Apple TV Goes From the Living Room To The Boardroom

Apple TV Goes From the Living Room To The Boardroom

The Apple TV isn’t positioned as a business or enterprise product, but its small size, easy setup, and AirPlay make it a very solid presentation tool – and the low cost doesn’t hurt, either.

While the Apple TV has the obvious advantage of being wireless and integrated with other Apple products, specific business advantages beyond its small form factor and the ubiquity of HDTVs and other HDMI-enabled display devices like projectors aren’t always immediately obvious (though those are pretty big advantages in their own right) – but at least one company is designing its business solutions around Apple’s so-called hobby device.

Business Intelligence developer MicroStrategy has taken the Apple TV/iOS combination to a new level by building its mobile apps around AirPlay and the Apple TV.

Rather than simply building in support for AirPlay output, the company has actually built workflows around AirPlay and the Apple TV that can be used to make meetings and presentations more effective and more interactive. That focus on interaction allows users of the app to manipulate business intelligence data in realtime without dropping out of the app – as would be needed if the same data were simply put into a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation.

The approach really highlights the possibilities of the Apple TV as a business presentation and even a collaboration tool – it may even be one of the most forward-looking examples of the consumerization of IT trend.

The video below highlights both the Apple TV in a business setting (and really drives home the potential of Apple’s “hobby” in business) as well as how MicroStrategy’s mobile approach incorporates the Apple TV and AirPlay.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfOLQPyrHM0

It will be interesting to see if developers follow MicroStrategy’s lead and incorporate AirPlay as a feature or workflow component in business-oriented app/suites. Even if the Apple TV isn’t widely embraced by business app developers, AirPlay mirroring in recent iOS devices (the new iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone 4S) and Apple’s decision to build AirPlay mirroring in Mountain Lion mean that much of the MicroStrategy approach can easily be adapted to a range of workplace applications and processes.

  • Juicy_Jones

    I don’t think Apple TV gets enough credit for its effect on business. There are Professors at the college that I attend who have Apple TV’s hooked up to projectors in the lecture halls and walk around the class with their iPad in hand while presenting keynotes.  You can also use iAnnotate to circle diagrams, notes, or draw diagrams right over a PDF.  Apple TV is not just for the living room.

  • Michael Powers

    Yes, this is happening.  We just unboxed a Apple TV for our conference room last week (before the new one came out – doh).  And we thought we were ahead-of-the-curve, edgy, and cool.  AirPlay mirroring for the win.

  • Harry-

    means you can stream you laoptop too using the apple tv with ur HDTV?

  • Brandon Dillon

     Well for use in business, I don’t think the new one has anything significant to offer over the old.

  • Brandon Dillon

     As far as Macs, yes. There’s apps for Snow Leopard and Lion that allow you to do this (some free some paid). With the upcoming OS Mountain Lion, it will be an integrated feature.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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