• Academic Technology

Introducing Panopto Remote Control

Summary in Five Bullets

  • Video recording equipment is being installed in more and more classrooms and conference rooms
  • Unfortunately, the equipment often goes unused because it’s too difficult to operate
  • Panopto built Remote Control to address this issue
  • With Remote Control, your smartphone becomes a touch panel for controlling in-room AV gear
  • It enables any employee to easily record meetings and live stream high quality presentations using professional AV equipment

In the last five years, smartphones have become remote controls for more and more of our stuff. We can dim our lights, set our home security system, and unlock our doors. We can navigate the programming on our Apple TV, and adjust the temperature on our Nest thermostats. We can remotely start our cars, and remotely control the flight of our quadcopters.

Our phones are the remote controls for our “Internet of Things.” So, as a company who builds an internet-connected video platform, we asked the question, Why not also make phones the remote controls for our AV systems?

Panopto Remote ControlWhy not record your next meeting or presentation from the palm of your hand?

The Problem with Smart Classrooms and Conference Rooms

Walk into any corporate classroom, and chances are you’ll see a digital podium at the front and some kind of video camera in the back. Meeting rooms are increasingly being outfitted with AV gear, too. Often it’s a video conferencing setup with a small camera, a screen, and some kind of mic that picks up audio from around the room. Sometimes it’s a professional AV setup with wall-mounted cameras that swivel and zoom. Other times it’s a roundtable camera sitting on the meeting room table.

Classrooms and Conference RoomsCorporate classrooms and meeting rooms are increasingly outfitted with AV equipment that goes unused due to its complexity.

The question is, how often do you actually use the gear to record your meetings or webcast your presentations? Unless you’re on the AV team or in the IT organization, the answer is probably not often. Most in-room audio-video equipment is unfortunately only used for formal events like training sessions and executive broadcasts. Why? Because it’s too hard to use without help from the AV team.

You Shouldn’t Need to Bother the AV Team – Introducing Panopto Remote Control

In-room AV gear should be accessible to any employee, and doesn’t have to be overly complex if it’s been properly configured and fronted by a simple user experience. That was our assertion when we set out to build a new Panopto capability called Remote Control. We announced it last week as part of Panopto 5.0, and we believe that it has the potential to change the way businesses record and live stream video.

Remote Control - Panopto Video PlatformTurn your smartphone into a touch panel for your in-room AV equipment

Remote Control turns your smartphone into a touch panel that can preview and control AV gear in classrooms and conference rooms. It brings professional-quality video recording and live webcasting within reach for any employee in organizations that use Panopto.

Imagine you walk into a conference room for a brainstorming meeting. You decide to record it to make sure that all of the ideas are captured for future reference. With Remote Control, you simply launch the Panopto Mobile app on your phone, select your current meeting room, and tap the red Record button. When your meeting wraps up, tap the Stop button. In minutes, you and other meeting attendees will have access to the video on demand from a secure, centralized video portal.

What’s more is that you’ll be able to search inside the recording for any word that was spoken during the meeting. Using Panopto Smart Search, you’ll be able to find the precise moment when the word was mentioned, and fast forward to that point in the video. So with just a few taps on your phone, you will have captured an ad hoc, yet high quality, video that can be watched on any device and searched as easily as your email or documents.

Brainstorming SessionRecord every idea and insight from your next brainstorming meeting.

You Don’t Even Know What You’ve Been Missing

A brainstorming session is just one example of the types of meetings and presentations you’ll want to record with Remote Control. When you begin to regularly record your meetings, you’ll realize just how much more efficient it is than having an appointed scribe take notes and send a recap email after the meeting. You’ll also realize just how much you’ve been missing by not capturing and sharing all of the details and important discussion points from your meetings.

With video, your entire discussion, all of your decisions, and all of your action items are captured verbatim. They provide a historical record that can be used at future meetings to verify decisions and to remind people of prior insights and actions.

Remote Control also makes it easy to share presentations and other information with people across your organization. For example, if you’re holding a brown bag session for employees in your Seattle office, why not record it and make it available on demand for co-workers in Chicago, London, and Shanghai?

Panopto Remote Control in HandRecord your next brown bag presentation with a few taps on your smartphone

In addition to brainstorming and brown bag sessions, here are some other examples of meetings and presentations you can record or live stream using Panopto Remote Control:

  • Product design reviews – Capture all of the feedback and decisions made about your product’s UX and architecture for members of the team to reference throughout the product development cycle.
  • Recurring status meetings – For anyone who misses a regularly-scheduled status meeting, the recordings allows them to catch up on what they missed, and what other team members are working on.
  • Webinars for your salesforce – Any time there’s an update from headquarters, such as a new product release, record it for those who can’t attend, and so that anyone in the sales force can refer back to key points that were discussed.
  • Town hall events– When executives provide monthly or quarterly updates, there are always important details about recent milestones and company strategy that can be webcast live and simultaneously recorded for on-demand playback.
  • Conference calls – Never take another note during your Skype or WebEx conference calls with partners and customers. By capturing the calls, you get a word-for-word record of everything discussed. And with the Panopto app for Salesforce, you can attach the recording to account records in Salesforce for future reference.
  • Event and PR planning meetings – Planning for tradeshows, conferences, and press events always involves a long list of detailed action items. Capture them using video to ensure nothing is overlooked.
  • Problem-solving meetings – When your group gets together to solve complex problems, you’ll want to remember all of the important points you discuss. These points can also provide helpful context for other people in your organization who didn’t attend the meeting.
  • New employee training – One of the best ways to ensure that new employees retain the flood of information they receive in their first few days is to simply record it. As they ramp up in their new role, they’ll be able to refer back to key points about your products and services, your company processes, company culture, and more.
  • Strategy and budget planning– Annual strategies and budgets often go through multiple iterations. By capturing the planning meetings, you’ll have a record of key decisions as well as their rationale.


The Importance of a Centralized Video Portal

What’s critical with all of these recordings is that they reside in a centralized video portal where authorized users can easily find them and play them back. Without this, your videos end up scattered across employee hard drives, file shares, and SharePoint sites, where they’re undiscoverable and provide little value to the organization.

Panopto automatically handles this for you. Every time you capture a recording using Remote Control, Panopto will take the following steps:

  1. Upload the recording to your secure Panopto video portal
  2. Synchronize all of the audio and video feeds that were recorded (Panopto supports multi-camera video recording as well as screen recording)
  3. Store an archival copy of the video in case you make edits and ever need to roll back to the original version
  4. Generate a table of contents if you’ve recorded a presentation in PowerPoint or Keynote
  5. Index every word that was spoken and shown on screen so that they can be searched
  6. Convert the video into formats that can be played back optimally on any desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone
  7. Send you an email alert when the video is ready to play

Panopto Remote ControlForget about managing video files. Panopto automatically uploads your recording to a secure portal where it’s converted for playback on any device.

As you begin recording more and more meetings and presentations, you’ll build a searchable library of your company’s most valuable asset—the institutional knowledge of your people.

What Remote Control Means for the AV Team

Part of what makes Remote Control so powerful is that it brings professional AV recording equipment within reach for any authorized employee. To do that, we’ve implemented new permissions that the AV team and Panopto administrators can configure for the recording equipment within each room.

From within the Panopto video portal, admins can now grant employees limited access to in-room AV equipment. This limited access enables the employees to start and stop recordings and webcasts from their smartphone, and to schedule recordings and webcasts in advance.

It doesn’t, however, allow the employees to change the configuration of the recording equipment. For example, employees can’t re-configure the list of video sources used for a recording, or the quality of the video being captured.

In addition, non-administrators have privacy limitations that prevent them from seeing recordings created by other people, and from seeing the details of recordings scheduled in the future.

For both administrators and employees, Remote Control represents a fundamental shift in how companies capture and stream video using the equipment in corporate classrooms and conference rooms. For employees, Remote Control creates new opportunities to record important meetings and events, and share them with people across the company in ways never before possible. For administrators, Remote Control expands the video recording workflows available within the organization, and helps AV teams scale their resources by putting more control in the hands of end users.

How to Get Remote Control

Remote Control is included as part of the Panopto Mobile apps for iOS and Android. We’ll be updating these apps in the next few weeks with the Remote Control capability. In the meantime, if you’d like more information on Remote Control, or would like to see a demo of how it works, schedule time with us today.