A guide to help you choose the right tools and equipment
What is a huddle room?
Huddle rooms are growing increasingly popular as working environments increasingly focus on teamwork, collaboration, and agile ways of working. The word “huddle” has been borrowed from the sports worlds, where players gather in a small circle for short periods of time to align strategy and plan their next moves.
In the corporate environment, a “huddle” is a short, informal meeting with a few team members to catch up and have quick discussions. Topics to be discussed in the huddle rooms could be reviewing the progress of a project, prioritize to-do lists, give important updates, or delegate tasks. People should leave this meeting feeling energized and focused on what they aim to achieve that day.
A huddle room is a space to host ‘huddles’; a space designed and equipped to help the users get the most out of the space and have a productive meeting. Today, ‘huddles’ can have a mix of employees that are present physically and remotely. Therefore, a modern huddle room should be equipped with a mix of presentation and video conferencing tools.
Equipment for huddle rooms
A display is an essential tool for presenting content or having a group video call. The display can be a standard version or an interactive one. The advantages of an interactive display are:
Increased user engagement when interacting with the content
Real-time collaboration on content by meeting attendees
Improved learning and information retention as the display caters to different learning styles
How do you choose the right sized display?
The display market offers a mind-boggling range of manufacturers, models, features, and sizes. While choosing what features you want your display to have depends largely on the type of company, the company culture around collaboration, and the budget, there are some rules of thumb to follow when choosing the size for your display.
For rooms where the distance to the farthest viewer is less than 8 meters, a 55” display is a suitable size. Another thing to consider when designing ergonomic meeting rooms is to avoid unnecessary eye strain. Another rule of thumb here is that the closest viewer should sit no closer to the screen than the width of the screen. In this case, the closest person to the screen should sit at least 55” or 1.4 meters away from it.
Video and Audio for remote collaborations
As mentioned previously, huddle rooms can be used for “offline" meetings where all the participants are physically present in the room, or for online meetings where one or more participants are attending remotely. The huddle room needs to be equipped with the right equipment to ensure that everybody is seen and heard clearly.
Neets Sound Bar - SB1
The Neets Sound Bar – SB1 is designed for enterprise settings. Its flat, elongated shape and minimalistic design make the sound bar ideal for mounting underneath a display or placing on a flat surface, providing clear, sharp audio without taking up a lot of space or looking overly conspicuous in small rooms. With front-facing, full-range speakers, an inbuilt subwoofer and amplifier, and DSP presets that enhance speech playback, the Neets Sound Bar is a standalone audio solution that facilitates online collaboration with its excellent sound quality.
Video conferencing is the second-best thing to face to face collaboration – far superior to writing an email or instant messaging. The Neets 4K Webcam, with its 4K UHD and 120° wide field-of-view, captures razor-sharp video and ensures that everyone in the huddle room is seen clearly. The built-in microphone eliminates the need for additional voice capturing devices, however, a second microphone might prove necessary in larger rooms.
Any type of collaborative space requires users to connect – to the AV system, to the network, to the company server, and to any applications to be used in the meeting. The choice of selecting a wired or wireless connectivity solution depends on several factors:
The company’s IT infrastructure
The company’s policy regarding network security and BYOD
The huddle room user (internal or guests)
While wireless solutions can provide users with a more seamless experience when interacting in the huddle room, connectivity issues come up. Every meeting room should have at least one wired solution as a back-up plan in case users are somehow unable to connect. A wired solution could be as simple as an HDMI cable connecting to the display.
However, in spaces where the equipment setup is more than just a display, the user suddenly has to connect to multiple devices to collaborate. This is where a system hub or a control system can prove useful.
Solvo by Neets – A pro AV system hub
Solvo by Neets is designed for a specific application – small, video-enabled huddle rooms. It can be described as an entry-level control system that allows you to connect a display and other relevant video conferencing equipment (such as speakers, microphone and webcam) with the available ports. Users connect to the system with a single USB cable. All the equipment turns on automatically upon signal detection and users are ready to start their meeting within seconds.
A keypad control system is a smart solution for adding automation to your huddle room. The control system connects and controls the equipment in the room, while the keypad interface is a simple and intuitive point of interaction for the user. Keypads are available with 4 or 8 buttons, and the choice depends largely on the complexity of the system and the number of sources.
Meeting rooms can be automated in several ways. The control system can be configured to turn all the equipment off automatically at a specific time (scheduled shutdowns) or after a period of no detected activity. Adding a motion sensor can turn the system on or off when detecting a human presence in the room. This increases energy efficiency and reduces the number of equipment users need to touch (for hygiene and safety reasons).
Cable management is not just a question of aesthetics, it’s a question of health and safety in the workplace. Several meters of cable dangling from the equipment and trailing all over the floor is unsightly, diminishes the opportunity to clean the space properly, and is a possible tripping hazard. There are several cable management options to tidy up the meeting room, protect the equipment, and make it easy for users to connect.
Neets MiniConnect - MC1
The Neets MiniConnect – MC1 is a small, circular table well with a modern, metal finish that looks good in any type of interiors. You can pass up to three cables of your choice through this table well, keeping the cables hidden together with the included cable bag.