COVID-19 Update

How Wireless and Touch Technology Fit into Hybrid Work Environments

Matt Kopin of Kramer Electronics offers insight into wireless and touchless technologies for hybrid work & Kramer’s VIA product line.

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Matt Kopin of Kramer Electronics recently answered three questions about wireless and touchless technologies for hybrid work. Kopin highlights Kramer’s VIA product solutions for today’s hybrid office environments.

Commercial Integrator: With the rise in hybrid office environments, do you see the continued rise of wireless and touchless technology?

 Matt Kopin: With COVID came this touchless environment initiative where people didn’t want to have to handle USB cables, HDMI cables, or even a button to be able to get them connected to a display; so it was a perfect fit for our VIA product and any wireless product out there that gave you the ability to walk into a conference room. You get to use the laptop that you brought in and you can connect with a piece of software, and that piece of software is really what replaces the cables or the buttons or anything else so you’re not touching; anything else other than your laptop. That frees you up from having to touch all those things that were in the room.

CI: As the hybrid office becomes more prevalent, how do you ensure wireless systems are secure both in office and remotely?

MK:  As far as security is concerned, that’s one of the things that we’ve built into the foundation of VIA. VIA is a product that’s designed to be integrated into your own network, and we know that anytime you go and play something on your network or integrated into your network, you know it has the ability or the chance to create any kind of an issue or security hole, or anything like that.

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From the very beginning of VIA, we’ve made sure that security is one of our top priorities. In addition to encrypting the presented content from client devices to the VIA, in what we call “bank level security,” you know VIA is routinely subjected to third-party penetration testing, and it’s actually the only wireless product on the market to obtain Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) certification — a nonprofit foundation that works to improve security of software across the Internet. We’re really proud to be able to offer that on our VIA products.

CI: How can you say integrators help customers maintain that digital workflow between the office and home or remote work environments?

MK: It’s got to be easy-to-use. We’ve had our VIA products on the market since 2014; they’ve been tremendous at creating an easy-to-use in room environment. Again, that’s what VIA does really well. VIA replaces the cable, it allows you to walk in with whatever devices you like to use on a regular basis, and without having to connect cables or dongles, gets you up to the screen, so you have this collaborative environment that you’ve created inside of your conference room.

What we’ve done is rather than reinvent the wheel to extend the VIA connectivity outside of the room and to breakdown those physical walls, we’ve teamed up with Zoom, Teams ,and other third party software video conferencing application that people already love to use.

For example, our VIA GO² campus products or our EDU-Hybrid-1 solution allows you to leverage any video conferencing software that can be installed on Windows. We’re giving them the easy ability to connect, in the room, and we’re allowing Teams, Zoom, and other video conferencing solutions, to breakdown those physical barriers and get that content out to the remote users.

VIA VERSA allows you to wirelessly take advantage of the USB peripherals that are in your room. If you have either a VIA Connect Plus or our upcoming VIA Connect 2, or any of the canvas products in your meeting room, you can connect USB cameras or DSP’s and microphones directly to these devices.

You can walk in with your own laptop, drive the meeting from your own device, and still take advantage of that professionally installed camera and audio system in the room without having to touch any cables.

There’s not a piece of technology that users are more familiar with than their own laptops; so we’re giving them the ability to just drive the meeting from their own laptop, but still leverage all those USB peripherals, and the Teams meeting invite that they already have in their calendar. It creates a great environment for users to really adopt the technology and still feel familiar with the way that they are connecting and working with all of their users.