In-Room Media Access, or IRMA, is the distribution and management of audio-visual signals in collaborative spaces, such as classrooms, meeting rooms, lecture halls and offices. While many environments rely on AV signal integration, IRMA applications specifically address collaboration, or the sharing of content amongst multiple users located within the same space.
In-room collaboration is typical in smaller rooms where both planned and adhoc presentations occur. Examples include:
- Classrooms where an educator is leading a class;
- Lecture halls where a lecturer is working with an audience; and,
- Meeting and huddle rooms where a presenter is sharing content.
In all cases, single or multiple presenters can be involved, and an IRMA system must include the control and management of multiple users. Also in all cases, digital content is involved and the system must handle source devices, including laptops and tablets, and destination devices, including displays and projectors.
The typical IRMA system includes:
- An access point for the presenter to connect their portable device (typically a laptop or tablet);
- A signal management device that routes and processes the signal or signals (typically a matrix or presentation switcher);
- A control processor that relays the presenter's intent to the audio-visual electronics (typically a touch panel, remote control or automated controller);
- A display device (typically a flat panel or a projector); and,
- Cabling and accessory components, including but not limited to bulk cabling, connectors, interconnects, adapters, splitters and patch plates.
IRMA systems can also include a variety of ancillary devices, such as audio reinforcement and interactive whiteboards; the actual system components vary by application and it's important to note that IRMA is the grouping of all connected items in the room.
Often, IRMA systems also incorporate video conferencing and remote collaboration; however, IRMA is focused primarily on in-room collaboration (as opposed to external collaboration) and any remote communications are typically relegated to software or cloud-based platforms on the source device.
IRMA is a rich and growing category of technology thanks to robust spending by consumers looking for in-room collaboration solutions (over $100B per year).
TechLogix develops and provides both education and corporate focused IRMA solutions, and additional information is available online:
IRMA in Education: https://www.tlnetworx.com/collections/education
IRMA in Corporate: https://www.tlnetworx.com/collections/collaboration-solutions