Its always impressive when you walk into an office and find digital devices mounted outside meeting rooms showing their status. Its a major productivity booster for staff who are in urgent need of a room and can simply walk over to see the status of the meetings and reserve their slots. Wall mounted Digital Meeting & Conference Rooms devices are all the rage right now in many offices. They provide staff with the ability to just walk along the corridors and look up room availability, make reservations and manage their meeting directly from the devices without having to use their computers to log in to make reservations. In some instances, bright LED lights provides the added indicator of status without you needing to be right in front of the panel. With a wide variety of hardware currently available in the market, the choice of what type of hardware to use comes to a few factors such as affordability, functionality, environment and aesthetics.
While digital displays have seen a rapid uptake in most new offices and co-working spaces, larger organizations will significantly benefit from adopting these devices not only for their auditoriums or conference rooms but also for their regular meeting rooms, training rooms and community spaces.
In this article, we will showcase some of the types of devices that can be used for meeting and conference room digital signage.
These are regular tablets that are used for mounting on the walls of the meeting room that you can buy off any retail shop. They are commercially available tablets such as Apple's iPAD, Samsung's Galaxy Tabs, Amazon's Fire and Microsoft's Surface devices. They come with all the needed functionality to be able to run a typical room display software such as WiFi, Power and Touch Display. Some may have card readers in the form of NFC readers embedded into the device. The NFCs can be used for office staff to scan and authenticate their identity when making a reservation. Running a room display panel is just a matter of downloading and installing the room display panel app from the chosen vendor or using a kiosk mode browser for a HTML5 display.
What they lack is an enclosure that can securely mount the devices onto the walls and other features such as Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) or slots for USB or MicroSD cards for animation of digital signage. These enclosures are available in the market and can be purchased separately. The enclosures are usually easy to mount and can be done by any contractor. The advantage of purchasing enclosures is that, they can come in different colours that can suit your office. There is a huge variety of enclosures available in the market that we will cover in a separate article.
These tablets are most commonly used in today's businesses as they are easy to purchase, replacement is not a hassle, price is comparative and there is confidence in the brand. One of the main problems that these devices have is their batteries. They make the devices bulkier and tend to heat up depending on the environment.
Purpose Built Tablets
These are devices that are purpose built for meeting and conference room displays. They come with WiFi, touch screen and power through either a direct DC socket or a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) interface. When mounting in large offices, a PoE can be truly beneficial with a stable source of supply and bandwidth. Some even come with LED lights and NFC/RFID scanners built-into the devices. Also, these devices have the mounting built-into the casing of the device. So, there is no need to purchase an enclosure separately. Most of these devices run on Android OS which is free. The Android OS for these devices may be customized to run only specific software or could have the default android, which allows you to access Google Play. Some devices may have USB and MiniSD card slots for you to upload signage animation applications. Some devices may have GPIO ports that allow you to extend the functionality of these devices. In most cases, the device seller may already have pre-built modules that can be added onto the device, albeit at an additional cost.
Since the casing is built-into the device, there is a restriction of the colour options available. The standard colours are black, white or silver. So, you may be limited by choice here. Also, since there are no batteries built-in, the devices will shutdown when there is a power trip. Purchasing them may not be so easy like walking into a retail shop. You may have to source for the device online or purchase it from marketplaces like Alibaba. Also, once you purchase, the waiting time is usually anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks depending on where you live. Some room booking system vendors have their own tablets that they sell with their own branding. So, you may not have a lot of options when you choose such room booking system vendors.
Industrial Grade Devices
These devices are industrial grade PCs, meaning, they can run on extreme conditions and are rugged. Being in a PC configuration, they can be used for a variety of purposes other than just a meeting or conference room booking display. These devices run on either Android or Windows environment which make them compatible with many large organisation's need for standardization of technology platform. Most of them have additional ports such as USB and MiniSD slots that allow you to upload content to the device. Some may even come with custom GPIO ports that allow these devices to link directly with other systems such as lighting, air-con or door access control panels. Being rugged, they can be installed in factory floors, workshops and outdoor field locations.
While these devices are packed without powerful features, they lack the aesthetic appeal and elegance that are often looked for in a modern office. They are also bulkier and may require special mounting brackets to hold them onto the wall. They are also quite expensive and cannot be purchased easily off-the-shelf. Acquiring these devices will require you to work with distributors and resellers of the device located in your city. Also, getting the devices may take anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks.
Getting a room display panel mounted on the wall is extremely affordable with a variety of price ranges suitable for various needs. From simple commercial tablets for corporate offices to purpose built devices or industrial PCs, improving your office productivity is now within reach.
Credits: The images and references are sourced from the internet with due credit provided with links to the source. They are for illustration purposes only and are not endorsed by us.