Business owners know that planning for the future is important, so whenever possible, it’s smart to build in flexibility to adjust to new needs and circumstances. This idea is especially important when it comes to office technology and infrastructure, which is why Permobil, a leading designer and manufacturer of power wheelchairs, has installed the affordable ELAN g! control system to integrate the AV system in a conference room, with potential to add digital signage and surveillance integration in the future.
According to integrator Aaron Lawrence, owner of Audio Video Elements based near Nashville, Tennessee, Permobil’s new ELAN system keeps with the new-age aura of the office, which he likens to the Google campus, famous for its lounge areas, in-office recreation and free employee cafeteria. “Permobil is a company that is always looking to the future,” he said, “and that extends from its employee policies to its product development to its office infrastructure. This installation wasn’t overly complicated or elaborate, but we were able to effectively solve their problems while setting them up to add greater enhancements down the line.”
One of the company’s main conference rooms relied on a 106” projection system to make presentations, but it never lived up to the expectations of those who used it. From the messy wired tabletop control panel to issues with the programming that meant the projector almost never turned off, the company decided it was time to try something new. Lawrence suggested the ELAN g! system to them not only because ELAN developed one of the simplest control interfaces ever, but also because the system is highly flexible and would allow them to expand control beyond the conference room when they are ready to do so.
“Right now the room is approximately 100 percent better and more functional than it was,” Lawrence said. “We removed the projection system, which was hard to see because the screen sat in front of a large window and the room was usually brightly lit, and replaced it with an 84-inch JVC 4K display that will allow them to adapt to new video formats as they gain popularity. We suspended the TV from the ceiling to remedy the window issue, and also added two more Samsung 65” TVs on an adjacent wall so every seat in the room has a clear view of what is being presented.
“Once the design was agreed upon it was just a matter of making it easy to use. That’s where the ELAN g! system came in, and management couldn’t be happier with it. We were able to eliminate all the visible wiring from the room, and now the system is controlled from an iPad that is mounted on the table and can be dismounted if necessary. The four HDMI inputs built into the conference table make it easy for multiple people to share their ideas, requiring just a simple button press in the ELAN g! app to switch from one input to the next.”
One of the biggest selling points for management was the possibility to tie in building-wide systems in the future, such as digital signage situated in lobbies and common areas, and surveillance cameras that would make it easier to review security events or monitor building issues. This would allow the company to manage all the TVs in the building from a single interface, so they could power the entire AV system on and off together, as well as change the video being displayed. Lawrence also provided access to the ELAN g! system on several employees’ smartphones through the ELAN g! mobile app, ensuring that even if a technical issue arises with the main iPad, there is a backup to make things run smoothly.
“Being prepared for growth is a characteristic of a successful company, and Permobil is taking steps to increase the flexibility of their office for just that reason,” Lawrence continued. “Simplifying an office’s technology reduces employees’ frustration and helps promote increased efficiency, while also bringing a little bit of ‘wow’ factor with simple but powerful tools that many people haven’t used before. I expect that more and more companies will choose powerful, affordable control systems like ELAN g! for their offices in the near future and beyond.”