Barrick Strikes Gold with Interactive Video Collaboration System Designed and Installed by Advanced

Gold mining company’s new video collaboration system includes two interactive Prysm Visual Workplace displays.

Barrick, a leading global mining company, conducts weekly meetings with forty of its senior executives and miners who are stationed all over the world. Since time is valuable, video collaboration meetings are run from the company’s Toronto headquarters with military-like precision. Recently, Barrick sought to fine tune its video conferencing system to help streamline the remote communication and content sharing process. That’s why they called on Advanced, North America’s leading AV integrator, to conceptualize, design and install a sophisticated new system built around two Prysm Visual Workplace displays and cutting-edge Cisco video conferencing.

“Barrick was looking to utilize top-of-the-line technology to increase productivity during its weekly meetings with remote mining sites,” Advanced Executive Vice President Mark McPherson said. “We knew that the Prysm Visual Workplace display would be the perfect solution for this application. This interactive display enables collaboration and sharing in real time with an interface that is extremely intuitive and easy-to-use. Once we decided to utilize Prysm’s technologies as the foundation of the company’s content sharing, we built a cutting-edge conference system around it that truly makes video conferencing and collaboration on content quick, easy and painless.”

Advanced’s team installed one interactive 34 ft wide by 5 ft high (76 tiles) Prysm display at the front of the room with a custom “skin” to match the room’s décor and a modified panel to meet the room’s unique floating floor, in addition to one 84” 4K Prysm LCD display at the side of the room for break-out sessions. The display’s custom skins serve an aesthetic purpose, while the customized frame beneath the display masks the entire system’s AV rack. “We provided a custom-built wraparound frame around the main display to make it appear as if the screen belongs in the wall,” explained Kevin Linton, Advanced’s Vice President of Engineering. “Plus, it houses all of the system’s equipment.”

Through Prysm’s visual collaboration cloud, Barrick’s team can create, share and collaborate from anywhere in the world. “Prysm’s integrated software and interactive hardware solution combines apps, content, video and the web into a powerful, all-in-one interface for immersive team collaboration and data visualization,” Linton commented. “We also deployed the ‘Prysm mobile’ app for the remotely stationed miners, which makes it extremely simple for users in remote locations to join in on the meeting without needing a professional grade video conferencing system. Now, they can join by way of any device.”

Advanced also replaced Barrick’s existing video conferencing system with an all new Cisco SX80, complete with dual cameras and speaker tracking functionality. A Crestron control processing and digital media system was installed with a Cisco Touch 10 control interface to program and automate certain events that simplify use for Barrick’s employees. For example, Advanced together with the Prysm design team, programmed an “event” that enables Barrick’s employees to automate the system and create content snap grids with one simple button press on a centrally located touchscreen.

The newly installed interactive video collaboration system also utilizes cutting-edge microphone technology with a Shure Microflex Advance ceiling microphone array, which includes two MX910 ceiling microphones that harness the ability to pick up any voice in the room and transmit it with sharp accuracy. “In a room of forty people, one person can stand up and speak, and the microphones will pick up the person’s voice perfectly from any angle,” Linton said. “It’s a rare technology that is extremely useful for large-scale video meetings.”

Additionally, the innovative microphone system includes wireless mute buttons, programmed through the Crestron control system, that enable Barrick’s senior executives to “mute” themselves so that they can discuss sensitive topics without having to broadcast their thoughts live to all of the meeting’s participants. LED lights installed in the corners of the ceiling tiles indicate whether or not a mute button is deployed; if the lights turn red, the microphone is muted, and if the lights turn green, they are live. “These are the most advanced ceiling microphones that we have ever worked with in this type of application,” Linton said. “And even though they are extremely sophisticated, they are very easy-to-use which is of the utmost importance for this executive group.”

According to McPherson, the entire system is configured to allow anyone to enter that room and present as a basic user. “Together with the Prysm implementation team, we have trained Barrick’s senior IT leaders and its employees to use the system with ease,” McPherson said. “Our goal is to get employees as comfortable with the technology as possible. But with a video collaboration system this intuitive and user-friendly, that certainly won’t be difficult to achieve!”

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