A few weeks ago I invited my team to a cabin in the mountains to prep for launch. This was in Norway and it’s how we get stuff done. I plugged in a Cisco Spark Board and we were off. The Cisco Spark Board was really the only tool we needed to get work done right there and to bring in remote team members for discussions.
The Cisco Spark Board is a team tablet for your wall. It works with the Cisco Spark cloud platform. You can think about it as a physical extension of Cisco Spark into conference rooms and huddle spaces (and cabins).
There’s a lot of advanced technology behind the scenes, but for the accountant, web designer, or executive in the meeting, it works a lot like their personal tablets. Hardware, software, and apps come together in one tool that is second nature to use.
All-in-One Gets It Done
The Cisco Spark Board combines three core capabilities into an amazing meeting experience. We picked the three most typical needs in a conference room. And were very clear on the order of priority as we were developing the product: first, the presentation screen and whiteboard, then a conferencing device. This mirrors how frequently people use the equipment in meeting rooms.
I’ve been in video conferencing for a long time, so it surprised me that this is how I use the Cisco Spark Board as well. I have a Spark Board in my office. Someone will walk into my office, we talk, look at a presentation, and white board our thoughts. Then this white board drawing is there in our 1:1 Cisco space to continue work or look back to refresh memories. No video required.
Here is a quick tour of the all-in-one capabilities:
Wireless presentation device: Showcase presentations, documents and drawings in your Spark room on a stunning 55-inch (or 70-inch coming soon), 4K UHD screen. You can share your presentations directly from the cloud or wirelessly. Or with a cable if you must.
A whiteboard like no other: Create, draw, and white board on a beautiful blank canvas. Team members can edit at the same time even from a mobile device or their own tablet. Cisco Spark instantly saves content to the whiteboard tab in your persistent team space.
The 4k super-bright optically bonded touch panel provides lifelike feeling. Seriously, the digital pen skates across the surface with a tactile experience that feels like a whiteboard marker, only better. It´s also just as simple and easy to use as the old faithful analog whiteboards (one with a pristinely clean surface) and a few marker colors. Everyone can just walk up to it and get going.Best audio and video conferencing: Presenting and white boarding are just as useful when everyone is in the same room as when they are not. Bring people in via an HD voice or video call in an instant. The non-intrusive fixed-lens camera has 4k resolution and is the best on the market. Cisco Spark Board adjusts to people’s volume and position in the room for a superior meeting experience. That’s because there is a revolutionary new mic array tracking voices. Audio will never be the same.
I’ve grown very fond of my Cisco Spark Board. I look forward to walking into my office and having it wake from sleep and greet me by my name as I walk into the room. That feels like magic to me.
There are many other extraordinary things about Cisco Spark Board, including:
- It’s not just the Cisco Spark Board in my office that knows me. I can walk up to any Cisco Spark Board in the world and it will instantly recognize and welcome me. Cisco’s unique ultrasound pairing technology at work means I get instant access to my team spaces and the presentations and whiteboards within them.
- A full 90% of us admit to daydreaming in a meeting. And I may have been guilty of that once or twice. But it’s hard not to stay engaged when I’m drawing on a whiteboard at the same time as everyone else in a meeting. Whether I am sitting in an airport with my tablet, at the same table with my laptop, or standing at the Cisco Spark Board, I’m part of the conversation.
- I’ve heard a lot of excitement from people about the ability to click on a green button to call out to everyone in a Cisco Spark space. Our customers see it as a big advantage in scrum rooms, classrooms, and of course emergency operations centers. Personally, I like it because it makes sure that planned meetings start on time.
No Spark Is an Island
A key value of the Cisco Spark cloud platform is the seamless integration of apps and bots. The platform is open and extensible so you can use your own custom solutions and services, or take advantage of off-the-shelf integrations and bots in the Cisco Spark Depot.
Given my history with video, I can’t wrap up this post without mentioning that many of our customers have video deployed in some of their conference rooms. The Cisco portfolio of video systems registers to the Cisco Spark platform and soon Cisco Spark Board will be able to act as a companion within the same meeting room.
From Cabin to Conference Room
Cisco Spark Board is one of those tools that is equally at home in a mountain cabin, community space, or conference room. Installation is so simpIe that it takes just minutes to set up. So help your workspace live up to its potential.
Learn more about Cisco Spark Board or watch the replay of our launch event to see all the latest Cisco Spark innovations.
Get perspective from more of the Collaboration leaders in their posts.
- Rowan Trollope on The Best Meeting Never Ends
- Jonathan Rosenberg on White Boarding in Cisco Spark: Always Yours, Always Live, Always Secure
- Jens Meggers on Continuous Collaboration
- OJ Winge on You Can’t Schedule Innovation
- Tormod Ree on How Cisco Spark Board Enables Create-and-Do
Curious, what is the difference between this and the Surface Hub?
I recommend you try to find out what both products are about and then make up your own opinion. They are quite different, and you should be able to see this once you learn more and hopefully also experience them.
What I can say is that we have a few things that have been important to us when designing Cisco Spark Board:
– It’s focused and extremely easy to use. It doesn’t do a lot of things, but what it does it does well and it’s easy to get to
– It’s inviting in several different ways, but the most important one is probably through proximity pairing with personal devices in the rooms giving everyone immediate access to their contacts, files and whiteboards from the Cisco Spark Board
– It’s based on the Cisco Spark cloud platform, so your content is always available and it connects the physical rooms to what people are working on before and after the meeting
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