The modern office is designed to make work easier and more comfortable. One of the ways to make meeting scheduling easier is to have wall-mounted room display panels out side the meeting rooms. These cool devices help to broadcast the availability of rooms to all the staff and provide the capability to schedule meetings right then and there. It forms a perfect solution to a dynamic team that thrives on collaboration and communication to get work done.
While the end result of having a meeting room display panel provides a great user experience and productivity boost as well as projecting a modern and futuristic outlook, getting to mount the device can be a complex task.
Mounting a table to show the meeting status outside the meeting room is no simple task. It requires effort in understanding the office layout, the cabling as well as the aesthetics that go into deciding how and where to mount the tablets. In this article we cover some of the basics that you should consider:
While tablets come in all shapes and sizes and from different vendors, it is important to get the fundamentals right prior to mounting the device. Here are some of the factors that you need to consider prior to mounting the room display tablet.
Type of device
The type of device you choose will depend on the cabling, casing and mounting. There are two types of devices that can be used. The commercially available tablets such as Apple's IPAD, Windows Surface tablets or Samsung's Galaxy or Note tablets. The other option is to go for industrial grade purpose built devices. These usually run on either the Windows environment or Android. Both of these will serve the purpose of showing meeting details outside the room.
The difference between commercially available devices and purpose built devices are that the purpose built devices come with NFC/RFID card readers, built in LED lights, Ethernet/LAN connectivity and even USB thumb drive while commercially available devices do not have these features. Moreover some purpose built devices have no built in battery which makes them lighter and less prone to heating up.
Casings & Mountings
If you are to choose commercially available tablets, then you will need to purchase the casing for these tablets seperately. These casings range from cheap enclosures that solve the mounting problem or more advanced, design oriented casings that are more expensive. While commercial devices do not have the necessary features such as Ethernet/LAN capability, LED lights and NFC/RFID scanners, these features come with some of the casings. You can get a similar functionality to a purpose built device albeit at a much higher price point.
However, if you choose to explore purpose built devices, then they mostly come with the casing built into the device enclosures as well as the mounting kit. So, there is no need to purchase additional items separately. The total cost of ownership may be lower.
Power Cable Layouts
Most devices will require power to run them. In that case, there are two options. One is a direct cable for power supply and then other is through Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). When considering using power, in most offices, there must be overhead cables that run above the false partition and in some cases, under a false flooring (like in data centres). You will need to get hold of your office schematics to determine where the cables run and the branching points. In cases where the meeting room has a card access or a magnetic door lock, chances are there is a power cable already running on the top/bottom towards the door. To mount the display panel, you will need to draw another parallel line to the location of the mounting.
In situations where your device uses Power-Over-Ethernet, then the ethernet RJ-45 cable also doubles up as a power line to power your device. In this case, you will need to again determine where the branching is and where the switches are. If your switch/router is PoE enabled, then great. If not, you may have to buy a switch or router that is PoE capable. Moreover, PoE is limited by the length of the cable due to loss of power as a result of attentuation. Normal rule of thumb is that, a PoE cable should not be more than 70m to 100m long. The length is determined by the voltage, the type of cable and some other factors. For more information, you can check this link out. Even if you are able to increase the length of the cable, you will still be restricted by the data signal attentuation.
If your device does not have PoE (Like most commercially available tablets such as Apple iPADs and Samsung Tablets), then you will have to rely on the Wireless network. If you rely on such networks there are two things to consider. Dead zones where there is limited or poor wifi signal and bandwidth. Dead zones can result in intermittent loss of connectivity leading to all sorts of problens such as inability to show tinely meeting schedules and failed bookings when done through the device. If you use the devices in the same WiFi network as your office LAN, then bandwidth will be taken up by these devices that wil need connectivity and synchronization between the device and the central server.
It is preferably for the devices to have their own WiFi network to support the loading. This is especially needed when you are running more than 20 display panels in your office.
When choosing a product for the display panel, inputs such as the look and feel and how the device fits in with the overall office theme is important. Factors such as color of the walls and lighting come into play. Whether the device is put flush with the walls, partially protruding or fully mounting outside depend on the space availability, type of wall and the ability to service the devices. While partial and flush mounting can be done on partitions, they cant be done on concrete walls.
In most implementations, a white casing goes against a white wall while black casing goes well with a wooden wall. This again depends on your corporate office theme.
The type of mounting space will help decide how you are going to mount the device. A glass wall in most meeting rooms require industrial grade adhesives to stick the casing onto the glass. Partitions and concrete may require screws to harness the casing. Note that when mounting on partitions, the thickness of the partition matters. You are better off using adhesive on partitions when the partition is not thick enough.
Envisioning a room display panel outside the meeting room is the easiest step. There is a lot of things that you need to get right before the first tablet gets mounted.
The type of device, the casing, the cabling works, the kind of wall, the aesthetic look and feel all form an important component when deciding to select and mount the panel.
Use this article as a short guide when embarking of putting display panels outside your meeting rooms.