CompView's Role in Group Communications Goes Back to Inception of Pro AV Industry

CompView is a major presence in the rapidly emerging audio visual and group communications marketplace. The company is a technology integrator focused on delivering solutions that enhance the way people collaborate, whether in the board room, the classroom, or the operating room.

Thanks to software advances and devices like digital white boards and display walls, today's organizations have seen a real shift in the way groups communicate. CompView designs and assembles audio and video components into high-performance systems that "make the user experience much more interactive," according to Tom Yerkes, General Manager of the California region. "We also provide training and support to make sure the experience is comfortable and productive."

The Pleasanton office at 5627 Stoneridge Drive is one of eight locations for the company, which has been associated with the electronic group communications industry essentially since its inception. CompView got its start in 1987 as the first dealer for InFocus, a pioneer in digital projection. Over the past 25 years, it has branched out from its original headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., setting up offices across the western United States.

One of its current local projects, designed and deployed in partnership with another IT company, is a lecture capture system for a major Bay Area university. "We're responsible for the user experience," notes Yerkes. What is really exciting about the system is the way content delivery takes advantage of new media. Lectures can be played back on a PC, a smart phone, or a tablet device. This form of distance learning has great benefits both for the school, which can extend its reach without increasing faculty, and students, who can watch a class live from a tablet in their dorm room.

Perhaps the marquee example of CompView's capabilities is Time Warner's new Medialab, unveiled earlier this year in New York City. The lab is divided into different kinds of spaces-a simulated living room, a 47-seat 3-D theater, for example - that provide a backdrop for testing and analyzing user reactions to a wide variety of digital products and content, from new video games to television pilots and commercials. In addition to devices like iPads and Xbox gaming consoles, CompView integrated a variety of biometric equipment that measures user responses such as heart rate, skin temperature, and facial movements - critical data for researchers looking to assess viewer engagement.

CompView's 7,200-square-foot Hacienda branch includes a warehouse where customer systems are built and tested as well as a demo facility that doubles as a conference room - "We use the equipment we sell," Yerkes remarks. For convenience, the sprinter van, a high-end van that accommodates a full-size electronic white board and other gear, travels to customer sites for mobile demonstrations.

With its 16-person staff expected to increase to 20 by the middle of 2013, business has been good. "We've managed to grow in a down economy," Yerkes reports. "This is not to say it hasn't been a challenge, but we do what say we're going to do and keep the customer as our highest priority."

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