What and why and how and……
I hear that a lot from folks -What is Intel Unite? Why should I want to use it? How does it work? All three valid questions.
What is Intel Unite? While the good folks at Intel may have a little different idea than I do, I see it as a software defined system combining document sharing, visual collaboration, whiteboarding, and meeting space controls into one place. It runs on certain vPro™ enabled computers and is one of the driving reasons behind our choice of a computing platform in our Clearwater System – the NUC5i5MYHE (Many other manufacturers are copying that move!).
Why use Unite? Hey- first off it is free- yep nada, zip, zero. It also will cut down your overall pain in starting meetings by enabling a wireless connection from many platforms including PC’s, tablets, Mac OS, and even Chrome OS devices.
It is all done securely and without any dongles or adaptors.
Users can interact with the content in real-time from any location on the corporate network.
Users can view up to four presentations at a time
Users can schedule and even launch Skype for Business or Zoom meetings in the Visual Collaboration Space using available plugins.
The Clearwater System camera controls and CompassX camera control can be accessed through free plugins.
How does it work? Magic elves.
Not really, basically what happens is that on certain devices with vPro™, TPM™, and at least 5th generation processors (NUC’s work great) the software provides either a completely locked down interface with no windows desktop, for those environments that have few other uses for the room computer, to one where the desktop is fully accessible with Unite operating in the background.
The Unite application can either be run Enterprise wide with a lot of control and additional features or in Standalone mode which is recommended for organization with 25 users or less and 5 Visual Collaboration Spaces or less.
I want to share some setup stuff on the Standalone version and leave the Enterprise setup for a much longer article!
So, a couple of things first- use an approved PC (The Clearwater, of course!) with Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 and a wired LAN as it is preferable for the higher frame rate available.
Next locate the following files (on the desktop on the Clearwater)
Hub Installer: Intel Unite Hub.mui.msi
Client Installer: Intel Unite Client.mui.msi
Run the Hub installer first and then we will do the Client
When you get to the page asking you to choose how to install, choose Standalone
Let it do its thing and after it completes, let run and we will get to the next step- choosing a Shared Key.
Think of this shared key as the space identifier- you will need to have this key plus the meeting PIN which is posted in the screen itself to participate in the meeting. Only Intel Unite Hubs and Clients that use the same shared key will be able to participate in a collaboration session. The shared key is at least 8 characters, and you can have any combination of characters (alphanumeric, numeric, symbols, etc.).
Right clicking on the Unite icon in the tool bar will pop up a choice to open or close- choose open and a new window opens where you can enter that shared key you came up with. Do that then click the exit application button and you are finished with the hub setup- for now anyway.
Now run that client installer and make sure to choose standalone, run through the steps and now the client software is ready to serve up from the Hub (Clearwater 😉)
So now that it is installed what do you do with it? How do guests present? What about plugins?
I will post another article going through these subjects and more over the next few weeks