By Ilan Nass, Fueled

Contemporary conference rooms of today are far from the conference rooms your parents sat in. Twenty-five years ago, audio/visual equipment didn’t get much more high-tech than an overhead projector and a manual pull-down screen, which required all the lights switched off as the light it projected was so dim.

Today, though, it’s a different story. Conference rooms are now often packed with the very latest modern technology, helping with communication, organization, and brainstorming.

 Below is a list of the top five must-have items for your company’s conference room.

 1. SMART Board

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Designed by Canadian based company SMART Technologies, the SMART Board is an interactive surface which is a whiteboard, projection screen and computer all-in-one. The system boasts a multi-touch experience, which allows up to four people to write, perform mouse functions, or move and manipulate objects at the same time, using only their fingers.

It can be connected to a printer, so notes can be printed and shared with participants, and the system can also be linked to computers in order to save files.

2. Polycom Speakerphone

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This is essential for those moments when a phone call needs to be made or received during a meeting, and all participants must be able to clearly hear the conversation. Polycom Speakerphones have been designed specifically for conferences. This means it delivers great voice quality from a 360° microphone, making it sound as if the speaker is actually in the room.

3. Digital visual presenters

Digital Visual Presenters (DVPs) are the modern equivalent of the old overhead projectors. Instead of using a fresnel lens to collimate light, DVPs use a video camera to project documents or even 3D objects onto a screen, making it much easier for participants to view your all-important visual aids.

 4. Video conferencing system

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Videoconferencing has saved companies many thousands of dollars in travel costs. Companies no longer have to jet off around the world for meetings, which can now take place easily over these communication systems. Three of the biggest manufacturers of these systems are Polycom, Lifesize and VTEL. The latter of these three offers the iPanel system, which allows you to simultaneously chat and share documents, Powerpoint presentations, or any PC content. The iPanel also allows full access to the internet while your conference call is in full flow.

5. Mezzanine Collaboration Solution 

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The Mezzanine, from Oblong Industries, is a next-generation communication device. We, at Fueled, are true fans. It’s perfect for the conference room, offering multi-user, multi-screen, multi-application and multi-device collaboration. The system allows anyone to use their own device and interactively share content with other people anywhere in the world. The Mezzanine combines presentation design and display, screen capture, video conferencing, and file sharing, all of which can be worked on in real time.

Conferences play a huge part in the everyday work environment, so it’s essential for them to foster brainstorming, problem solving, and decision making. Additionally, having a fully-equipped, well designed, and fully functional conference room with the latest technology will make a huge impression on visitors.

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