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Crestron Electronics, Inc.

Crestron offers the only complete end-to-end solution with a complete line of hardware and software. Crestron not only connects and controls devices; we integrate and automate all the building systems to provide a connected experience. We deliver integrated solutions for audio, video, IP, lighting and climate control making wiring and installations easier and promoting system integrity.
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Introducing Crestron Flex Pods: A Truly Versatile Audio Solution for the Hybrid Workplace
Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Introducing Crestron Flex Pods: A Truly Versatile Audio Solution for the Hybrid Workplace

Best-in-class mics and speakers in one device — with wireless connectivity

Dec. 6, 2023 - As we noted when the new Crestron Flex Pods were first introduced at the Modern Work Summit earlier this year, Crestron has been developing new lines of products specifically designed to address the needs of the evolving hybrid workplace. Yes, our existing product lines are constantly being upgraded and refined, but as modern work changes, we’re focused on offering entirely new solutions to meet those challenges.

One huge need that’s emerged as hybrid work became the norm: Every space across an enterprise now needs to support hybrid meetings — and those spaces must often perform multiple duties. The demand for true flexibility in these spaces has never been greater. Our conversations with customers — both present and potential — revealed a need for precisely this type of solution.

Real-World Needs for Flexible Audio

We’ve spoken with dozens of customers with workspaces that demand constant changes in seating and furniture arrangements. It’s a challenge that punctuates the need for flexible, wireless connectivity in nearly every space in their buildings as hybrid work becomes the norm. With Crestron Flex Pods, audio presentations are endlessly adaptable — our friends at Comcast were incredibly excited at this prospect.

We’ve also heard from many customers who hated the complexity of installing microphones and speakers in ceilings, so the need for simple-to-deploy solutions became a must. (Feedback from a number of our largest customers told us this was priority one). Another manner of integrating audio solutions into conference rooms is running cables under floors or installing unwieldy cable management systems in tables. Wireless solutions eliminate the need for that expensive infrastructure.

Great Two-Way Audio is an Absolute Must

There’s been a great deal of focus on video in this regard — but quality audio is even more important. After all, a collaborator can still communicate via sound alone should video be unavailable. And, as rooms are reconfigured, the ability for everyone in a room to hear and be heard is just as important as it is for virtual workers. There’s never been a greater need to bring audio to the people in the hybrid workplace.

Enter the Crestron Flex Pods audio solution: flexible, scalable, and simple to set up and manage.

The Crestron Flex Pod

The device itself is fairly unassuming — not much bigger than a coffee cup — but this cube, with its best-in-class microphone and speaker array combo, punches far above its diminutive size. Each unit boasts 360° microphone coverage over a radius of seven feet, with high-quality echo cancellation, automatic gain compensation and noise reduction, and a crystal-clear speaker that delivers consistent audio levels in nearly every situation. Simple, intuitive controls for each pod are at your fingertips, allowing any nearby user to instantly mute the device or control its volume. LED indicators give you all the info you’ll need regarding volume and transmitting status.

A Unique "Hub and Spoke" Solution That Can Meet Any Need

There are many "front of room" solutions that can handle a wide variety of spaces (including large ones — like the soon-to-ship Crestron Videobar 70). But for a room that sees multiple seating configurations (for example: moving from a U-shape table setup to multiple rows of seating for a training presentation), Crestron Flex Pods can adapt in an instant. Each pod connects wirelessly to a central Crestron Flex Pod Hub, and each hub can accommodate up to four pods. Need to expand to an even larger space? Simply add another hub to the mix. Since the pods connect to the hubs wirelessly, there’s no need for any cabling beyond a power supply, and the hubs can run via PoE, too.

Crestron Flex Pods: Features At A Glance

  • 360° microphone coverage over a radius of seven feet
  • High-quality echo cancellation
  • Automatic gain compensation and noise reduction
  • Powerful, built-in speaker
  • Simple, intuitive controls for each pod at your fingertips
  • LED status and volume indicators on each pod
  • Instant, out-of-the-box sync and setup
  • Integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Teams® Rooms software, Zoom Rooms® videoconferencing, or AirMedia® technology
  • Wireless connection to each pod via DECT
  • Easy management and monitoring via the Crestron XiO Cloud® platform

A Quick and Secure Connection

The hub that drives the individual pods connects via USB to your Microsoft Teams® Rooms software, Zoom Rooms® videoconferencing, or AirMedia® technology. Setup is literally a "plug and play" process right out of the box — connect the hub, turn on the pods, and everything syncs automatically with no ponderous configuration. (While there are status and additional options that can be monitored in a simple web interface, those aren’t a requirement for setup.) Moreover, audio signals are delivered via DECT, which provides multiple layers of security and doesn’t interfere with Wi-Fi® or Bluetooth® signals. All of this means it’s also perfect for BYOD applications. And firmware updates, monitoring, and management can be accomplished using the Crestron XiO Cloud® platform.

The Crestron Commitment to Creating the Best Hybrid Workplace

This solution is one of many we’re introducing in 2023, but they all have something in common: It’s part of our ongoing commitment to make modern work as flexible and frictionless as possible. As the needs of your business change, as hybrid work continues to evolve, we’re striving to meet those developments with products that are simple to deploy and even easier to use. We’re keeping your needs top of mind: Is it scalable? Is it flexible? Is it secure, intuitive, and reliable? And can we find a solution that doesn’t require getting into the walls of our building and running more and more cable? Crestron Flex Pods are an elegant, efficient solution for your most challenging spaces.

The Crestron Flex Pods audio system is one part of that commitment: As we mentioned before, it’s all about bringing the technology to you.