the powerpoint control system

Intro: AVIT Vision designed and delivered seven Customer Experience Centres (CEC) to showcase BT products and services in real life scenarios of ‘in the home’, ‘on the move’ etc. These immersive spaces used a combination of set, graphics, props and AV to create the right environment and atmosphere.

The challenge: was to create a user interface using a large touch screen that combined both presentation and AV control. Furthermore, this interface had to be easily managed by the customers internal team so as not to incur on-going AV programming costs as the CEC demands meant that presentations and use cases changed on a regular basis including sometime for a one-off event.

The in-house team were experienced PowerPoint user so this was the obvious choice, allowed the them to create linear presentations, menu driven presentations in fact anything that PowerPoint would allow them to do.

The solution: using Crestron’s range of ‘e-Tools’ we were able to create a simple control protocol for the in-house team to control all of the AV and PC apps. in the CEC.

Using Crestron’s ‘e-ppt’ and the protocol we created, all that was required was for simple commands to be embedded into the ‘notes’ of the PowerPoint’ slides to control the lights, sound, video etc.  For example, DM05 would select lighting scene 5 and M1aaaaaa.mpg would select which video to play.

Using e-start allowed for the opening of applications on any of the six demonstration PC’s

A further challenge was that some presenters didn’t want to be tied to the touch screen location and wanted the freedom of a wireless mouse and media control (play/pause/back). The first part was easy as the mouse directly controlled the PowerPoint however when video’s were played the mouse could not control the video. We found a wireless mouse that had programmable buttons, we used these to launch a custom written app. called Serial Print which enabled us to send a play/pause/back message via the serial port to the Crestron.

Customer Benefit:

User managed interface

No on-going programming costs

19” touch screen at a fraction of a cost of a similar size Crestron panel

Control multiple PC apps and presentations

Flexible control, touch screen and wireless mouse

Remote support and diagnostics provided by Crestron’s x-panel