Share and Collaborate Without the Headache, with Solstice

We spoke to the founder and CTO of Mersive, Christopher Jaynes, about Solstice and their hope to end content sharing and collaboration woes

Share and Collaborate Without the Headache, with Solstice

We have all been there. You get into a meeting room and then have to go through the inevitable rigmarole of trying to join your mobile device to the screen so you can display content for your colleagues. The right adapters aren’t available, the wireless presenter doesn’t work and then when you finally get it sorted your colleague enters the room and the process begins again.

This is a problem that users face around the world. Even in the best planned and managed businesses, allowing external users to present still raises a problem when they don’t have a compatible device. This is only sharing too! How complicated would it be if you wanted to collaborate on something? Well with one product maybe not as complicated as you might think.

Solstice, from Mersive removes these issues. Solstice combines innovative software and a hardware device to reduce the eternal meeting and collaboration headache and offer various enhancements over and above its core offering. UC Today spoke to Christopher Jaynes who is the founder and CTO of Mersive to find out more about their history and how their solutions can transform the local and remote meeting experience.

Chris Jaynes, Mersive Founder and CTO

Chris Jaynes, Mersive Founder and CTO

“This is one of the massive technology inversions where people are going into the office and having to go back in time from the consumer world. Where they can watch shows from their phone on their TV but can’t freely share content from all the devices they bring to a meeting. If you believe that content is the most critical part of collaboration, then Solstice provides an ability to share and show that content in a simple and effective way.”

Starting in display technology Mersive began with computer vision within the projection world but they quickly realised the applications they had uncovered were only of niche interest in the enterprise AV market. Their initial products, although a great success and still utilised by Formula 1 Teams, Disney and in the White House, were not necessarily feasible for the smaller end meeting and conference experience.

After receiving backing from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other forward-thinking partners, Mersive launched Solstice. There was a huge amount of work required to enable meetings without cables or dongles and that is where the team began their development process.

“If you can just say what’s the perfect meeting space? If we can support that through software that’s where things get really exciting and that’s how we have been forming our roadmap.”

Solstice enables collaboration by allowing unlimited users to share unlimited content from their connected devices. The Solstice App, available across multiple platforms, allows any user to wirelessly and securely connect to the Solstice Pod and share content onto any display. The application at its core utilises a simple user interface to enable users to easily navigate the functions available. The Solstice Pod connects to a display and then users can interface with that to share and collaborate on the chosen content sent from the app through to the device. Even high definition audio and video streams with high fidelity and reliability. Customers can simply and securely deploy Solstice across multiple locations whilst centrally managing them from single console. The Solstice Pod has dual-network functionality allowing secure collaboration over multiple networks, such as corporate and guest. This enables external users to seamlessly collaborate without the usual security concerns.

We have played with Solstice first hand and the capabilities are huge, and it really has the potential to transform meeting spaces globally. Mersive have had great success with Solstice around the world, in enterprise, education and public sector markets. Offering enterprise grade security, room scheduling and booking capabilities as well as a host of other features, the solution provides a holistic option for companies looking to enable effective collaboration.

Mersive Video Wall

The 76sqm video wall on the Vijay Patel building uses Solstice to share videos and info

In 2018 Mersive announced a large installation with De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester. The university has deployed Solstice Pods in over 50 rooms and workspaces as part of its continued investment in providing a modern and inspiring environment for its staff and students. Installing this technology throughout the University allows users to wirelessly share content on collaborative displays, enabling both teachers and students in a single room to easily share information from any device. De Montfort University has one of the largest populations of disabled students in the UK, and Solstice Pods have helped to support these students in achieving their full potential. Leanne Herbert, DMU’s Disability Officer is enthused about how Solstice has been able to enhance the education provision for the students.

“It has been fantastic for meetings and I’m looking forward to using this with the students to easily demonstrate the set up for the “Brain in Hand” app, an assistive personalised technology that we offer our 200 Autistic students. The app requires the demonstration of a website alongside the mobile app, and with Mersive technology in place, I can switch between both really easily and well.”

Mersive have ambitious future plans for Solstice and its development. Unified communications applications are clear for all to see. Chris has a vision for the development of Solstice to further enhance remote collaboration and communication experiences.

“One third of meetings include a remote participant. I want to make Solstice embrace the remote worker use case. Does that mean we are going to compete with Zoom, Webex or Skype for Business? Certainly not. I want to build a user experience that allows you to use any of those platforms seamlessly with people in the room and then share that out to the remote worker with their infrastructure.”

“You will see something pretty exciting from us that allows users to seamlessly interact with each other when they are together and then leverage their UC platform of choice to cast that experience out to others outside.”

It will certainly be exciting to see how Solstice’s development continues and if it does indeed transform the capability of unified communication platforms globally.

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