Mersive Technologies’ has begun shipments of its new Gen3 Pod which includes version 4.0 of its Solstice software. Perfect timing for our AV News Awards planning sessions which engage a team of four in selecting, sourcing and customising and gifts and gadgets, from around Europe, for inclusion in the event’s ‘Goodie’ bag. The process is important, but not life-threatening and with sponsor and two suppliers based in the Netherlands we wanted to induct the meeting virtually, rather than travelling a few hundred miles to look at a keyring or whatever.
Whatever meeting solution we chose, it had to be capable of bringing content from my PC laptop, a Mac Book, an iPhone and emails received on a desktop PC with embedded URLs into the meeting. We had the Mersive kit submitted for review, and so we thought “Perfect”, use the Pod and Solstice to bring the content from disparate suppliers together, look at their offerings side-by-side and the choice should be straightforward.
The meeting experience
And so it proved to be – eventually. Totally our fault, when we set up the system in its entirety, we had an issue with quality of some of the images brought in via the Mac Book. It transpires that by trying to resolve the issue by adjusting the settings we had actually made the problem worse. By bouncing the issue back to Mersive, the problem was dealt with and we enjoyed a trouble-free meeting experience thereafter.
Which as good, because there are some features of the Pod and the software that are not only clever, but genuinely useful. Gen 3 of Solstice Pod introduces ShareSwitch, which together with an HDMI-input, offers simultaneous sharing and control of both wireless and wired content.
The Gen3 Pod also supports native 4K streaming, dual displays, and Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+). The new Pod leverages Solstice 4.0 software to increase connectivity, playback, and sharing performance allowing for an even more seamless user experience.
Solstice 4.0 also includes added end-user features such as Solstice Ink which allows users to collaboratively highlight and mark-up displayed content from anywhere in the room by simply pointing and drawing with a smartphone Personally, I found it quite difficult to point and admittedly chunky iPhone accurately, as I did with a product we previously reviewed called an AirMouse. but those who could do it found it useful. Solstice 4.0 comes pre-installed on the Gen3 Pod and can be downloaded to existing Pods with an active Solstice subscription.
List price for the Gen3 Pod including Solstice 4.0 is USD $1,199 for 4 users and $1,399 (€1250) for unlimited users. All of Solstice’s new features are supported on the new platform, including digital signage capabilities (neither of which we tested), in-room calendar integration, interactive control of content from any device.