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Today’s market is flooded with collaboration technology. Nevertheless, remote meetings generally don’t feel like they should. They don’t have the quality and gravity of real human interactions. They don’t live up to the demands of our collaborative, cross-platform lives. Most devices provide clunky meeting experiences at best.
Microsoft is changing the status quo. They announced the new Microsoft Surface Hub 2S interactive whiteboard for meeting spaces. All of its features together represent a categorical change in the quality of remote collaboration with its new collaboration tools.
The most obvious feature is the beauty of its display. This is more than just a luxury.
Most communication is non-verbal. Communication in meetings is no different. To really convey the importance of an idea, you have to be able to measure the emotional tone of the room as it’s registered in facial expressions and changes in posture. This is one reason why many remote meetings feel awkward.
That’s why Microsoft has focused so much on display and camera quality. The Surface Hub 2S’ 4K+ display can portray four faces at once in 1080p. This richness means never missing out on the social subtleties at play in your meetings. Combine that with the 4K camera mounted on top, and you’ll finally be able to communicate and receive on a deep human level, even when you’re multitasking.
Which is also easier than ever before.
Ideally, remote meetings shouldn’t be mere imitations of the real thing. They should offer improvements. Just as the newest iteration of Microsoft’s Whiteboard app does, in combination with the Surface Hub 2S and its included stylus. The app enables you to do what you can with an analog whiteboard, but better. It automatically cleans up your handwriting, as well as allowing you to import images and have them converted into a sketch format.
The Surface Hub 2S lets you perform these actions on the display as the meeting is in progress without compromising the quality of the stream or interrupting the dialogue. As well, collaboration with Whiteboard is seamless across devices. This allows for the exchange of sketches, mock-ups, and diagrams more fluidly than would be possible in a traditional meeting.
Also, unlike traditional meeting and collaboration technology, the Surface Hub 2S can leave the meeting room promising 2 hours of battery life and easy portability.
Creative exchange shouldn’t be limited to the conference room. Not everyone feels most comfortable and expressive in the same place. Ideally, you should be able to stage a remote meeting from a huddle room, corner office, factory floor, or anywhere else. This is why the Surface Hub 2S has two hours of wireless battery life.
It’s also why it integrates with the Steelcase Roam mobile stand, with which the 2S can be transported effortlessly and securely. Now, remote meetings aren’t just broadcasted from boardroom to boardroom, but from anywhere to anywhere.
The 50-inch 2S ships in June 2019 (in the US), with an 85-inch model coming in 2020, for those who need a truly cinematic experience. Soon, remote meetings won’t be an exercise in fiddling with cumbersome technology and squinting at low-definition images of your colleagues. They’ll be an opportunity to break boundaries—to trade ideas and develop plans seamlessly across vast distances.
You could actually find yourself looking forward to your next meeting.