Public administration and technology: a recent but lively friendship, especially in the field of meeting and AV conferencing. Thanks also to the contribution of Shure.
If in the Corporate sphere – and therefore companies and private individuals – these technologies have already gained a lot, and today there are many different systems for the management of meeting rooms and videoconferencing spaces, in the Government and in public administrations the process has been slower, also if you see the first results. And Covid-19 has certainly accelerated and radicalized this process.
Challenges and solutions
The Shure brand – distributed in Italy by Prase Media Technologies – offers a wide range of solutions for the collaborative conference. Attention is paid both to end users, who use products every day and need simplicity and immediacy, as well as system integrators. Working in the public sector, in fact, means not only having to deal with contracts and competitions, but also having to move in less “drawable” environments than company ones: boardrooms, discussion rooms, auditoriums with many seats and many stations to equip. Given this variety of environments and the need to be, as often, as less invasive as possible, the flexibility of systems and choices becomes fundamental, and the integrator is – once more – the expert able to guide the client in choosing and product installation.
There is a tendency to organize and build spaces for meetings – be they large and extended or small and collected (the so-called “huddle rooms”) – around complete systems of software and hardware; and again: better wired systems or wireless systems? In any case, the system must be calibrated to the size of the environment and its acoustic characteristics, especially in the government sector, when it can happen that even very old spaces must be integrated with modern AV systems.
In the “button rooms”
In government circles speaking and being heard clearly is a basic requirement: the variety of voices, however, is an undoubted challenge. The Shure proposal is MicroFlex Complete (also available in wireless version): designed to offer a pleasant and effective user experience, this system includes features dedicated to the PA world, such as the ability to vote from each location, the agenda, multi-language interpreting (up to 31 channels) and identity verification. The high level of audio intelligibility, the powerful control software and the easy integration make MicroFlex Complete a system suitable for many situations and environments, even in the presence of architectural limitations.
To counter RF interference from ubiquitous smartphones, the system also has an integrated Shure CommShield, while the voice-activated mode allows simple and immediate operation, also suitable for informal meetings with many participants.
A complex but not complicated ecosystem
The Microflex Complete system, which allows meetings for 20 to 3,800 participants, consists of several elements gathered around the DIS-CCU Central Control Unit, which also governs the DDS-5900 system (which we will discuss later). You can choose between the MXC615, MXC630 and MXC640 Conference Units, all with built-in speaker: MXC615 can be used by a president, a single delegate or two delegates sharing; the MXC630 has integrated voting controls and ID card reader; finally, the MXC640 model also brings the novelty of the color touchscreen, to display information on the conference and controls. All three models have a 3.5mm jack port, which facilitates headphone listening and interpreting.
The Microflex Complete system also boasts a huge range of accessories ranging from gooseneck microphones (also dualflex) to ISO 20109-compliant professional consoles for interpreters (MXCIC model), with three output channels, eight forwarding channels and color display. MXCSIGN is also interesting, double-sided e-paper and information display that identifies the participants in the conference, which can also be used with the DCS 6000 system. In short, Microflex Complete is undoubtedly a complex and layered system, but not complicated and, moreover, particularly flexible.
Shure solutions also well integrate with third-party controls and elements, and offer the possibility of equipping environments with real complete systems for managing videoconferencing.
In this context, Shure proposes the DDS 5900 digital system (with the BLX-R wireless system): an integrated all-in-one solution for public discussion places (therefore particularly suitable for the public administration sector) that combines microphone, advanced speaker and user controls, with flexible configuration and functionality, to adapt the system to any environment. The BLX-R wireless system, on the other hand, is designed for mobile presentations or for public interventions, at a low cost and with all the flexibility of wireless audio.
If the keyword is Wireless…
Microflex Complete combines a complete conference solution with all the freedom offered by wireless technology, in particular for government environments but also for Educational and Corporate applications. Regardless of the cables, Microflex Complete Wireless is also suitable for quick meetings in improvised environments (as often happens in this period). With a single access point, up to 125 wireless units can be controlled over a WLAN channel without additional software or licenses; in addition, security is guaranteed by AES-128 audio encryption. Finally, the Automatic Interference Detection and Avoidance functions prevent transmission problems even in RF environments.