Surface Hub: Microsoft’s killer collaboration tool

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Surface HubMicrosoft has created a new business tool that gives new meaning to team collaboration. Introducing the Surface Hub.

Surface Hub is one of the two Windows 10-based products revealed at Microsoft’s press event last month. It’s basically a digital whiteboard with a massive, Ultra-HD Display for business meetings and team collaborations. But it’s not yet available commercially.

Here’s what we know so far about its specifications:

  •  Two display options: 55” (1080p) and 84” (4k display)
  • Powered by fourth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
  • The screen will have a high 120Hz refresh rate for no-lag writing
  • Display is optically bounded for extra clarity
  • Supports up to 100 simultaneous touch points
  • Supports up to three pens simultaneously
  • Includes two built-in wide-angle cameras (1080p), speakers, microphones, Wi-Fi and a wide array of “advanced sensors”.
  • Supports external devices including HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Miracast and NFC connectivity.
  • A screensaver interface offers three default options: a Skype call, a OneNote notebook, and connecting a third-party device such as a phone or tablet.

* Take note, however, that pre-released product may be modified before its commercial release.

How it works:

Given its impressive hardware, the Surface Hub works like no other digital whiteboard. The device is wall-mounted and automatically starts as soon as you come near it, thanks to its integrated Kinect sensor. Use the pressure-sensitive pen, magnetically attached to the side of the device, for effortless writing and drawing. The Surface Hub has superb inking. When you press down the pen, the digital flow of ink widens. Flip the pen upside down to turn it into an eraser. You can also lasso content and move it from one side of the display to another. The pen charges through its magnetic cradle when not in use. However, its battery life is guaranteed to last for weeks even if you leave it undocked. Even if you drained its battery, Microsoft says it can regain an hour’s worth of use within just two minutes of charging.

To launch video conferencing, single tap Skype for Business and you’re good to go. It’ll show users in small video windows to one side, whilst the main screen is left for presentations, discussions and other documents.

Surface Hub in action

Who needs it

The Surface Hub is designed for a modern workplace. If you’re doing a lot of office and/or remote meetings, presentations, and team collaborations, then it’s a sound IT investment for your business. This technology offers so many benefits for a business such as:

1. It bridges the gap for remote workers/meetings. With the Skype for Business as collaboration app, communication is seamless. A single tap and you connect to the people critical to your meeting. The built-in cameras are strategically placed to ensure you are speaking at an eye level with your remote attendees so they’ll feel they’re part of the conversation and decision-making.

2. It’s ideal for big group discussions. The problem with bringing together large group, you don’t get 100% participation. With Surface Hub, everyone is encouraged to join because collaboration is more enjoyable and ideas flow. The multi-touch function allows several people to work on the same display at once. Whilst the multi-pen capability supports three different people drawing on the same board.

3. Work gets done. Since every tools inside Surface Hub interacts with each other seamlessly, ideas are easily shared, points are clearly understood and meetings can be a lot more productive.

4. Forget about old-fashioned note-taking and taking photos of the whiteboard. At the end of each meeting, you bring all your ideas as you leave the room. OneNote, a digital note-taking app, automatically saves all your notes and sends copies to each participant or attendee.

5. It saves you time and money. Surface Hub is all about productivity and efficiency. If you have issues to resolve, all you need to do is “go back to the drawing board”.

Clearly this is a technology designed to enhance the ability of teams to communicate, collaborate and share ideas. The price is still unknown as of today, but Microsoft expressed its desire to make Surface Hub as affordable as possible.

To know more how Surface Hub can help your business, contact us today.