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Control Rooms: How to Integrate the Classic ‘Control Room’ Into Today’s World

military operator working at command station

Some examples of places that have control rooms include:
  • Military centers
  • Public utilities operations
  • Media companies
  • Financial institutions like banks
  • Police and fire departments

Over the past two decades, control rooms have changed exponentially, with the addition of large video format walls to display information. They’ve also become more affordable and accessible.

With control room furniture and technology becoming more affordable and accessible, more and more companies are getting in on the benefits of having a control room. But are they reaping all of the possible benefits? There are some things control rooms can do to become more efficient, but first we must look at what’s holding them back.

What’s limiting control room furniture technology at the moment

First, let’s look at how control rooms display information. Most control rooms display information on large screens that receives information from sources like:

  • Computer signals
  • Broadcast and security video
  • Network elements

What’s great about this is that everyone in the room is able to see the same picture and input. The Common Operating Picture, or COP, is the centralized focus of any control room, where users monitor a system that typically features real-time video, graphics, and feeds of information.

Sit stand adjustable height control room console 4

What’s limiting about control room technology is that everyone must be physically present in the same control room to see it.

Since more and more companies are saving money by hiring remote workers, not every person on a project will be able to access this information since they are not physically present. This has led to more ineffective communication and system management and a breakdown in overall performance.

Why AV networks don’t work

So there’s a need to be able to stream or send content to remote devices. What do you do? Some companies have designed AV networks that take any input signal and replicate it to one more more outputs. The AV cables connect the spaces together and make it so everyone can see the same display. Sounds good, right? But here’s what AV networks get wrong.

control room AV network vs IP network diagram

The AV networks solution has a few issues:

  1. These customized system designs are unable to be changed by the end user
  2. If you do want to make changes, it’s going to cost you money and time
  3. In order to operate a control system requires training
  4. AV networks media like RBG and DVI cabling cost a lot of money, take up a lot of space, and offer restricted transmission—meaning even more money if you want to be able to reach more remote distances

So what does this mean? AV networks are limited by technology and aren’t able to reach users’ optimal potential. Users shouldn’t have to live with a system to work around its needs; instead this technology should be something that works around their needs. After all, technology is supposed to work for us, not vice versa.

Network Distribution Collaboration system

What we’re looking for in an optimized control room is:

  • A wide range of accessibility when it comes to information technology advancements
  • Enabling these advancements to work for remote and mobile devices
  • Being able to assimilate remote workers into the control room, from any distance

As technology accelerates, workers in the industry will have more progressive expectations. One of the biggest assumptions is that they should be able to access information from any location or device. This should be without having to download expensive software or spend extra money in order to have these benefits. Thus, the need for a network distribution collaboration platform.

An ideal open collaboration platform would:

  • Utilize up-to-the-minute technology to support collaboration
  • Work across a variety of environments, from the office to a mobile device

No matter where someone who needs important information is, they should be able to access it. When it comes to control room spaces, there needs to be flexibility to remove boundaries of physical limitation and allow collaboration from anywhere in the world. In order to tackle the world’s most critical security operations, everyone needs to be on board the ship when it comes to teamwork and collaboration.

inracks-noc-furniture-control-room-solutions-logo-2017-4

Inracks is always available to assist with your control room furniture and design needs. Contact us today at 800-346-7521 or via our contact form

 

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