March 31, 2022 - Crestron has recently been getting quite a bit of "good ink," as the saying goes, chalking up some impressive coverage in the global press on a broad variety of topics. While space precludes us from sharing every timely Crestron mention on this page, we did choose a few highlights stretching back over the '21 holidays and through Q1 of 2022.
Expansion of Crestron Ecosystem with 1 Beyond Technology
The biggie, of course, happened very recently, and generated immediate interest from the trades: Crestron's pending acquisition of the intelligent video technology developed by 1 Beyond and its plan to begin distribution of the 1 Beyond product line later this quarter. Cindy Davis had the early coverage for AVNetwork:
1 Beyond has been in business for 20 years, but the past seven have seen exceptional growth, and the past two have been off the charts … "We're growing so quickly —we decided we needed to look for a partner to continue what we were doing," said Rony Sebok, 1 Beyond co-founder and CTO.
As 1 Beyond grew, its clients were asking if they could support large global enterprises. "We were being asked, ‘Can you scale, and what's your distribution strategy for around the world?' And that takes a while to build," Sebok said. … "1 Beyond technology will now be available from a company with global reach, distribution centers, sales, support, and training facilities around the world," she added.
Strata-Gee's Ted Green took a dive into the tech with a neat description of how 1 Beyond's intelligent video behaves:
Not only does the 1 Beyond camera find the presenter to center in the frame, but even when he or she moves around the meeting space — say, to write on a whiteboard — the camera smoothly and professionally follows them as though there is a human cameraperson operating it. With multiple cameras deployed around the meeting space — whether large or small — as others speak, the system cuts to the camera best positioned so that all attendees get a good view of the speaker. It's almost as though you have a full video production crew onsite streaming a professional-looking multi-camera video presentation to both in-room monitors locally and to online remote participants.
Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), this is a thinking system (hence the term intelligent video) that is almost impossible to fool. So, for example, if a late-arriving attendee enters the room to head to their seat and in so doing inadvertently walks in front of the presenter, the camera stays on the presenter. Or if an attendee coughs, or tries to interrupt, the camera stays on the presenter. But, you ask, what about a Q&A session? Do we get to see both sides of the conversation? The answer is yes…thanks to the system's AI. When the presenter stops talking and someone speaks up to ask a question, then the system then switches to the best camera to cover that person.
On the residential side, one of the most glowing articles was penned by Chris Davies, writing for the slick and well-regarded online pub SlashGear. His review of the Crestron Home® platform concluded with this gem:
You're paying, here, for the convenience and expertise of a professional; for the consistency and reliability of pro-grade hardware; and for the sort of clean integration that most DIY systems can't come close to. Most important, though, is the feeling that your home is working with you, and for you, rather than simply giving you remote control over it from a folder full of apps. That, it turns out, is when the smart home gets truly smart.
The crew at Residential Tech Today was equally enamored with the rollout of Crestron Home. Jeremy Glowacki's extensive piece really took note of every detail from the tour he'd taken at a recent Crestron NEXT Road Trip event.
[S]peaking of the Horizon Thermostat … it was the low-key most impressive piece of hardware that I saw in my tour. Sadly, most "stats" tend to be the least attractive interfaces in the home automation mix. In contrast, Crestron's Horizon Thermostat, which debuted back in April, features a very sleek high-resolution 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display and an auto-adjustable backlight that toggles between day and night mode depending on time of day or user preferences.
One aspect of the platform that's gotten quite a bit of traction is Crestron's LED tunable lighting solutions, as is evidenced by this item from The Verge. Author Jennifer Pattison Tuohy made sure to note the manner in which Crestron's commercial and residential lines can cross-pollinate:
The company first developed the SolarSync [sensor] for "a retail customer who traditionally builds their stores with lots of glass," says John Clancy of Crestron in an interview with The Verge. They've taken that tech and translated it into a residential setting. Users can pair Crestron's new light fixtures with the SolarSync sensor for a set-it-and-forget-it implementation or set up more personalized lighting changes in Crestron's app.
Crestron NEXT Road Trip Europe and AirMedia® Wireless Conferencing
Speaking again of commercial wins, coverage of the Crestron NEXT Road Trip Europe — complete with its rolling display housed in its own specialized truck — has been picking up a lot of steam in that region. At present, the bulk of the coverage is interview-based, and a great example is this Inavate EMEA Q and A as editor Paul Milligan speaks with Annelies Kampert, vice president and general manager of Crestron Europe. We'll no doubt hear more from the road as the tour rolls through its 38 stops.
As far as press on the U.S. side of the pond, Crestron's AirMedia® wireless presentation system has been getting some love. Commercial Integrator took a dive into the nuts and bolts of this tech:
For organizations standardized on Microsoft Teams or Zoom Rooms platforms, wireless conferencing also brings interoperability for joining external calls or equipping guest users to join calls hosted through another provider, Crestron adds.
Wireless conferencing enables organizations to integrate video conferencing into any space, independent of room constraints or the need to run wires. The Crestron AirMedia solution bundles content distribution, presentation and wireless conferencing together with the added benefit of being quickly deployed, scaled and upgraded through the Crestron XiO Cloud platform.
Articles like the ones noted above illustrate a core tenet of what Crestron does: innovate. After all, it's not every company that can demonstrate a continuing, decades-long ability to surprise and impress those who cover tech for a living.