Microsoft Surface Hub enhances collaboration in a modern workplace

April 20th, 2017 Posted by Digital Collaboration, Surface Hub, Unified Communications

The workplace is changing dramatically, with more and more workers being disbursed outside of the office. The office isn’t going away, so what are the best ways to collaborate?  Surface Hub is a new type of device that solves exactly this problem.

The workplace of the future has more employees on the move and who work remotely for different companies at the same time.  Microsoft’s most recent foray into solving some of the challenges of that workplace future is hardware called the Microsoft Surface Hub.

The Surface Hub is designed to be Microsoft’s premier hardware solution for the future of live, collaborative work, combining customized hardware, Windows 10 and new collaboration apps. The Surface Hub can integrate beautifully into traditional video conferencing environments so you can both get a better return on your existing investment and use the right device for the right space.

Where is the future workplace? Wherever you are.  As workers and workplace change over the next five to ten years, we see that employees are becoming ever more remote and mobile. The wave of younger employees will expect and receive a more flexible work schedule and may end up working more odd hours or from more odd places outside of the office. The office isn’t going away, but the permanent office will be used less, and nomadic or serviced office use will rise.  Mobile users will increase working in locations that suit them at a particular time.

This vision ultimately results in a need for the enterprises of the future to improve the time that people do spend together through collaboration. As workers become ever more mobile, the need to make collaboration sessions and meetings more productive increases, making the need for a type of wall computing even more prevalent. Microsoft believes that part of solving the problems includes Surface Hub which combines a customized version of Windows 10, collaboration apps and large high-resolution displays powered by Intel processors and graphics.

The Microsoft Surface Hub comes in two flavors, a 55-inch 1080p version as well as an 84-inch 4K model, both of which feature very high refresh rate 120Hz displays for almost zero lag writing. The Surface Hub’s display is optically bounded for extra clarity and supports up to 100 simultaneous touch points. This would mean that five people could theoretically share a single Surface Hub and have every finger be recognized on it at the same time.

The Surface Hub also supports up to three pens simultaneously, meaning that you could have up to three different people drawing on the same board while also having others touching with their fingers. This support for multiple pens really makes collaboration and white board brainstorming type sessions possible. The writing on Surface Hub was the best experience I’ve used with a pen on a touch screen. There was absolutely no lag even when two other people were writing at the same time. That’s hard to do.

It also features two wide-angle 1080p cameras for videoconferencing and a very high quality microphone array in order to capture audio effectively and clearly. It also has support for plugging in external devices including HDMI, USB, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.  All of this is powered by an Intel processors giving it the performance it needs to run smoothly in any situation.

Surface Hub is one of those, “why didn’t someone think of that first” products.  It makes so much sense and fixes many problems workers and businesses have with collaboration today, and even more sense into the future.