Meet Jason Vanden Heuvel our CTS-certified AV Systems Design Engineer who’s been working with us since 2010.
Q: What is your role within your practice area?
A: I am an AV Systems Design Engineer in the audio/visual department. My role is to design AV solutions for our customers that fit their needs and desired space.
Part of what I do is to educate the customer about industry trends and help them select a solution that fits their needs and has their best interest in mind for the future. I have a broad knowledge base but specialize in virtual meeting spaces. I focus on designing hardware solutions to bring a room into the virtual world utilizing software like Teams and Zoom.
Q: What is an exciting product you’ve used in a design recently?
A: A product I am excited about using is the Poly E70 camera. This camera uses dual lenses to follow talkers during online meetings. The camera will give an overall shot of the room when no one is talking and zoom in to the upper portion of a talker’s body in real time during the meeting.
This transition can happen from talker to talker without camera movement on-screen. The image is sent as “cuts” to the far end rather than seeing panning motion on-screen. This allows meeting equity for multiple people in a conference room during online meetings.
Q: What about your engineering process helps customers to achieve their best solutions?
A: I am very focused on the simplest solution to meet the room needs. I find that most users want the core functionality of the system without adding convoluted options that may never get used. Keeping the core functionality and omitting more complex designs keeps the room more economical and easier to use. The systems include the best of technology but from a user experience perspective are simple and inviting.
Q: What is one of your favorite projects you’ve engineered, and what did you like about it?
A: Many come to mind, but one of my favorites Lawrence University Youngchild, 121.
This is an Active Learning Classroom in a Lecture Hall layout, which has very unique and effective features.
Each pod has the ability to show PC or laptop to the local and/or main screens as well as individual pod control and microphone that plays to speakers over every other pod.
The instructor station has the same function plus a wireless lapel mic. The pod displays can be hidden in the table for efficiency. The whole system is capable of sharing to Zoom call and sessions can be recorded to the campus server, making this set up incredibly well equipped for modern day teaching that utilizes technology.
Q: How do you see your practice innovating and changing in the coming years?
A: Unified conferencing is constantly evolving. We see AI being used to bring participant equity to virtual meetings through camera and microphone usage. There is much potential for hardware innovation with higher camera resolutions and microphone beamforming technology.
Q: How did you come to work in this field?
A: I’ve been interested in electronics since I was a child, especially car audio. When I was old enough to get a job, I started working at Circuit City Roadshop (their car audio department), installing car audio, video and security. I gained a lot of knowledge about electronic circuits, cabling, best practices and working with others as a team to accomplish goals.
I held many positions at Circuit City, including installer, sales, assistant manager, and store manager, until they went out of business in 2008. At that point, I started my own company along with my cousin Nathan Van Heuvel, now CCCP’s AV Installation Manager, installing home theatre equipment. Later our company was working at Lambeau Field installing the club seat displays, and Ben Chernick noticed us and offered us a position at Camera Corner.
The rest is history!