Gartner analyst Stephen Kleynhans highlighted Oblong Industries’ flagship workplace solution, Mezzanine, in his recent research report, “Select the Right Technology for Modern Meeting Rooms.”
Mezzanine is part the “Multiscreen, Room-based Collaboration” section of Kleynhans’ March 29 report.
“Products in this space usually have proprietary collaboration tools, usually cloud-based, with device-level integration with videoconferencing or other collaboration tools,” wrote Kleynhans. “Additionally, they often require custom installation and can cost over $100,000 per room.
“The defining product in this space is Oblong’s Mezzanine, a multi-screen solution with roots in MIT’s Media Lab. Mezzanine is defined by an impressive interaction model that spreads multiple streams of information, across multiple screens under the direction of meeting participants. The streams can include video, information displayed from participant devices and conferencing feeds, including those from common enterprise unified communications vendors such as Cisco, Polycom and Microsoft. Mezzanine rooms also provide inter-room collaboration to bring geographically dispersed users to join the shared workspace,” he wrote in the Gartner report.
“Mezzanine does require specialized equipment, expertise to configure and calibrate, and is quite expensive compared with other solutions,” wrote Kleynhans. “However, as with most technologies, costs are coming down, and simpler, streamlined versions of Mezzanine environments are expected in 2017.”
“The defining product in this space is Oblong’s Mezzanine, a multi-screen solution with roots in MIT’s Media Lab. Mezzanine is defined by an impressive interaction model that spreads multiple streams of information, across multiple screens under the direction of meeting participants,” writes Gartner analyst Stephen Kleynhans
Manufacturers such as Oblong and Bluescape are leading the way in multiscreen room-based collaboration, says Kleynhans. These types of solutions are becoming increasingly omnipresent in board rooms and meeting spaces, he says.
“These solutions aren’t so much about touchscreens or simple presentations, although they typically integrate that functionality,” says Kleynhans. “Rather, they are targeted at teams collaborating on a task that requires multiple data streams and active participation from multiple users. The goal is on visualization with information spatially distributed around the room.
“The advantages of this approach are like what we see on enterprise desktops. Enterprise workers today frequently multitask, engaging with information from multiple sources, and to enable this we have outfitted their desktops with multiple monitors. This reduces the inevitable context switching that occurs as they move between tasks on a single screen. It also enables them to place information spatially to assist with collating and navigating across multiple applications and files.
“Multiscreen, room-based devices do the same thing for a team. They place multiple streams of information across a broad, persistent work surface to enable multiple participants to quickly assimilate the information, focus on parts of the whole, and easily engage concurrently in the activity,” he says.
Kleynhans’ research “offers solid use cases and mental models to help infrastructure and operations leaders understand the range of meeting requirements and what to look for in the technologies that satisfy them,” says David Kung, Oblong VP of product strategy.
Kung says Kleynhans’ “practical perspective as an expert in end-user computing environments shines through” in the report.
Kleynhans’ report also focuses on how companies should review organizational requirements for meeting spaces through a five-year planning window and map meeting room needs to the types of available solutions, such as simplified projection and switching, group interactive displays and self-contained team collaboration systems.