marketing narrative; it's an active interface that allows the exploration of data with accurate demonstrations of Watson’s capabilities—one that customers can see themselves in.

Under the Hood

Underlying the digital canvas is a robust spatial operating environment, g‑speak, which allows our team to position real data in a true spatial context. Every data point within the system, and even the UI itself, is defined in real world coordinates (measured in millimeters, not pixels). Gestures, directional pointing, and proximity to screens help us create interfaces that more closely understand user intent and more effectively humanize the UI.

This award-nominated collaboration with IBM is prototyped and developed at scale at Oblong’s headquarters in Los Angeles as well as IBM’s Immersive AI Lab in Austin. While these spaces are typically invite-only, IBM is increasingly open to sharing the content and the unique design ideas that drive its success with the public. This November, during Austin Design Week, IBM will host a tour of their Watson Immersive AI Lab, including live demonstrations of the work and a Q&A session with leaders from the creative team.

Can't make it to Austin? Contact our Solutions team for a glimpse of our vision of the future at our headquarters in the Arts District in Los Angeles.

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