Touching Office 365 with the Surface Hub

Using touch with Office 365 is nothing new – we could do that on our Surface (and other touchscreen) devices for quite some time.

But nothing compares to doing that on a life-size screen like on the Surface Hub. Yesterday I wrote about my first experiences with the Surface Hub now that it had been installed in our office, so it was time to start coming up with practical applications in the Office 365 world.

Microsoft has been working hard over the years to make the entire Office suite touch-enabled to suit all form factors of devices, and all modalities of working. While I’ve enjoyed this on a Surface Pro 1 through to my current Pro 3, as well as Windows 10 Mobile, Android tablet and iPad – I wanted to see what this would be like on the Surface Hub.

The below Sway presentation shows our experiment – starting from a 1:1 session to a group call, and going through a number of different applications.

We chose to focus on the applications that were most visually appealing:

  • Delve & Delve Analytics
  • SharePoint
  • Sway
  • Planner
  • Power BI (not shown)

Turn any room into a conference room – part 3

In my previous two posts I shared the hardware that I use for audio as well as what I use for video. So what’s left?

Letting other people see your screen, or work together on a whiteboard.

Sure you can run a long HDMI cable but it makes it a bit messy and dangerous. Devices like the Surface Pro 3 have Miracast built into them (aka WiDi) which allows you to connect your device to an external screen. At the Paradyne office we use a Netgear Push2TV device which works fairly well. This supports up to 1080p and is very easy to set up and get going, and retails for around $67 RRP.

What this allows you to do is also use your tablet and corresponding screen as a portable whiteboard. Instead of having a whiteboard and markers – simply use the Surface Pro 3 and the supplied stylus (or equivalent tablet device). Sure it’s not Surface Hub, but it’s a lot cheaper!

I use this setup on video calls using Skype for Business where we share the whiteboard in the meeting, instead of having an expensive digital device or having to point the camera at it.

Combined with the audio & video hardware devices I wrote about previously – for very little money you’ve now turned virtually any room into a conference room.

 

(NOTE: I am aware that Microsoft has a Wireless Display Adapter however it wasn’t available when I first wanted to use Miracast with my Surface Pro 3 so I haven’t had the opportunity to test it and am still happy with the Netgear Push2TV.)