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Atlona’s WAVE-101 for a Hands-free Meeting Experience

Wireless Audio Visual Environment

What product do you know of that can wirelessly share from Windows, iOS, Andriod, and MacOS, dynamically adjust the interface based on the number of presenters, play videos from YouTube, allow presenters to control who is on screen, and even livestream the output of your presentation straight to remote audiences on YouTube – all while maintaining a hands-free experience?

Atlona logoThe Atlona WAVE-101 (AT-WAVE-101) is probably the smallest wireless presentation tool that we’ve put on our bench – made for the commercial professional audiovisual market, by people who know the Pro AV space.

Device Types

We’ve seen a lot of screen sharing and collaborative devices over the years. From full servers to set top boxes – then, to dongles, and now this little cube. Typically, the smaller they get the fewer features they have, but this is not the case with the WAVE 101. Let’s discuss why.

Wireless presentation tools fall into a few categories. The ones that require a dongle to be connected to your computer in order to connect to the screen in the room. The ones that require software for you to connect to the screen in the room. Lastly, the ones that have the wireless protocols for the specific OS variations built in – no additional software needed.

Operating Systems

This is where the WAVE-101 sits in the market. It provides wireless screen casting with iOS®, AndroidTM, Mac®, ChromebookTM, and Windows® devices through native AirPlay®, Google CastTM, or MiracastTM protocols. This covers pretty much all the major OS’s and device types. No additional dongles or software needed.

Ease of Use

Users connect via the instructions onscreen and start sharing content. The system dynamically adjusts the screen when additional users want to share content, and the meeting gets moving with no added wait time.

Device Ports

The Wave-101 has a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) port for connecting into the local network, an HDMI port for connecting to the display, and few USB ports for accessories. Lastly, it has a Kensington lock (a.k.a. K-Slot or Kensington Security Slot) for what I would call a removal deterrence feature.

This is simple hardware that even includes a Vesa Mount in the box to secure the cube to the back of your monitor.

wave-101 callouts

Top 3 Features

Here are the 3 features that we think will make you want to use the WAVE-101:

#1. Instructor Mode

When used in a classroom, or even a rowdy conference room with engineers who are always trying to flash photos of their latest Dungeons & Dragons conquests, this feature can really come in handy to reign in control of the screen. A queue is displayed to the instructor showing who is connected and wants to share content. The list of available content will appear on the page, and the instructor can show up to 4 contributors at the same time – or deny them from sharing altogether. Instructor Mode allows a user to manage content, adjust audio volume, upload and play media content, stream YouTubeTM, and switch between layouts.

Because this is a media device, URLs and media content can also be loaded into the queue. So instead of the content being driven by a device, a contributor can load up a URL to YouTube and let the internet do the sharing. Thankfully, since it’s in the queue, the final decision on what’s shown is still in the hands of the instructor.

#2. Room Occupancy Sensor

Atlona added one more trick up their sleeve – room occupancy sensor integration. When coupled with Atlona’s Network-Enabled Occupancy Sensor (AT-OCS-900N), the WAVE-101 will automatically turn the room on when a person enters the space, and turn off, after a set time of having no one in the room. The sensor, along with the Instructor Mode feature, allow for the room to be used with no additional control system required. Even better, this allows for hands-free operation of the room – to enable safer and cleaner conference rooms.

AT-OCS-900N room sensor

#3. OMEGA Switchers & Extenders

Coupled with Atlona’s new Omega series switching and extension products the WAVE-101 can create a very simple huddle room, or add collaboration to a full size conference room with multiple displays, microphones, and PTZ cameras – making any room the video conferencing hub of your organization.

Atlona huddle space gear
Contact your Exertis Almo team for more information on
how Atlona can change the way you present.

Innovating Wireless BYOD and Beyond

Atlona’s Wireless Audio Visual Environment (WAVE) and the AT-WAVE-101, is a new, innovative wireless presentation platform designed for quick and easy content sharing from up to four PCs or mobile devices. The versatility of the WAVE-101 expands well beyond BYOD content sharing, with a host of additional features to enhance education, corporate, and many other applications.


3 Reasons Why Outsourced Technician Assistance Should Be a Key Part of Your 2021 Strategy

2021 is here, which means we have had a chance to say goodbye to what was a challenging 2020 officially. We are all hopeful that 2021 will be a year filled with opportunity. But it will not come without some uncertainty, and that will hold true for the AV industry as a whole. As an integrator, this does not mean you can’t plan to scale your business. Yet, prediction and preparation are not mutually exclusive! 

Here are our top 3 reasons why your company should be using Outsourced Technician Assistance for 2021.

It is time to get back to growing! 

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your business in some way, shape, or form. For some, the impact may not have been as severe, but for others, tough decisions were made to keep businesses alive. Those decisions were likely in the form of reducing headcount, most often from the outsourced technicians. 

Now that we have rolled into 2021 with some optimism and renewed energy. It’s time to start moving into growth mode. One of the fastest ways is by augmenting your staff through outsourcing and reduce risk. This is the simple practice of augmenting your labor force to help assist your skilled W2 technicians/project leads out in the field. 

This form of outsourcing has become very popular in recent years. The need to augment technicians through an outsourcing program was accelerated due to the pandemic’s impact. With technician augmentation capability, you no longer have to pass on jobs due to lack of employees, keeping your calendar full for 2021. 

Now is not the time to lose control!

You have spent a considerable amount of time and effort building your business, so it is understandable that the reputation you have made through your relationships and proof of performance means everything. 

They are possibly the biggest reasons for your success. By using technician augmentation it could be perfect for your business as you wade through uncertain times. Let me explain: Augmentation and supplementation are two very different things. 

Augmentation gives you access to technicians that will work alongside and take direction from your on-site staff members, whereas supplementation is relinquishing an entire job to be outsourced. 

It is often vital to consider technician augmentation rather than supplementation to ensure that specific processes are followed, control is maintained, and the project outcomes are as you desire. Technician help allows you to perform the job YOUR way. 

We don’t need no education (yes, we do).

In December, Presidential Elect Joe Biden announced a plan to get kids back in the classroom in 2021. That plan came with a recommendation to Congress to pass a $4 Billion emergency package to upgrade technology in school systems across the country. 

We all understand the importance of kids being in school from an academic and social perspective, and it’s clear an aggressive effort is being made to get kids back on the school bus! In preparation for the upcoming school year, technology implementation will be crucial to accommodating in-room distanced and virtual learning

So what does that have to do with technician augmentation? Well, it’s simple. Whether public, charter, or private, most schools have at least a handful of classrooms and often hundreds, if not thousands per district. Most of these classrooms are cookie-cutter in terms of technology deployment for clear reasons. 

Teachers and students are trained on how to interact with the same systems, no matter what room they are in. An assisted technician staff best fills this type of repeatable work. From wire-pulling to display mounting to disposal of waste, outsourcing technicians in multi-room environments can prove to be very cost-effective and very efficient—no more hiring and firing based on a single job. 

You can take comfort knowing your organization can complete the work without incurring any unwanted pre and post burden. We should all have a shared enthusiasm for what is next in our industry. The collective ability to adapt and overcome in 2020 has been remarkable, but there are more audible calls to come.  The AV industry will continue to shift and change rapidly, as it did in 2020 (let’s never speak of it again). I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure outsourced Technician Assistance is a Key Part of Your 2021 Business Strategy.

InfoComm Connected 2020: Your Questions Answered

Almo Pro A/V EVP/COO
Sam Taylor

Recently, Almo Pro A/V EVP/COO Sam Taylor participated in the InfoComm Connected 2020 LIVE Q&A with AVIXA President Dave Labuskes, following the keynote address, “A Better Normal: Reducing Friction and Finding Our Way in a Hybrid World.”

During the 15-minute live Q&A, there were so many questions asked that it was impossible to respond to them all in the time allotted. So we asked Sam to sit down with us and tackle every one of the questions directed his way. Here’s Part 1 of those responses:

Q: How do you envision the changing role and importance of digital signage?

A: There is so much opportunity for the AV industry as we create this “better normal,” especially in the area of signage. More than ever before, there’s a need for health and safety messaging: reminders to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing are going to be with us for awhile. Along with this messaging, manufacturers are working hard to build in new features that address this era: touchless monitors, displays that provide thermal scanning, displays with built-in hand sanitizing dispensers and more.

Q: Where do you see the industry going with Wireless Presentation solutions with so many people now needing hybrid solutions and Zoom, team, integration?

A: It’s exploding. Wireless presentation is the future. It used to be about bringing your own device to a meeting — now you can bring your own meeting (BYOM) and have your participants plug-in from wherever they are, which is mostly from home these days. For example, Barco’s Clickshare Conference enables people with different platforms to utilize the same speakers, microphone and cameras for a seamless meeting. This is going to help people social distance and still have a productive discussion.

We’re also seeing more “work-from-home” hardware bundles with web-based portable speakers and cameras that are professional, reliable and can be used remotely from just about anywhere.

Q: As AV designers, especially working with architects, we have to be careful about advocating for digital spaces. It can help AV ride through this crisis, but it will surely dry up future work with architects. How do we advocate for our clients to feel safe in real spaces?

A: That’s a work in progress as there are still so many unknowns. This crisis is also a very personal experience as everyone has their own comfort level about returning to a closed group environment. Virtual connection is here to stay even while in-office connection starts to return. In the short term and long run I believe that AV designers and architects are going to have more work to do. Every existing office will be redesigned in some way. New builds are going to have to incorporate more meeting spaces that are smaller and allow for social distancing. The days of one large conference room for 25 people having a two-hour meeting are not coming back for a long time. Open area seating will have to be redesigned as well.

Q. What new tech integrations do you all see going forward in a post-COVID world in regards to events AV and connectivity?

A: This is another area where our industry can shine. The show, the learning, the networking must go on but this has forced us to be more creative in our delivery. The key is to keep the learning coming, and to keep us connected and thriving together. Live and virtual events each have their benefits so we feel it would be in our best interest to have both. Expect to see advancements and quick evolution in this arena – better connections, sleeker equipment, and even holographic telepresence, in which a full-size version of a speaker is beamed into a virtual meeting or live event without the travel time and expenses.

Q: Is there a role for distributors to play in helping companies bridge the revenue gaps through creative financing options?

A: Absolutely! Distributors have already begun partnering with manufacturers to provide financial relief through creative financing options such as additional 30-day extended credit terms. This gives resellers the critical ability to keep planning ahead and pushing forward.

Q: How would you recommend integrators get into AVaaS?

A: Lean in on the supply chain! Contact your distributor. If your distributor doesn’t offer it, we do at Almo. Now is the opportunity to leverage the services available through distribution to help rebuild and grow businesses. AV as a Service has been a buzz term for many years but those flexible financing and leasing options are needed more than ever because they allow for cash flow. This gives the integrator or reseller the ability to pursue larger, long-term installation opportunities as they open up, provide the latest technology, labor services and recycling/replacement options without any capital expenses.

Look for Part 2 to these questions, coming next week. We’ve reached out to Almo’s Business Development Managers who are SMEs on many of the inquired about topics relating to moving forward in a hybrid world.

Making Collaboration Easy is one Smooth Move

It’s a popular buzz word in the Pro AV Industry.  More and more manufacturers are introducing products that enable users to collaborate wirelessly via a single piece of hardware or software-based solution. Many of these solutions are focused on sharing from multiple screens to one master display or from one display to many devices in this BYOD world we live in.  The industry-leading Sharp AQUOS BOARD ® offers both.

ImageCollaboration.  Defined as to work, one with another towards shared goals.

It’s a popular buzz word in the Pro AV Industry.  More and more manufacturers are introducing products that enable users to collaborate wirelessly via a single piece of hardware or software-based solution.  Many of these solutions are focused on sharing from multiple screens to one master display or from one display to many devices in this BYOD world we live in.  The industry-leading Sharp AQUOS BOARD ® offers both.

If you’re looking for more interactive presentations, lively discussions and paperless meetings in both business and education settings, take a look at Sharp’s PN-C series Interactive Display Systems.  Available in 60” and 70” screen sizes, these entry-level models come equipped with Touch Sharp Display Connect software, which allows onscreen content, including handwritten notes and drawings, to be viewed on mobile devices such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. SHARP Display Connect also enables file transfers, interactive onscreen writing and drawing and remote control of the interactive display from mobile devices.  Flexible and cost-effective, the PN-C Series displays provide a platform to boost collaboration (there’s that word!) and enhance the impact of lessons, meetings and presentations.

According to Urban Dictionary, a smooth operator is someone who can handle multiple situations in a fashion that can only be described as awesme, or spectacular…  It goes on to say a smooth operator is someone who tends to be ‘on top of things’ and is usually in control of any given situation.

If you’re looking for the Smooth Operator of AQOUS BOARDS, do yourself a favor and check out the Sharp PN-LW Series, also available in 60 and 70” screens.  With built-in wireless connePN-L Seriesctivity, information can be presented on the AQUOS BOARD interactive display directly from users’ devices – without the need to pre-load files or data.  The 2×2 split screen feature creates a virtual video wall of presentation data, seriously driving (guess what?) collaboration.  As data is not stored during the wireless connection, confidential information cannot be leaked, so information is secure (one less thing to worry about).  And, with up to ten touch points, allowing four users to annotate on-screen at the same time, the power of teamwork has been amplified.

Consider Sharp AQUOS BOARDS and start collaborating.

Sharp AQUOS BOARDS: Helping You Collaborate Better

Sharp AQUOS BOARD from Almo Pro AV

The Next Generation of Sharp Aquos LED Interactive Displays

Recently, Sharp Professional introduced the PN-L703W/603W displays into their suite of AQUOS BOARDS. These brand new wireless AQUOS BOARDS are available only in 60” and 70” making them great for boardrooms and smaller huddle rooms.  In addition, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is easy with a built-in wireless controller. Its intuitive design enables its users to collaborate better regardless of the operating system being used on laptops, phones or tablets.  Another impressive feature about the PN-L703W/603W displays is that they can display onscreen content in TWO ways: in a 2 x 2 split screen or any one of the individual screens can be enlarged full-screen size. All of it done by the built-in wireless controller that allows the PN-L703W/PN-L603W to give off its own SSID once it is set in the wireless mode. Because no data is being stored during wireless connection, you won’t have a problem leaking any confidential info.

Sharp Aquos: Improving Collaboration

Some of the most talked about products that we have been seeing within the Pro AV industry are ones that involve wireless collaboration. Other popular products that get talked about are interactive pieces. Today most display manufacturers have a product that has touch capabilities whether it is a projector or a flat panel display.  With this being said the manufacturers of the wireless collaboration products sometimes try to partner up with the display manufacturers to showcase these collaboration products.  Throughout my travels in the Pro AV industry, I have not seen many all-in-one solutions that involve wireless collaboration and a display with the exception of a few and the ones I have seen did not have touch capability until now.

These Aquos boards have gained a lot of popularity in the education market, along with teaching hospitals. They have become more and more popular in the corporate board rooms for video conferencing and collaboration. With the pen software, you can jot down ideas, save the file as a PDF and email it to colleagues or customers working on the same project. Sharp is primarily known for its display hardware and technology. However, Sharp also excels in software development that compliments hardware products. This is something to take note when specifying a project, do you want your hardware from a company that specializes in software or an Aquos board which is made by Sharp a company that specializes in hardware.

One of the best things about the new wireless capable AQUOS BOARDS is the software needed to collaborate comes free in the box. The SHARP Pen Software is not only easy to use but has a special handwriting recognition function that converts selected onscreen handwriting into standard text.

Sharp has been an industry leader in touch 60” and above with their AQUOS BOARDS products.  So with these new additions, I am looking forward to seeing how they will further evolve over time.

Top 5 Features of the Sharp AQUOS BOARD:

Sharp aquos board 10-Points of Touch

10-Points of Touch

One of the great new features of the next generation AQUOS BOARD is the 10 points of touch. Write, draw and gesture with more than one finger. Combined with the simultaneous annotation mentioned next, users are in a prime position to make the most of their time in any classroom or meeting room.

aquos board with Simultaneous Annotation

Simultaneous Annotation

With a highly responsive design, users now have the capability to simultaneously with up to 4 people. The interactive touch pens may operate at the same time and even write in different colors for further distinction. Each pen has its own function buttons, pressure-sensitive and customizable. What a great way to encourage group learning in the classroom or facilitate a brainstorm session at the office.

No More Input Modules Needed

No More Input Modules Needed

These new models do not need input modules for the various connection combinations. Now, most of the connections are built on the panel allowing the AQUOS BOARD to have more capabilities. It now has multiple HDMI, Display port, LAN connection, audio, and USB. While these units do not have the 9-pin connection for control, it can still be controlled via IP.

Free aquos Software

Free Software

Included is the latest version Sharp Pen Software 3.0, which is, even more, user-friendly than previous versions. The built-in web search (AQUOS BOARD must have an internet connection) and smoother handwriting recognition, along with a multitude of other features, can be customized using its new on-screen menu. The new pen software supports multi-touch and comes with Touch Display link software. Touch Display Link 2.0 is an effective and multilayered communication tool and BYOD. Handwritten notes and drawings are done in real time and can be viewed at the same time on the AQUOS BOARD and mobile devices.

Print Directly from the AQUOS BOARD

Print Directly from the AQUOS BOARD

We know most people and companies are trying to go paperless, but there is usually always something that needs to be printed – especially in brainstorming sessions where you’re annotating documents. The AQUOS BOARD can easily accommodate this! You can also scan images or documents from a color scanner and import to your AQUOS BOARD all via the pen software, but you’ll need to be connected to an MFP.

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