Top 10 Ted Talks

Top 10 Ted Talks On Technology

1. Abe Davis – New Video Technology that Reveals An Object’s Hidden Properties

Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. Abe Davis shows how a simple video can tell an amazing story.

2. Tony Fadell – The First Secret of Design is … Noticing

As human beings, we get used to “the way things are” really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity. Could things be better? How? In this funny, breezy talk, the man behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat shares some of his tips for noticing — and driving — change.

3. Fei-Fei Li – How We’re Teaching Computers to Understand Pictures

A fascinating talk on how difficult it really is for a computer to process and image and the impact that technology will have on society.

“Our society is more technologically advanced than ever. We send people to the moon, we make phones that talk to us or customize radio stations that can play only music we like. Yet, our most advanced machines and computers still struggle at this task. So I’m here today to give you a progress report on the latest advances in our research in computer vision, one of the most frontier and potentially revolutionary technologies in computer science.”

4. Lorrie Faith Cranor – What’s Wrong With Your Pa$$word?

A great video on something that affects all of us daily, our passwords. Sometimes the most frustrating part of your day, changing that password or remembering what you changed it to can be a job on its’ own. Still in the never ending battle of your online security.

5. Jinha Lee – Reach Into The Computer and Grab a Pixel

This talk it right out of Tony Stark’s laboratory. Described as a “gasp inducing” talk, you’re going to see what the future holds for how we interact and create 3D objects.

6. Sergey Brin – Why Google Glass?

Sergey Brin calls for a new way of seeing our relationship with our mobile computers — not hunched over a screen but meeting the world heads-up.

7. David Pogue – 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips

Just a short five minute video that you’re sure to take away a few tricks that will help you navigate the internet a little more efficiently.

8. Miguel Nicolelis – A Monkey That Controls a Robot With Its Thoughts. No, Really.

And that’s exactly what we did 10 years ago. We started with a superstar monkey called Aurora that became one of the superstars of this field. And Aurora liked to play video games. As you can see here, she likes to use a joystick, like any one of us, any of our kids, to play this game. And as a good primate, she even tries to cheat before she gets the right answer. So even before a target appears that she’s supposed to cross with the cursor that she’s controlling with this joystick, Aurora is trying to find the target, no matter where it is. And if she’s doing that, because every time she crosses that target with the little cursor, she gets a drop of Brazilian orange juice. And I can tell you, any monkey will do anything for you if you get a little drop of Brazilian orange juice. Actually any primate will do that. Think about that.

9. Mitch Resnick – Let’s Teach Kids To Code

This is what the future of education holds, making kids a part of the class. An inspiring story of what kids can do to gain a new skill in the classroom, as it turns out, a very lucrative skill, Coding.

“In a fun, demo-filled talk Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them.” 

10. Pranav Mistry – The Thrilling Potential of Sixthsense Technology

In this Ted classic, Pranav shows the future of “Sixthsense technology”.

But the most interesting thing about this particular technology is that you can carry your digital world with you wherever you go. You can start using any surface, any wall around you, as an interface. The camera is actually tracking all your gestures. Whatever you’re doing with your hands, it’s understanding that gesture.

The smart classroom-technology in Regina

The Smart Classroom Is Not Far Away, It May Be Already Here

The Connected Classroom-technology in Regina

When you walk into a classroom in 2016 you’ll notice something remarkably different then in decades previous. An almost ubiquitous movement of the smartphone has created a generation of young people who live their life with a device in hand. Like a hoard of young adults praying, their heads bent down over the illuminated screen of their iPhone. On Volleyball trips, as a coach you see how much their lives are influenced by that small device. As bad as some as us want to rid the world of Apple and Android, there seems to be no stopping of how much of our lives will be lived online.

Children have changed, how has the classroom?

Education, for the impact it has on our lives, really is under served when it comes to technology innovation. What’s the last innovation we’ve seen with technology in the classroom? Powerpoint? The overhead projector? Google Docs? Whatever it is, we haven’t gone far enough and we haven’t tried enough to push what our up and coming generation can do with the power of the internet.

There’s an ongoing struggle of “put the phones away” to “take out your phone, you need to look up_____”. We need to encourage the use of technology in the classroom and education needs to be proactive in how they’re teaching the use of technology.

Technology in the classroom will become the norm

Education needs innovation

We need people who are willing to develop the future of what a learning experience can be. Sugata Mitra, experimented with this in sub-Saharan India, he wanted to see what students could learn on their own. Essentially, what’s the limit a child could teach themselves with a simple computer. The results were incredible. Almost no limit on what children can teach each other. The example he gives was students 9-12 years old learning complex university calculus. Not only did they test “what” students could learn they also found out “how” students teach each other. Usually in pods of four to five with one person stepping up and leading the group through the learning outcome.

Pretty exciting if you think about it! The possibilities of a “smart” classroom where students can learn at their pace, as fast as they want.

 

It’s easy to say “they need to pay attention more!”, it’s hard to create a learning environment that grabs and holds their attention. 

When I was a kid I got in trouble a lot. I couldn’t sit still, I didn’t like colouring in the lines but the second you gave me a challenge I stepped up! We can push kids more in school, we could use technology to do this. The smart classroom movement is great, lets just ensure we’re helping our teachers keep up with the technology as well.

We like to complain about the state of education but we rarely complain about how much support or ongoing training our teachers are receiving. 

 

Either way the future is looking bright for more efficient technology in the classroom. Here’s another great video from Sugata Mitra on building schools in the “Cloud”.

Need assistance? We’re here to help.

At Hillman AV, we’ve integrated an online service ticket system that allows us to deliver expert service and unparalleled customer care. Let’s face it: Technical issues come up at the most inconvenient time. At Hillman AV, we feel your pain and designed our online ticket system just for you!

Here’s how it works: If you’re experiencing an issue with your audio, video or security system, and need assistance, click on our online service ticket system to open a service ticket directly with our support team. The ticket will ask for specific information that will help us define the issue and generate a quick and efficient solution.

Submit a service ticket

Submitting an online service ticket is the most convenient way to resolve your technical issue quickly and efficiently. It allows us to:

  • Focus on resolving the problem based on priority
  • Online troubleshoot
  • Deal with multiple customers at once
  • Escalate tickets automatically when required
  • Offer seamless support between our technicians and management
  • Measure our support by gathering analytics to enhance customer service
  • Offer remote customer service so we don’t lose valuable time

Types of service requests include but are not limited to:

  • Audio Video Product support
  • Audio Video Technical support
  • CCTV and Security Technical Support

Hillman AV is a company that is fully committed to provide outstanding customer service. We truly care about our customers and give them focused and undivided attention by providing them with exactly what they need. We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to be at the forefront of the audio and visual industry and to provide the most up-to-date and reliable systems to our customers. Contact us today! Our team is ready to help you.

The Rise of Professional AV (Pro AV)

The Rise of Professional AV (Pro AV)

It doesn’t seem too long ago that only executive boardrooms and universities had the latest in audiovisual technology. The increasing population, demographic and economic growth over the past ten years in Saskatchewan has created an increased demand for Pro AV services. In Regina, new businesses are being launched and existing ones are expanding, the ability to communicate and collaborate are needed more than ever. For example, a small business will require technology to present ideas to co-workers or introduce new products to potential clients. Larger corporations will benefit from the ability to meet and collaborate with remote or foreign offices through unified communication. Schools are gaining traction by building curriculum’s based on an interactive whiteboard system while retail outlets are strengthening their brand recognition and increasing their customer base through digital signage.

and more…

The services of a professional AV company are vast and the potential deemed endless.  It is very encouraging to young companies such as Hillman AV to see increased interest in our field of expertise. We are very excited for the opportunity to grow with Saskatchewan and bring amazing and new technology to our home province and western Canada.

 

 

Evoko Minto: The NEW Conference Room Solution

Evoko Minto: The NEW Conference Room Solution

Whether it is a personal or business mobile phone are the popular choice and it seems the use of hardwired telephone lines are slowly disappearing. With the exception of one place… the corporate boardroom.

Corporate boardrooms across Canada have been dependent on hardwired business phone lines for years now. The typical teleconferencing system needs a hard line to place and receive calls.

 A typical conference room with a teleconference setup would look something like this:

  • Teleconference hardware (Polycom Soundstation)
  • Installation of hardware
  • Installation of phone line
  • Secondary phone to make private calls

 While the initial cost may not be a huge investment, the monthly fee that a company is paying for a dedicated hard line in their conference room(s) can definitely add up over time.

Imagine for a moment that a business has just 3 conference rooms. Each dedicated line costs $30-35 per month, or for argument’s sake, all three rooms cost $100 per month. After just one year in business, that is $1200 additional cost to run those rooms.

For large organizations the cost is even greater. “Company A” has 10 locations across Canada, with 30 total conference rooms. At an average of $30-35 per room, that’s an additional $12,000 in operating costs each and every year moving forward.

There must be a better solution.

Introducing the Evoko Minto

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Enter the world of Evoko Minto – the newest way to teleconference. Ready for use with your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. It works via Bluetooth or cable, and take only seconds to connect. There are no installation fees, but more importantly, there is no need to have a dedicated hardwired phone line in your conference room. It uses the mobile phone you already own or your company provides to you. It takes less than a minute to turn the Minto on, pair your Bluetooth device, and place a call. AND… it costs less than the initial setup of a typical conference room.

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With the evolution in conference room technologies, like the Evoko Minto, the need for dedicated hard-wired phone lines within those boardrooms is also greatly diminished.

For more information on the Evoko Minto clink this link here. To book a demo of this exciting product, call Hillman AV today at 1-866-848-6111.

 

Acoustic Feedback: Why It Happens, and How To Avoid It

What is Acoustic Feedback?

Acoustic feedback occurs when the amplified sound from any loudspeaker re-enters the sound system through an open microphone and is amplified over and over and over again. We’ve all heard it – it’s that sustained, ringing tone, varying from a low rumble to a piercing screech.

In order to better understand what acoustic feedback is, let’s look at the simplified components of audio amplification. For the purposes of this discussion we will limit our components to only three: a receiver; an audio amplifier; and a transmitter.

  • A Receiver – This would be a microphone picking up audio from the environment, like say a presenter, and translating them into electrical signals.
  • Audio Amplifier – The electrical signals from the microphone (receiver) are transmitted to the audio amplifier. The amplifier actually boosts those electrical signals for transmission.
  • A Transmitter – Audio Loudspeakers would be considered the Transmitter in this system because they receive the amplified electrical signals and translate the electrical signals into sound pressure that our ears can then hear & understand.

The simplest Public Address system consists of a microphone, an amplifier and a loudspeaker. Whenever you have those three components, as seen below, you have the potential for acoustic feedback.

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When the audio from the Presenter is passed through the system’s loudspeakers and makes it back into the microphone, a feedback loop occurs. This pathway is indicated by the signal flow diagram below.

acoustic-feedback-2

 

You can clearly see by following the line in the diagram above how a feedback loop can cause problems for the audience to hear the presenter.

How Do I Avoid Acoustic Feedback?

From the Feedback Loop diagram, we see that we need to reduce or eliminate the “Audio Signal Feeds Back Into Mic from Speakers” pathway. This can be done a few different ways.  Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to get the most volume out of an audio system before dreaded acoustic feedback occurs.

  • Microphone Selection – Ensure you are using the correct type of microphone for your audio application. There are different types of “Pickup Patterns” available when dealing with microphones. These pickup patterns will allow the system to amplify the desired audio, whilst minimizing unwanted audio sources. In the case of feedback, we want to eliminate the amplification of audio sounds already being processed by the audio system. ie, we don’t want the microphone picking up what we just amplified through the audio system!
  • Microphone Etiquette – When a presenter is speaking into a microphone, ensure that the speaker is a reasonable distance from the mic. This should be anywhere from 1inch away from the mic to 6 inches, check your microphone’s specifications for ideal speaker to mic distances. We have all heard people speak at dinners, banquets, weddings, etc. where no one can hear them. This isn’t always because the audio system is “turned too low”, but more often because the presenter is speaking too softly, or simply too far away from the microphone. I cannot stress this point enough, many of the “we can’t hear the speaker” issues are simply because of this distance from Presenter to Microphone. Speak up, and speak into the microphone!
  • Mic Positioning Relative To The Loud Speakers – The worst thing for feedback is to have the loudspeakers facing into the microphone. If you ever want to hear feedback, put the microphone directly in front of the speakers and get ready to cover your ears! Ideally, you want the presenter to be behind the loudspeakers, this allows for more gain or “volume” in an audio system before feedback. If at all possible, do not have the Presenter in the loudspeaker path.
  • System Volume – It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the fastest ways to reduce a feedback loop is to reduce the amplification or “gain” in the audio system. This is successful because the feedback loop is broken; the signal coming out of the loudspeakers is not strong enough to be picked up by the microphone again.  This is a last resort to reduce feedback as there are other factors in your audio system which should be reviewed (SEE 1, 2, & 3) before turning the system down to eliminate acoustic feedback.

Sound Engineers have many other ways to increase the overall volume of a system whilst still minimizing the acoustic feedback. The above 4 tips will help you to avoid embarrassing acoustic feedback problems in your basic public address audio system. If you have more demanding acoustic requirements, call Hillman AV today.

We are a 2014 Paragon Awards Finalist

Hillman AV Named a Paragon Awards Finalist for “New Business Venture”

Hillman AV Inc. has been nominated and named as one of three finalists for a 2014 Paragon Award in the category of New Business Venture.

paragon awards

About Hillman AV Inc.

President, Jarrod Hillman started the company in order to create jobs in Regina’s growing labour market. In the first two years of business, Hillman AV doubled it’s workforce, and are on pace to do the same in 2014.

Hillman AV’s original objective was to become a labour resource for AV companies across Canada. By providing exceptional service on a sub-contractor basis, they’re able to be recognized as a reliable and trustworthy company to hire.

A Shift in Direction

Within months of starting, Hillman AV decided to shift it’s focus to building business through direct sales and expand the Regina-based clientele. Referrals from these initial clients continue to create new opportunities. A focused approach to providing the right solutions to our clients is one of their biggest strengths. By staying at the forefront of the industry, Hillman AV is able to provide it’s clients with truly unique products and services. This has allowed the business to grow tremendously, through referrals.

A Vision of the Future

The company’s vision for the future is to be known as THE authority on audio video integration for not only Regina or Saskatchewan, but all of Canada. By holding an innovative team to the highest standards, Hillman AV is confident that they will increase our business throughout all of Canada.

Thank You

Hillman AV would like to thank clients and supporters during the first years in business. They are excited for the future and to be a part of the Paragon Awards that are held at the Queensbury Convention Centre on Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 6:00pm. For more information or for tickets for the 2014 Paragon Awards, follow the link.

Learn more about us here!

eBeam: Teaching Interactively

Interactive Learning

luidia_ebeam

Teachers of the world rejoice!! Finally, there is an interactive whiteboard product on the market that can help truly engage your students.

eBeam is more than another Smartboard. It’s an interactive device when paired with a standard projector, projects an interactive screen onto a wall or whiteboard. It’s less expensive than a Smartboard and can do much more!

Excited? You should be! Welcome to the world of eBeam.

Why eBeam?

Here are the top three reasons to choose eBeam when looking for an interactive whiteboard product.

  1. Easy to Use – eBeam software is user-friendly making the whole process of teaching interactively, simple. It allows you to focus on the lesson, rather than worrying whether or not you have trained enough with the software.
  2. Easy to Integrate – Unlike many of it’s competitors, deploying an eBeam system is simple as well. It adapts to your existing environment. No need to purchase expensive “proprietary” white board surfaces. It will work on any wall or existing whiteboard.
  3. Easy on the Budget – eBeam is less expensive than other interactive whiteboards that are currently on the market. There is no need for professional installation, reducing your overall costs as well.

If you are looking for a cost effective, easy to use, adaptable, interactive teaching solution, then eBeam is the answer. This tool will help engage your students in new and exciting ways and keep them focused on the lesson. To book a free demo, or for more information, check out our website www.hillmanav.com or call our toll free number: 1-866-848-6111.

eBeam

Chief Introduces ConnexSys™ Video Wall Mounting System

Originally Posted on February 5, 2014 by chief team

Chief set out to create the best video wall system on the market – a system that solves the most common problems installers often run into on the worksite. They’ve achieved those goals with the ConnexSys Video Wall Mounting System.

Chief gathered feedback at each step in the development process of this product until they landed on the new system for video wall options.

“I think the outstanding part of Chief is how much the customer plays a part in the development cycle,” said Kathryn Gaskell, product manager.

After extensive research and conversations with customers, the Chief team determined the largest issues facing installers with video walls:

  • Speed of install
  • Ease of alignment
  • Access for serviceability
  • Rigidity to maintain adjustments

Chief engineers solved these problems and more with the new ConnexSys Video Wall Mounting System.

“Alignment can take up 50-70 percent of the install time,” Gaskell said. “This new system quickly aligns rows for substantial time savings. For massive video walls, it’s exponential.”

Here are 5 Benefits of the ConnexSys Video Wall Mounting System:

  1. Single strut channel install per row– for large walls, installers simply level a single strut channel and hang the mounts. This quickly aligns the entire row and removes the need for spacers to measure horizontally between mounts. The mounts work with strut channel that can be easily sourced locally. For multiple rows, simply use the height of the screen to measure between each row rail.
  1. PowerZone™ Adjustment– 6 points of tool-free height, tilt, lateral and depth adjustment are all found in one easy-to-access location. One tilt pivot point and a floating plane protect the display from damaging twisting and eliminate transfer of torque from the wall to screen. Three levels of lateral adjustment allow for precise alignment and protect screens from unnecessary collisions.
  1. Generous Depth Adjustment– No wall is perfectly flat, and the more screens are added, the more difficult aligning video walls becomes. ConnexSys mounts allow the home position to be set anywhere between 4 to 7.3” (102-186 mm) from the wall for perfect depth. Independent depth adjustments can be made on both sides of the mount to accommodate walls up to 2” out of alignment horizontally. This helps meet needs for large video walls, recess video walls where matching the outer surface can be particularly difficult, and even single display recess applications.
  1. RapidDraw™ Display Release– A controlled pull cord release gives installers access to any display on the video wall, removing the possibility of accidental pop-outs from people bumping into screens. The release also protects the displays by reducing the frequency and aggressiveness of screen pushing. Cords can be positioned to pull for release from any side. The mounts can be pulled out up to 13.7” (348 mm) from the wall for ample access space. Engage the kickstand to 20 degrees for even more room to work.
  1. Rigidity– A particular problem for installers is that displays lose their alignment if they are pulled out for service. Overzealous cleaning crews can also accidentally shift display alignment. Chief engineers added rigidity to the solution to prevent accidental screen shift from occurring when the screen is pulled out.

ConnexSys is available in landscape (LVS1U) and portrait (LVS1UP) versions with rails, and can be ordered without strut channel (LVSXU and LVSXUP) so installers can take advantage of longer lengths from local sources.

“I am excited about the way the new mount works,” said an installer Chief asked for feedback at various points in the development. “It should be a game changer in leveling your video wall. It’s really a no-brainer when it comes to leveling. You should be able to cut your time in half for installation.”

ConnexSys, the next generation in video wall systems, will be available from Chief in mid March. Going to DSE? Stop by booth and 1325 for a hands-on demo of the ConnexSys Video Wall Mounting System.

If you are interested in learning more about the ConnexSys, the next generation in video wall systems, please contact Hillman AV today!

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Hillman AV is a Chief Certified Partner, and is excited to share the announcement that they made earlier this week regarding their newest additions to the 2014 Chief line up. Below is the link to the original post from their website, www.chiefmfg.com

Digital Menu Boards – The Top 5 Reasons to Make the Switch This Year

Introduction to Digital Menu Boards

McDonald’s, Burger King, and Tim Hortons have them. You’ve glanced at them in almost every fast food restaurant you’ve entered and become so common place they have become standard across the entire restaurant industry. They are now being slowly embraced by every retailer across the country. They are digital menu boards.

Big brand’s have become the industry leaders integrated digital boards and are ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating this new technologies.

Here are 5 reasons how can your business benefit from digital boards:

digital menu 071. Menu Changes

Prices change. Menu items change. If you’re using a static menu board and you need to add a menu item or change pricing, you would have to print a new version of your menu in order to swap it out with your current menu. At the very least, you would have to manually change the price by taking the old numbers down, and replacing them with the new numbers.

By using Digital Menu Boards, making changes to your menu is as simple as logging into your software, typing in the new item, and publishing it to the media player. In only few minutes, changes are complete. In addition, if your business has multiple locations, and your media players are connected to a network, you can publish the new menus across all of your locations, saving you even more time.

2. Up-sell and Promote New Items

New menu items, and the ability to effectively up-sell are a crucial part of any business. It can affect your bottom line in a huge way. When a new product is added to a menu, companies depend heavily on their employees to educate consumers. Purchasing new static signage is another cost associated with marketing that new product.

Updating your menu digital allows you to introduce new items and promote your specials on a more frequent basis and helps build your brand. The ability to embed video into your digital menu board can have a significant impact with your customers. Once again, you save the cost of having to print signage each time you add an item, or an item goes on special.

digital menu 063. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Menus

Offering different menu choices for breakfast and supper is common in many businesses. By scheduling your digital menu board to automatically switch over from the breakfast menu to the lunch menu, the whole process is simplified. Pictures, items, and prices seamlessly change at any specified time.

digital menu 04 digital menu 05

4. Make Changes Remotely

As an owner, you can’t be at your business 24 hours a day. You can however, have the ability to make any changes to your digital menu from anywhere with an internet connection. Adding items from home, changing prices from a business conference in Vegas, or creating a monthly special from your hotel suite in Mexico, for example can all be done with from a laptop or mobile device.

5. Green Friendly

I have mentioned the cost savings when switching from a static menu to a digital menu, but going digital with your menu also is “green friendly”. By not having to print new posters or menus every time your menu changes, companies will use far less paper throughout the year and save on print design costs.

digital menu 03

The cost of commercial grade displays and media players has steadily dropped over the past few years making this an even more appealing solution. Hillman AV has the technologies and advice when it comes to digital menu options. Our expertise, paired with your desire to advance your business, makes for a great partnership. Call us today!