Huawei’s IdeaHub delivers intelligent collaboration for the future

With new flexible work styles becoming mainstream, businesses have to look to innovative ways to collaborate to boost productivity and develop new ideas.

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Incorporating intelligent handwriting, HD projection, video conferencing, and AppGallery, the Huawei IdeaHub series is designed for team collaboration in meeting rooms, executive offices, open offices, and many other scenarios.

Never have businesses faced an immense challenge like now of transforming the way employees work and collaborate with colleagues.

With work-from-home arrangements now becoming commonplace, many have taken the opportunity to accelerate the change that their digital transformation efforts had initiated in the past.

By leveraging the cloud as well as new services such as video calls, businesses are forging ahead with new styles of work that bridge distances and connect people living in different time zones.

The Huawei IdeaHub, unveiled in May, is set to push the envelope further by bringing new collaborative tools to the game. It will transform the interactions that co-workers have during a meeting, whether they are sitting in a meeting room or joining in remotely.

Taking the latest innovations from handwriting, HD projection, video conferencing, and intelligent apps, it promises to enhance the way ideas are developed and executed in meetings of the future.

It is part of an effort by Huawei to develop its "1 + 3  + X" strategy, which brings together 20 years of expertise in audio-visual R&D and powerful cloud and 5G connectivity technologies.

1 refers to the office digitisation based on WeLink, an intelligent work platform provided by Huawei Cloud. 3 indicates three types of intelligent collaboration devices –- video conferencing, IdeaHub for collaboration, and intelligent desktops for home offices.

Lastly, X represents open cooperation and ecosystem construction for both software and hardware. Huawei is working with ecosystem partners to enhance the experience for businesses.

So, 1 + 3 + X means that the digital world will come to every conference room, office, boardroom and home. With this, there will be widespread use of 4K video and AI, along with productivity tools, as workplaces transform into creative spaces for new ideas.

As a large screen in a screwless, all-in-one design, IdeaHub offers a stunning visualisation of meetings with co-workers who are connected live over a video call. This is displayed on an Ultra HD 4K display where the camera comes in either Full HD or 4K, depending on the IdeaHub model.

IdeaHub also comes with artificial intelligence (AI) that automatically creates a more immersive experience. It is able to pick up far-field sounds and beamform audio signals to enable better delivery of a speaker's voice. Twelve linear microphone arrays provide 180-degree front coverage, with an 8m radius for audio pickup.

To enable a smooth video conference experience, IdeaHub is able to automatically frame the conference view based on the number of participants in the room. Further to that, IdeaHub also tracks the current speaker in the room to automatically focus and project a close-up of the speaker to other participants in the conference.

As a connected device, IdeaHub also helps to display the content and information that co-workers have on their smartphone and tablets and wish to share at a meeting. Being online, it can also connect to Huawei's cloud service to fetch additional information.

It is linked to Huawei's AppGallery app store, enabling users to pick an app that runs directly on the device. It is also an interactive whiteboard that enables users to easily comment on and annotate information on a screen.

As a touch-sensitive device, IdeaHub offers ultra-low writing latency of just 35ms. At the same time, it is able to recognise the handwriting as a user scribbles notes on the screen, for example. There is two-way annotation, so multiple users can jump in to discuss freely and easily.

To enable all these features, Huawei has developed class-leading hardware that form the core engine of the IdeaHub. Here, an octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash memory keep things running smoothly.

Encryption capability is also embedded in the hardware, to ensure that valuable ideas and sensitive information are protected with robust security. This is an improvement over the commonly used software algorithms on many typical conference panels.

While IdeaHub promises to connect businesses more closely by redefining videoconferencing, it can also be deployed in a wide variety of other uses, in many different industries.

For example, in a financial institution, it can be used as a way to interact with walk-in customers. In schools, it can be set up as a smart education whiteboard that brings lessons to life, whether the students are in the classroom or connecting remotely.

Indeed, the convergence of various technologies has made it possible for a future where people are more connected than before, despite the social distancing measures in place in many countries today.

With IdeaHub, new styles of work can become a reality, bringing new ideas and breaking new ground in the process.