Geeks Ponder Strange Technology in Trump’s Syria War Room

Crestron dealers and other integrators geek out over the strange video teleconferencing technology in Trump’s ad hoc Syria war room at Mar-a-Lago.

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While the rest of the world was trying to name all the players in Trump's ad hoc Syria war room at Mar-a-Lago, the geeks among us focused on the strange video-teleconferencing (VTC) technology in the space.

A regional sales manager for the New York-area rep firm Sapphire Marketing posted on Linkedin: “Technology friends: please help me figure out the technology on the table in this picture?” 

A Crestron dealer with six industry certifications in his Linkedin handle replied: “Boy are we geeks thats the 1st thing I was wondering when I saw this picture.”

Here are some of the other responses:

Based on what we see in the pic we can definitely say video conferencing related. Id guess its an encryption based mic array, touch to speak, possibly with some additional functions such as auto camera switching based on active mic. Maybe it has some other touch capabilities like mouse/pointer movement. Or its colecovision.

Since there appears to be a headphone jack, could they be some sort of secure language translation device that are endpoints of the vtc system?

Based on what we see in the pic we can definitely say video conferencing related. Id guess its an encryption based mic array, touch to speak, possibly with some additional functions such as auto camera switching based on active mic. Maybe it has some other touch capabilities like mouse/pointer movement. Or its colecovision.

My guess, individual touch-pads for the war-room monitor to pan in/out, left/right…

The winning answer very likely came from collaboration specialist Dan Klanderman:

I believe the video endpoint is a [Tempest] version of the EX90, produced by CIS Secure in the Dulles area of Virginia. Not sure about the white boxes. I'm thinking microphones/push to talk device designed to meet strict security requirements.

War room communications technology appears to be something like the Tempest-modified Cisco EX90 videoconferencing system from CIS Secure.

 

Tempest is a brand of CIS Secure, which modifies Cisco products for specific needs. According to the company:

Key features include:

  • Widescreen 16:9
  • CD Quality Stereo
  • Acoustic Echo Cancelling
  • Automatic Noise Reduction
  • Intelligent Video Management

The TEMPEST modified version of the commercially available HP TelePresence System EX Series transforms the workplace by combining work, collaboration, and communications — all on the desktop with just the touch of a finger.  Colleagues can instantly work together whether they are separated by a hallway, street, or several time zones.  As part of the EX Series, the Cisco TelePresence System EX90 (EX90) and Cisco TelePresence System EX60 (EX60) support vivid, lifelike 1080p30 video, natural collaboration, and the simplicity of a touch screen interface for a complete solution that helps ensure conversations are more productive.

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson

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