PITTSBURGH — When leaders at the Heinz Endowments were looking to install the audio and video communication technology for their new conference space in downtown Pittsburgh they turned to Dagostino Electronic Services, Inc. (DES).
They wanted sophisticated capabilities for their large, divisible meeting area but didn’t want to see the technology unless it was in use.
“My vision for this space was to keep [all of the technology] hidden,” Charles Richardson, Heinz Endowments Director of Information Technology, explained. “Why would you want to look at the technology if you don’t want to use the technology?”
Working closely with Richardson, DES designed and installed a solution that mirrored his vision.
LED displays were mounted on pivot-swivel ceiling mounts that adjust for easy viewing access regardless of the room configuration.
The monitors and web cameras retract into the ceiling when they’re not in use.
The space is divisible by four, but rooms can be utilized in any configuration. The system’s room controls were programmed so the technology works seamlessly no matter the configuration. Each room was also equipped with assistive listening hearing loops which deliver intelligible sound directly to individuals with t-coil hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Despite the complexity, the Crestron iPad room control interface is simple to use, and changes can be made quickly.
“Folks coming into any of these rooms, whether they are combining the rooms or not, can make a choice between whether they want a local presentation, an audio conference, a web conference and you can change these options on the fly,” Richardson said. “You can be giving a local presentation and decide you want to involve someone via audio or via web and press that button and bring those outside folks into your presentation.”
“With all the complexity of these rooms, what we strive to do is make the technology transparent and that’s really the key today,” added DES System Integrator Bob Greenhow, a Certified Technology Specialist with more than 20 years of experience designing and installing communication systems.
The video technology is also universal; it can be used with any application-based videoconferencing software such as Skype, BlueJeans and Google Hangouts. Users can access the video conferencing providers of their choice.
In addition to the divisible space, DES recently updated the Three Rivers Room at the Heinz Endowments with plans to complete several additional spaces in the coming months.
The Heinz Endowments seeks to help our region thrive as a whole and just community, and through that work to model solutions to major national and global challenges. We are based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where we concentrate on advancing a sustainable future for our community and planet, successful learning outcomes for young people and their families, and a culture of engaged creativity for all our citizens.