Commercial Integrator 2023 - 20

SPONSORED CONTENT
Hall Technologies Optimizes
for Solutions-Minded Future
The end-to-end collaboration solutions specialist is leaning into AI and
automation, USB connectivity, and modular, building-block product off erings.
I
n the commercial AV world, we routinely
speak of technologies advancing. It's even
more notable, however, when companies evolve
to new, more optimized forms. Th at's certainly
the case with Hall Technologies, the Coppell,
Texas-based collaboration solutions provider
that emerged from Hall Research.
Debuting its new moniker in January
Coppell, Texas-based collaboration solutions
provider Hall Technologies debuted its new
moniker in January 2021, articulating a bold
new vision.
2021, Hall Technologies articulated a bold
new vision. Whereas Hall Research was primarily
an engineering company that made
lots of AV products, Hall Technologies
embraces a more contemporary approach.
" Our vision was to take those great products,
expand upon them and turn them into bigger
solutions, " says Ken Eagle, vice president
of technology, a two-year company veteran.
Pointing to the education vertical, which
this piece focuses primarily on, he adds, " We
actually want to be able to provide the whole classroom solution: the
switcher, the cameras, the amp, the speakers, the control system.... "
It is, as Eagle puts it, Hall Technologies' way of adding more value
to the client relationship.
Dramatically Increased Expectations
It's also very refl ective of the present moment. Th e pandemic both
transformed how we collaborate and increased expectations for integrated,
equitable experiences. " No longer can you really just have a
component in a room, " Eagle observes. " You've got to have a network
of components that all communicate with each other to create a good
experience for everyone involved. " And Hall Technologies, recognizing
how challenging it can be to make disparate systems talk with one
another, reached an inescapable conclusion: If it can provide the whole
solution, it can guarantee all those pieces will communicate and operate
properly, thus ensuring an excellent user experience.
Higher-education environments present arguably the tallest hurdle
for technology solutions to clear. Th ink about K-12 settings:
Many teachers occupy a single room all day and, thus, can become
quite familiar with its integrated technology. By contrast, college
professors travel to a diff erent room every hour and face unyielding
time pressures. " You've got, at most, about fi ve minutes to get your
laptop out of your bag, plug it in and begin delivering your message
before you lose that audience, " Eagle warns. And neither an AV
integrator nor an in-house helpdesk is going to relish ongoing, timesensitive
support calls. " Th e person who walks into the room to use
the AV is likely not an AV specialist, " Eagle acknowledges. Th us, he
reasons, classroom systems must be reliable, easily understood and,
quite simply, just work.
Indispensable Classroom Technology
Reliability and usability concerns aside, classroom technology is
indispensable in contemporary learning environments. According
to Eagle, today's professors must consider three discrete groups when
delivering their lessons: in-classroom students, real-time remote students
and asynchronous students viewing on demand. " And audio
is going to be the most important piece for all three of those audiences, "
he declares. For in-classroom students, Eagle recommends
teacher mic'ing and basic voice lift for any classroom with 35 seats or
more. It's a necessity, he says, " ...just to communicate properly with
those people in the room, " without having to shout. Equally critical,
however, is to capture the instructor's voice and deliver it to the
collaboration platform (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams) that remote
students utilize. Just as important is for both the professor and the
in-person classmates to hear remote students' comments. Finally,
lecture capture is increasingly essential, thus ensuring asynchronous,
on-demand access.
One element of Hall Technologies' vision, as articulated by
Eagle, is greater automation and utilization of AI technologies.
While acknowledging a place for touchpanels and buttons, he asks
a provocative question: In the same way that sensor-based lighting
works, can college professors enjoy a seamless, automated, just-walkinto-the-room
experience? He envisages the professor's arrival triggering
automatic initial activation. Eagle describes it this way: " To
get started, [it tells them to] connect to this Wi-Fi network or plug
in this HDMI or USB-C cable. When they do that - boom! - the
rest of the stuff all activates, and they don't need to do anything. "
Moreover, he says, the AI could reset everything for the next professor,
thus leaving the room technologically pristine.

Commercial Integrator 2023

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