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The Missing Link in Presentation Technology

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It took an end user to spot what AV has missed in its quest to bring presentations into the mobile era… Founders Hans Romaen and Peter Ryckaert share their vision for Crowdbeamer's future._

It may look like one of a number of the popular many-to-1 meeting room boxes, but it’s not.


Crowdbeamer is a new species, a missing link* that plays well with the industry’s other presentation systems like the many-to-1s (Barco’s ClickShare, comes to mind), but a new species nonetheless.

Co-founder Hans Romaen runs an event and conference company in Belgium. He’s a typical client for AV equipment, someone who pulls together all of the logistics for meetings and special events such as a company anniversary, the inauguration of a new location or business, a new business unit, a new product line or just a springboard for sales growth.

Romaen noticed one consistent failing from conferences. In an era crying out for interactivity, the audiences were constantly told copies of the presentation would be available at the end of the conference.

Delegates would sit and watch the important presentations, take separate notes and later have to chase the copies that might be posted on internet web sites or in the organizer’s Dropbox.

Romaen’s research showed that delegates—after a conference had finished—had less interest in interaction. In fact, 50% would never bother to look at the belated copies of the presentation.  Fifty-percent…

Together with co-founder Peter Ryckaert, Romaen came up with an idea:  If the industry didn’t have the product to turn these conferences into more content-driven interactive sessions, then he and Ryckaert would have to invent one.

That was the birth of Crowdbeamer, the first in a species of “one-to-many” but not the last in the evolution. 

This portable, battery-operated Crowdbeamer technology allows any conference or meeting presenter to share any digital content on-the-spot & in real-time with any person in the audience having a mobile device at hand.

Crowdbeamer works in any meeting environment, doesn’t need the internet or wi-fi and delivers all content in real-time on the attendee’s smartphone, notebook or tablet, despite various operating systems. 

It lets the meeting presenter go anywhere (mobile footprint and battery-powered) and eliminates the work of sending out presentation copies in advance. There’s no need for costly print-outs and none of the on-site frustration with compatibility (beamers/interactive whiteboards). The presenter can (at ease) make last minute changes to the presentation and know the audience will get exactly what is on the presenter's screen..

Crowdbeamer hok up

Not only does each individual in the audience have a clear view of content on their device, but each one can interact and capture, annotate or share the content in real-time. 

European innovation at its best, Crowdbeamer doesn’t just share content--- it lets you initiate your own content actions, including integrating with other business apps like One Note, Evernote, PDFs and more.

It took two years, working with IMEC on product and Deloitte Monitor on market research. Along the way Roryco (the company formed to make and market Crowdbeamer) won outside funding as well as awards from Nvidia and KBC Entrepreneurial Summit. Early adopters included the University of Louvain, the medical community of the city of Antwerp and even the Flemish Minister of Innovation. 

In South America, this month the industry at Tecnomedia InfoComm in Bogota will be using Crowdbeamer in its Academic Program.

The company has two current models. The Crowdbeamer GO out of the box connects up to 25 users and is expandable to 75 by buying upgrade packs. Crowdbeamer Enterprise connects up to 100 clients and is expandable through upgrade packs to 200. 

A new unit will comes out in Q1 2018: Crowdbeamer Enterprise+, featuring external antennas that expand the wi-fi range to cover the bigger meeting rooms. 

Crowdbeamer vs others

Invented especially for conferences, Crowdbeamer soon found a wider market in meetings, both planned and impromptu. It fits in a boardroom as well as a conference—and anywhere people want to share and collaborate content.

The company discovered other use cases: teaching, guided tours, board & management meetings, and even ad hoc small meetings that are outside, in the warehouse or on the factory floor.

One customer will use Crowdbeamer on a company tour, feeding content to the mobile devices of passengers riding on five separate buses.

Crowdbeamer is the perfect collaboration tool for those modern “huddle” meetings where there is often no display, no projection screen. And a group of very different mobile devices, often with different operating systems.

If a meeting room is also equipped with one of those many-to-1 screen sharing system (such as ClickShare, Airmedia, WePresent, Via by Kramer or Novoconnect), all you need to do is install the Crowdbeamer device in-between the ClickShare base unit and the meeting room display.

Whatever you share to the meeting room display will also be projected on all portable devices of your audience.

Crowdbeamer use case

Crowdbeamer upgrades any existing many-to-1 screen sharing system by boosting interactivity, the type of interactivity that makes content more personal (you add your own notes and share) and increases meeting productivity for every individual.

It’s a missing link:  the AV industry was focused on building presentation products for speakers and presenters: Crowdbeamer flipped the design on its head and built a collaboration product not only for the presenter but for the audience’s content and collaboration needs.

The product will be at ISE 2018, the annual Amsterdam event for audio/video/IT system integrators.

But Roryco is signing up distribution and channel partners now, preparing for the 2018 launch of the more powerful Enterprise+ version. 

“We’re looking for partners that have experience in presentation technology and collaboration. Even if they have other products like ClickShare™, Crowdbeamer is unique enough to fit any product mix where collaboration is valued,” says Dirk Bosmans, Chief Commercial Officer. 

Bosmans was formerly the Director for EMEA Reseller Sales for 3Com Europe. An IT company founded by the co-inventor of Ethernet, 3Com Corporation was best known for its computer network products. So well-known that the company was acquired by HP.

Bosmans has already signed several distributors and will be the point man for Roryco’s push to get Crowdbeamer into channels. 

Go Crowdbeamer