A microphone looks the same whether it’s on or off…
A worrisome thing to users around a corporate conference table, who need to be absolutely sure their side comments aren’t heard by the other end of an audio- or videoconference.
And a user wanting to mute his/her mic for whatever reason–a side consultation, a cellphone call, a sneeze–has until now been out of luck.
Hushbutton – Over 10,000 Sold
Catch Technologies rides to the rescue with Hushbutton, a handsome lighted switch that fits around a table microphone, leaving no doubt as to the state of the mic.
Hushbutton is a translucent plastic assembly containing four microswitches and a multitude (16 each) of red and green LED’s. It can be programmed to do darn near anything, since it sends a simple message when clicked, and lights up red, green or orange in response to commands from a control system, so it can indicate just about anything, too.
Most audio-visual system integrators will stick with its primary purpose, providing user control of each individual microphone, impossible until now.
A common arrangement is for Hushbutton to light green when the mic is live during a conference and red when muted, with ‘white’ (actually unlit) the default condition when there is no conference.
Users can easily understand (for instance) that one click mutes their own mic and two clicks mute all mics. To escape the muted state, one click can unmute just that mic and two clicks all the mics.
Or vice versa, since the actual procedure will depend on how the control system is programmed, limited only by the imagination and skills of the system programmer, and the connections to the system — five clicks can summon sushi, if that’s the plan.
Though each Hushbutton is made to wrap around a microphone, Hushbutton itself is not an audio device. Rather, it’s a control/display device, sending messages to a control system, and lighting to show a color as commanded by the control system. It’s a lighted switch with a mission.
Therefore, Hushbutton will work with any standard cylindrical table microphone with a body .79″ (20mm) in diameter. This includes mics by Audio-Technica, beyerdynamic, Clock Audio, Crown and others.
What does the user see?
The translucent white plastic ring has three or four visual states: off, green, red, and orange.
Hushbutton’s control output has two states, normally off and momentary on. Pressing anywhere on the ring produces a satisfying tactile click caused by the operation of one or more of the four micro-switches; with properly-set gain structure the click is below the system noise-floor so it won’t get picked up by the microphone.
Hushbutton requires a 15/16″ hole, a bit larger than the 13/16″ hole normally required by table microphones, permitting passage of Hushbutton’s ribbon cable through the tabletop next to the mic.
Under the table, standard RJ-12 cable (furnished by the integrator) connects each Hushbutton to its custom interface board, one board per eight Hushbuttons. Each interface has a network connection and documented API to communicate with the control system of your choice. Free programming modules are available for AMX, Crestron, Extron and QSC with more on the way.
The Hushbutton interface board mounts to the underside of the table with a furnished piece of SnapTrack.
Not For Amateurs
Hushbutton is far from a stand-alone device. It requires the installation skills of an AV integrator and the software know-how of a skilled programmer. Ask your AV integrator about Hushbutton or contact us and we’ll help you locate an AV Professional in your area.