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Contactless Collaboration

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shutterstock-1761105335.jpgThe sign at the grocery store said “Use Clean Carts to Reduce Fomite Transmission.” Fomite?  I had to look that one up:

fomite (/ˈfoʊmaɪt/) or fomes (/ˈfoʊmiːz/) is any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents (such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses or fungi), can transfer disease to a new host.

In simpler terms, fomite transmission is the spread of a disease through the touching of a surface contaminated with the disease.  Much like the SARS epidemic in the early 2000’s, COVID-19 is shifting the way we interact with the world due to its highly contagious nature. As a result, an aversion to shared surfaces has been created and has spawned a race to enable “touchless” technology.

Center of Room Control Adds Additional Complexities

A legacy of conference rooms and collaboration spaces has been the center of room control or CORC – a touch-based tablet that controls your audio/video meeting and room amenities like curtains and lights. In addition to fomite transmission, and the cleaning complexities that go along with touching shared surfaces, CORC panels present other challenges:

  • Room Configuration Limitations – CORC panels force a room to be designed in such a way that users can touch the panel. Users may need to switch chairs or push the tablet around to be able to control the meeting, disrupting the natural flow of collaboration sessions. CORC panels also tend to lock you into a specific UC tool which removes flexibility in the types of meetings you can host within a space.

  • Overhead Expense – In addition to the CORC panel itself there is the general maintenance costs, installation, cleaning, and management of the device.

  • Complexity – Troubleshooting these devices can be difficult due to the increase risk of human error as users attempt to do their own “troubleshooting” - messing with cables or simply unplugging the device – on easily accessible tools.

Contactless Collaboration with the Intel Unite® Solution

The above challenges are why we designed the Intel Unite® solution to provide a personal control plane for all users. A CORC panel does not need to be deployed with the Intel Unite solution and users can still take advantage of all the features in a meeting.  Every user that is connected to the Intel Unite solution can control and manage the meeting and room from their own personal device – laptop, phone, or tablet.  Your personal device becomes your own remote control for the meeting with no apprehension of touching a common surface. There are also native moderator controls within the Intel Unite app if users prefer to select one person to manage the meeting.

Without having to worry about where to sit in a collaboration space to manage a meeting, users can more easily social distance.  Rooms can be designed to optimize the user experience and not be limited by where the CORC panel is positioned.

As capabilities are added to the Intel Unite solution, the user interface to control that feature is surfaced on the users’ devices.  Meeting management and control on a personal device delivers a consistent experience across collaboration spaces.  A user starting any meeting knows that the relevant controls will come from their device.

Find out how you can modernize your collaboration space with Intel Unite by visiting us at intel.com/unite, following us on twitter @IntelUnite, or email unite@intel.com to connect with a solution specialist.