The global pandemic made everyone from corporate customers to integrators to manufacturers re-think how users interact with AV equipment, in order to keep people safe. Now we are finding that many of those efforts actually make AV control easier and should be continued and expanded as we transition back to the office. One specific capability is QR Code BYOD Control. This allows a user to scan a QR Code, either printed on paper or displayed on a touch panel, and control the AV system of a room from their personal device. There have been many different approaches to this capability, but only Atlona’s Velocity™ AV control system has simplicity, flexibility, and security baked into its QR code solution.
The Humble QR Code
With Velocity, QR code generation is done within the system itself. This is important because Velocity offers different options for the codes related to security, room link, and GUI. Many of our competitors require the use of third-party QR code generation software, then import the image file into the project. This severely limits the ability to change codes or offer advanced functionality as illustrated in the following sections.
QR Code Routing
With Velocity, users can specify which room the QR code will control. In applications that include scheduling, it is not unusual to have several touch panels associated with a particular room. Since both control and scheduling are managed in Velocity, the handoff between them is seamless. When QR codes presented on the scheduling panels are scanned by users, they are directed to the control system interface.
Velocity also allows the QR code to be associated with a specific graphical user interface. Rooms with 8” or 10” panels have plenty of space to present sophisticated controls. Most BYOD mobile devices have screens half that size or less. If desired, Velocity can scale the interface to the capabilities of the mobile device. But buttons and text can sometimes shrink to the point of being unusable. Creating a simplified GUI optimized for mobile devices usually provides a better user experience.
QR Code Security
Velocity supports three access levels allowing organizations to select the right balance of security and accessibility for controlling AV systems with BYOD devices.
- Unsecure Room Access – the least restrictive level allowing anyone on the network to control the AV system with their personal device after scanning the QR code.
- Secure Login – the most secure level requiring users to enter a valid username and password after scanning the QR code, to control the system with their personal device. A cookie is stored on the device for easier future access. Additional logins are only needed if cookies are cleared, or a new device is used.
- Unsecure Changing Room Access – allows anyone on the network to control the AV system with their personal device but changes the link at configurable time intervals to prevent accidental access and control after users have left the meeting.
BYOD Control Compatibility
From the beginning, Velocity was designed to support the broadest array of control interfaces, for no additional cost. This includes Atlona touch panels, mobile devices, tablets, computers, or basically anything that can access a standard web browser. The key is that our control pages are rendered in HTML, making them virtually universal for browser-based devices. It also allows integrators and users familiar with the language to easily create their own pages. Unfortunately, many of our competitors don’t feel the same way. It is not uncommon to pay additional licensing fees or be required to use proprietary apps to use devices other than their touch panels.
About the Author
Robert Bird is a Product Marketing Manager for Atlona. Over the past few decades, he has worked for several AV manufacturers in a variety of marketing, business development, sales, and support capacities. In his free time, he enjoys attempting YouTube DIY projects, trying not to be so bad at guitar, perfecting his pickleball third shot drop, and carving canyons on his sport bike.