Ludicrous Speed from the Mel Brooks movie Space Balls
Speed is everything in business. It just is. It’s better to be quick than right because if you have a culture of speed you can adjust and get it right before the next guy or gal has a chance to even start copying you. Moreover, thanks to the internet, the ability to roll out new ideas as services where the cloud supports infinite scale means we are almost at the point where ideas and reality are directly connected. It’s for this reason, all businesses should be scared of increased competition from unexpected places. Even the guy at the tattoo parlor. Yes, today, I came across e-ink technology which allows you to have a “billboard” on your skin and hypothesized this could actually disrupt tattoos.
It’s funny that I was thinking about some this when I met with Smart Technologies – the company which puts smartboards in classrooms. When you think of speed, school doesn’t usually come to mind – but they also make products for the enterprise and this is where they excel at helping your company develop new ideas – to borrow from Mel Brooks and Tesla, in Ludicrous Mode.
I had an in-depth interview with Frazer Couzens (above), Manager, Enterprise Strategy and Jeff Lowe (below), VP Global Marketing where they told me the company’s theme is “brainstorm to boardroom” via a full-experience whiteboard allowing everyone to contribute. Moreover, everyone sees the results in real-time, the solution is UC-channel agnostic and there is multiway interactivity around any content.
If you redesign your website, once the design is sketched on the whiteboard, smartphones will see a vector graphic, they can then send this to a PDF or camera roll, they can scan a QR code on the screen to connect their mobile device to the board.
The system also allows full markup in PDFs allowing for timestamps and the changes are dynamic. The app is free and many companies are using their solution in huddle rooms – what we used to call small conference rooms. To aid in getting the company to use these screens, they turn on when you get near them, making it more encouraging to get your workers to adapt to new technology while helping you get the ROI you want out of the solution. They reiterated to me, “You bring the voice and video, we bring the rest.”
Smart will install and support these devices in 170 countries.
The big news is the introduction of the 75-inch SMART kapp iQ and SMART kapp iQ Pro. I wanted to summarize the features but they all seem important enough to share:
- Additional ports to support a greater number of connected devices
- Mini PC compatibility – mounting points allowing greater flexibility in how customers choose to equip their collaboration environments
- 60Hz 4K Ultra HD for true 4K video support
- Freeze Frame, enabling customers the freedom to freeze screen content while they perform background tasks, leading to more efficient use of meeting time
- Improved touch and ink performance for the most accurate and reliable experience possible
- The kapp iQ whiteboard is now four times bigger than previous releases. Customers can brainstorm and collaborate on an always-on large whiteboard canvas.
- Zoom in, zoom out, write, add images and interact directly with content through SMART Meeting Pro software’s Unbound Workspace (included as 1 room license and 25 personal licenses)
- Write over everyday applications like Adobe PDF, Microsoft Office documents, web browser content and more
- Ink over many design and engineering applications, like Autodesk Navisworks, Autodesk Revit, Tekla BIMsight and more, with the ability to save the files in native format
- Manage meetings more effectively through integration with Microsoft Exchange and Office 365
- Share presentations, voice and video via SMART Bridgit
Also, Version 2.2 of the SMART kapp app features a dynamic new panoramic whiteboard on SMART kapp iQ and SMART kapp iQ Pro displays – simply pan left and right to collaborate on 4X the usable whiteboard space. This, and all other collaborative features of version 2.2 of the SMART kapp app, including the ability to continue any whiteboard session, sharing up to 250 users, password-protected sessions and watermark-free PDFs have been available free of charge starting about a month ago.
Pricing and Availability is as follows:
- SMART kapp iQ is available now. The new 75-inch model will sell at an MSRP of $6,999. The 55-inch model has an MSRP in the U.S. of $3,999, and the 65-inch model has an MSRP in the U.S. of $4,999.
- SMART kapp iQ Pro is available today for U.S. $6,799 (55-inch model), $7,999 (65-inch model), and $9,999 (75-inch model).
- The SMART kapp app version 2.2 is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
- The new SMART global installation and onsite ‘Plus’ support services are now available.
Bottom line: to paraphrase Gordon Gecko, Speed is good. And to borrow from Top Gun, Business has the need for speed – one that, Smart Technologies hopes you’ll let them solve with their collaboration solutions.