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How Audiovisual Technology Helps Keep Sick Kids Engaged

When the Ryan Seacrest Foundation opened its eighth studio, located in Boston’s Children Hospital, those of us here at Advanced AV couldn’t have been prouder, as we’ve been there since the beginning. If you’re not familiar with the work the Seacrest Foundation does, the RSF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill and injured children, through programs that use multimedia and interactive platforms to enlighten, entertain and educate. These innovative hospital studios also afford opportunities for aspiring young broadcasters to get some experience behind the microphone. Children learn how to interview others as well as to edit audio and video, and popular artists frequently visit the studio, including Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor, and Nick Jonas, in hopes of inspiring the patients as they recover. In fact, the kids can also “network,” so those in LA can talk to kids in Boston of Philly or Cleveland and help share their joys and struggles. They even compare scars. And no one gets left out—even children who are bed bound have the ability to join in and be a participant with other kids and celebrities.

For many patients, focusing on the creation of music and video offers a welcome reprieve from the rigors of treatment.

Meredith Seacrest is chief operating officer and executive director of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. “Parents tell us how their kids go to the studio and they don’t want to leave. In some cases, patients haven’t left their room in days, but want to come down when we bring a celebrity like Taylor Swift to the studio.”

As mentioned above, Advanced AV has been a proud partner in making these young patients’ hospital stays a little brighter since the get-go. […]

By |February 3rd, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

Health Care and Education Pushing Global Videoconferencing Market Growth

The videoconferencing market is booming; technology allows us to do more than ever before, and businesses are connecting with consumers all over the globe. The industry is already valued at $3.69 billion and continues to rise. In fact, experts forecast videoconferencing will grow 8.5 percent by 2023, reaching $7.85 billion in value. What’s driving this growth?

Industries everywhere are implementing videoconferencing technology. Not only does it offer a global solution for international companies, it’s also cost-effective. Companies can expand their reach, whether to customers or employees, worldwide, without the prohibitive costs. The health and education sectors have seen significant changes, and these two industries are major driving forces in the implementation of videoconferencing.

Remote Visits and Treatment Reshaping the Health Care Industry

Health care companies use videoconferencing technology in a variety of ways. Cloud-based collaboration solutions, videoconferencing, and the looming Internet of Things have fueled the expansion of health care services worldwide. Now, health care workers can practice anywhere in the world and still keep in touch with home base. A doctor working with patients in Africa can easily collaborate on treatment plans with his supervisors back in the United States.

Furthermore, many hospitals have begun implementing remote patient monitoring and tele-consultation technology. Patients can visit with a doctor without ever leaving the house. Follow-ups after a treatment are easier than ever because doctors can check in with patients remotely. This important and impressive step forward in health care is possible only because of videoconferencing technology.

Videoconferencing Offers New Educational Opportunities

The education industry relies on videoconferencing technology just as heavily. Online learning has become much more commonplace in our society, and videoconferencing is playing a massive role. People are obtaining an education in locations where it was previously difficult […]

By |January 29th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

A Look Back at the Top Digital Security Concerns of 2015

Well, we’re already a month into 2016, a year that promises to bring exciting advancements and changes in audio visual technology and collaboration systems. Unfortunately, one thing that never seems to change is cyber security and the very real possibility of a breach. Digital threats continue to soar worldwide and security concerns remain the top priority of most IT departments.

Though executives across the globe continue tightening security as technology evolves, there are some clear takeaways from last year that may change the way we think about this technology. Security concerns aren’t new to 2016, but the way we prioritize them has changed. Let’s take a look back at what we can expect in the future.

Primary Security Concerns Continue to Rise

IT professionals across the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong and Singapore are making security even more of a priority this year than it was in 2015, with three out of four executives calling it “critical.” Here are the top three IT security priorities for 2015, priorities that will still be top of mind as we move into 2016:

The first priority is protection from and detection of Advanced Persistent Threats (or APTs).
Next are next generation firewalls, though there is a disconnect between executives and IT staffers on this priority. Many executives feel they have done everything possible when it comes to firewalls; IT staff feel there is often more security that could be put into place.
And thirdly, mobile device management is a priority on the rise in most companies. Again, this is a situation where the actual threats may not have grown, but the awareness of potential threats has increased greatly.

As technology has evolved—bringing the cloud and outsourced security systems to businesses—the threats have become a bigger concern. […]

By |January 26th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Digital Signage Meets the Internet of Things

The marriage of the Internet and personal devices like phones and tablets has forever changed how businesses run, and digital signage has evolved right along with them. There is now nothing you can do on a smartphone you can’t do on a digital sign. At first thought to be a casualty of the second screen phenomenon, the digital signage industry has instead evolved into a growth industry and is embracing the technological advances the cloud has now made available.

The Union of IoT and the Growth of Devices 

Fueled in part by the Internet and in part by the ease with which they allow networking, our reliance on personal devices seems to only be growing stronger, especially as the Internet of Things evolves.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, enables physical objects to speak to one another, and it has the potential to change every area of communication by making it more personalized and up to date, and digital signage is no exception. The IoT allows information sharing to be customized to whatever the handler chooses, and it can adjust based on the preferences of the customer viewing it.

Cisco calls it The Internet of Everything (IoE) and estimates this technology will explode from 13 billion connections to 50 billion in the next ten years. This increase in connection will make more real-time data available for consumers to analyze and interact with. Digital signs have the potential to be the most powerful customer-facing tool for retailers to leverage because it offers real-time customization and maximizes profits.

How Organizations Can Leverage Digital Signage

Digital signs—from tablets and kiosks to airport schedules—are driven by powerful visual communications software platform. They leverage data coming from multiple sources and deliver customized consumer experiences.

And people notice […]

By |January 7th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

HD Video and Why Lifelike Images are Important

The eyes aren’t just “the windows to our souls,” they are also the gateway to our minds. Studies have shown that 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is non-verbal, and 70 percent of all human sensory receptors are in the eyes. This explains why we remember things that we’ve seen much better than things we’ve read or heard. It also explains why social media posts with images and videos get so much more attention than posts that don’t.

That said, technology today has surpassed our human visual abilities. The human eye needs to see images at 18 to 26 frames per second (fps) to register a video as continuous motion. Less than that looks like a series of static images rather than a fluid video. Digital cameras now record at 48 to 120 fps and higher. The better the quality of the video, the more naturally our eyes can take in the information, and the more information we will retain in the end. Of course, as technology advances, so do our expectations, and because we have been so spoiled from a visual perspective, poor video quality in a videoconference may lead a viewer to equate the overall videoconference as “poor quality” – even the spoken and/or written content.

The HD Viewing Experience

Most of us love what high definition brings to our viewing experience, but what qualifies it as high definition is often a mystery. HD means having up to 5 times more pixels than Standard Definition, resulting in a more detailed and sharper image. With the addition of HD, gone are distracting blurs and pixilation that draw you away from the immersive experience.

Clarity, crispness, and richness of color make for a highly incorporative experience, […]

By |December 30th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Digital Signage: Still Relevant Even As Smartphones Take Over

In the not too distant past, a digital sign near a stop light meant advertising gold. Now, regardless of where a digital sign sits, a red light is an opportunity to view the text you just heard ping or check how many “likes” your most recent social share garnered.

And it’s not just when we have a still moment in the car. We have become a society that lives life head down, palms up—our attention constantly divided between the small screen world of our smartphones, and the big screen world of digital signage. One might worry that this struggle between mobile devices and digital signage might put digital signage at a disadvantage, however, the industry isn’t accepting defeat just yet.

The Smartphone and Polite Society

There’s definitely an ongoing struggle between accepted social behavior and a drive to be digitally connected at all times. If Pride and Prejudice was updated for today, the quarrel between Austen’s two main characters might have been over Darcy scrolling on his phone at a party rather than dancing with Elizabeth Bennett. The rules for when and where you can whip out your phone are not nailed down, and, because of that, our attention is always at its mercy. Our continual need to be connected has created a society in which digital connectivity trumps the good manners necessary for face to face interaction—never mind connecting with the latest digital signage

How Digital Signage Industries are Responding

While it’s true some digital signage companies are expressing concern about the second screen phenomenon and how it might be distracting their target audience, there is plenty of evidence to suggest digital signage and smartphone technology make a great union. Consider how some banks are making use of smartphones […]

By |December 23rd, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Unified Communications and Enterprise Collaboration: A Happy Marriage

For years, unified communications (UC) struggled to become an integrated part of enterprise collaboration—devices and software were often disparate, unable to mesh into a single system. When they were incorporated, it was often in a limited way, at best. This largely placed them outside of business-based collaboration, and the organizations who couldn’t come to terms with this “struggle” were left woefully behind their competitors when it came to current technology adoption.

Today, new developments make it possible to truly merge UC with enterprise collaboration, and the results are a business owners’ dream. So, why are some businesses still hesitant to explore the happy marriage of unified communications and improved enterprise collaboration?

Why Don’t Modern Enterprises Make Full Use of Unified Communications?

There have been many issues around unified communication adoption that have held back some corporations from taking the plunge. On a whole, change is a big fear for many, especially when faced with the need to re-train entire teams on the day to day use of brand new processes and systems. Training aside, putting these brand new processes in place also costs money, and many companies can’t see the value in investing in new services when the “old way of doing things” works just as well. The problem is, it doesn’t. According to Gartner, embracing unified communications and collaboration “…enables employees and workgroups to use appropriate communication modalities to collaborate in real time, leading to improved productivity and operational effectiveness in the workplace. And, as itbusinessedge.com points out in a recent article, the cost savings resulting from incorporating unified communications into your enterprise collaboration are very real:

Forty-nine percent of user organizations saved up to 20 minutes per employee daily by reaching workers on the first try.
Fifty-four percent […]

By |December 19th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Questions to Ask before Investing in Videoconferencing

Thanks to changes in modern technology, we’re constantly rethinking the way that we work. Options such as telecommuting, telework, and remote work are becoming increasingly common. Today, it’s not out of the norm to have employees, customers, and clients spread throughout the country—even across the globe—making collaboration solutions an important part of our workday.

Web conferencing is designed to expand our collective knowledge, streamline work processes, and give our businesses an edge in an increasingly competitive workplace. If you’re looking to invest in a videoconferencing system, there are a number of factors you should consider before you finalize a decision.

Should You Opt for a Cloud-Based or On-Site System? 

Your first decision should be to determine whether a cloud-based or on-site solution works best for your organization. Consider these important factors, and the questions you should be asking yourself, to narrow down your choice.

Your company size. Is your company spread throughout the state? Across the country? Around the globe? Perhaps you are a small, highly localized enterprise? Will your provider be able to help you with issues that go beyond local dial-in numbers? What about language support? Bandwidth requirements? Or technical problems that could possibly occur in multiple time zones? Will there be rapid growth in the next few years? Having a cloud based system will allow for easy scalability, something you won’t get with an in-house system.

Your budget. It may be tempting to sign up for a free web-based solution, but have you considered the tradeoffs of doing “technology on the cheap?” As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you drastically cut costs, chances are you might be “cutting” consistency and quality as well.

Cloud-based solutions are attractive options; with lower upfront costs and […]

By |December 10th, 2015|Blog|1 Comment

Collaboration Trends: What to Watch For in 2016

If your company employs remote workers, relies heavily on inter-department collaboration, or routinely works with prospects and clients around the world, now is the time to keep an eye on virtual collaboration solutions. With so many new integrative solutions coming to market—and proof that they promote productivity and drive bottom line goals—one of these solutions could help your business exceed expectations in 2016. Here are a few collaboration trends to watch out for in 2016 and beyond:

An influx of “smart machines.” Think drones, automated vehicles, and automated manufacturing innovation. These intuitive machines will fundamentally disrupt the way we live our lives. Drone-based delivery, onsite monitoring, driverless cars, as well as robotic solutions in surprising industries like restaurant service will change the way we interact with one another socially and at work. Imagine completing the entire sales cycle without ever making contact with an individual—not even watching the mailman drive up the driveway!

Sensor-based big data sets. Companies are looking for better ways to leverage big data. Look for the strategic placement of sensors to monitor productivity and other KPIs, including smart device use, vehicle habits, and weather patterns. Sensors may eventually have a place in every industry, and provide organizations and business leaders with the hard data they need to improve every decision they make. This type of data will likely change how, when, and why we collaborate on the job. With sensor-driven data, efficiency will become much more of a science than an art.

Security in the cloud and on smart devices. Companies are moving their collaboration tools, data storage, and other applications to the cloud because it makes sense. Cloud solutions cut costs while improving productivity and enabling remote workers. Similarly, the rising adoption of […]

By |December 3rd, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Four Leadership Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce

According to Global Workplace Analytics’ research in 2015, as much as 25 percent of the American workforce does at least some work away from the office. Many large Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies are restructuring their offices to accommodate mobile workforces, and most workers prefer the flexibility to work from home.

As the trend in workplace flexibility takes a firmer root in the overall workforce, some critics cite remote workforce management as a serious concern. Leaders are constantly challenged with creating ways to measure productivity while also ensuring that those attending remote collaborative meetings aren’t also engaged in creative “multitasking” – checking emails, texts, or working on other deliverables during important meetings. Creating purpose and driving and inspiring trust are also serious issues that remote management teams must face. The question has transformed from “How do we accommodate a request for remote work?” to “How can we maintain the same standards of team collaboration and success in a remote environment?”

Tip No. 1: Invest in the Right Tools

Without the right technology supporting a remote workforce, a sense of satisfaction and cohesion is difficult to manage. In remote work, collaborative conferencing and process technology tools build the foundation of every other task, and that is true for any business that offers remote working arrangements. There are many tools available for remote teams to use to collaborate, host virtual meetings, communicate, and manage projects seamlessly with team members around the world.

For example, comprehensive collaboration solutions are available that can accommodate video meetings and instantaneous content sharing. This allows national or global teams to get together effortlessly, whether they need to share documents, graphs, and other data, or just need a good brainstorming session to move a project forward. […]

By |November 24th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
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