Crestron’s Big News at ISE: Fusion Cloud Software & PinPoint App Integration

Schedule meetings based on room size, equipment needed, previously starred rooms and proximity to users with Crestron Fusion and PinPoint mobile app.

At ISE 2016, Crestron was all about demonstrating experiences. The company demoed new home automation developments, several Internet of Things platforms (which Crestron says it has been doing for almost a decade although it has seen a huge uptake in interest recently), and new technology for the workplace, which was Crestron‘s biggest news at the show.

Nic Milani, executive director of cloud solutions, says Crestron is asking the question, “How do people experience work?” At the ISE presentation, he quoted a study that says people spend 4.5 hours per week arranging, scheduling and booking meetings and said frankly, “there has to be a better way.”

And so Crestron gave ISE attendees a preview of a new workplace platform made up of two systems that have already been in place for a few years, but which will now work together in a whole new setting.

“PinPoint is a Bluetooth beacon and proximity-aware framework that Crestron introduced a few years ago. In the home, it’s used mostly to tell the Crestron system which room you’re in, so if you’re standing in the living room, it pulls up the Crestron controls for that particular room,” says Julie Jacobson, editor-at-large of CI‘s sister publication CE Pro.

Now, the PinPoint mobile app will work in conjunction with Crestron’s Fusion cloud-based enterprise management platform to save time and energy scheduling meetings between large groups of people, rooms and technology. Meetings can be arranged based on group size, equipment required, meeting length and proximity. Users can choose rooms that fit all their needs with the help of beacons places around the facility.

Think of Fusion as the database and the PinPoint app as the user experience, which is in constant contact with the database. It’s definitely an Internet of Things platform, but it’s more than that. It’s really about optimizing the workplace experience in a way no other collaboration platform has done.

The PinPoint app has several features that are aimed at optimizing the way meetings are scheduled (see more below). For example, it allows users to star meeting spaces they use frequently. It also allows remote users to dial in, passcode and all, with only one button. That means no more struggling with the phone number and password while you’re calling from the road.

The magic doesn’t stop when users enter the meeting room. Upon entering, users will find a zero-touch meeting. That means everything turns on immediately when you enter the room. Colleagues can also share content between one another as well as with remote coworkers anywhere in the world. 

“When we become dependent on technology, uptime becomes so important,” says Milani. Things should just work, especially in a fast-paced environment like an office where every minute counts. Therefore, the new platform also allows for remote management and resolution, so any problem can be fixed right away, hopefully before the users even notice an error.

“A meeting should be like a car,” Milani explains. “You don’t have to think about how it drives every time you drive it, you only have to think about where you’re going—the trip itself. Driving should be second nature. The same should be true of business meetings. You want to focus on the content of the meeting, not the technology that makes it work.”

While both systems are currently available, integration between PinPoint and Fusion will officially launch in March. Right now, PinPoint is only available for iOS, but an Android launch is in the works and should be available in three months.

Features of Crestron Fusion Cloud:

  • Global device management from any room, anywhere in the world
  • Advanced scheduling of meetings
  • Native integration with popular calendar programs
  • Centralized remote help desk and support
  • Broadcast messaging in emergencies
  • Optimal user experience with touchless meeting startup, one-touch video conference join and automatic post-meeting room reset
  • Asset and space utilization
  • Smart building integration including reduced energy costs and custom lighting and temperature

Features of Crestron PinPoint mobile app:

  • Room booking based on proximity
  • Advanced room search based on equipment, room size, group size, previously used rooms and “tagged” criteria for future meeting purposes
  • Room preview and wayfinding
  • Optimal user experience and automation including touchless meeting startup, post-meeting room reset and instant content sharing
  • My Day Dashboard holds your daily schedule and sends a “conflict notice” if you have double booked meetings