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Budget committee considers video conference tech

Xavier Smith • Updated Nov 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The Wilson County Budget Committee received information Wednesday about a potential addition to the county’s technological abilities with an award-winning product. 

The group previously discussed the possibility of equipping the Wilson County Courthouse’s conference room with a Mondopad, a touchscreen system for video conferencing. 

The Mondopad won the most innovative video conferencing product award at InfoComm 2016 by System Contractor News. The system features multi-touch high-definition display, built-in Windows PC, interactive whiteboard, multi-device accessibility and more. 

“We see the need from time to time to have a presentation system in here. We did the same thing at the Road Commission,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, who said the Wilson County Road Commission’s system was not a Mondopad and a more traditional setup. 

“The biggest thing is they can go on Google Earth. So, if [Commissioner Sue Vanatta] comes up here and has a road issue, they can pull up the exact place and go right to it,” he said. 

Commissioner Dan Walker led the push for the Mondopad system and highlighted the extra functions as a tool that could tie all of the county’s departments together. 

“It’s really an all-in-one turnkey solution that can be utilized to present to groups like this in a conference room or, at the same time, have folks dial in for a video conference where if I was sharing a PDF or a PowerPoint or Excel, they can view whatever I’m sharing,” said Matt Corich with InFocus, the creators of the Mondopad.

Corich highlighted some of the functions during his presentation, which included email sharing with password-protected content and real-time collaboration across different devices. 

 

 

Commissioner Wendell Marlowe emailed a picture to the Mondopad during the presentation, and Corich annotated and took notes on the picture, which was mirrored on an iPhone and iPad. 

Hutto said the Road Commission spent about $3,500 for its system, which the Mondopad starts out at about $7,400. Wilson County Finance Director Aaron Maynard said the system might be too much for the county’s needs. 

“I’m not technically smart, but outside of the whiteboard application, I’m just dumb enough to go on any laptop computer with an HDMI cable and hook up to a TV and do Skype and anything else under the sun. That’s speaking for myself and not trying to influence anybody,” said Maynard, who said the system could be overkill since the county’s business is generally within the county and not across multiple states.

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