Clearcom’s Agent IC is an app that transforms your smartphone, tablet or wearable device, such as the Apple Watch, into an intercom system with connectivity over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, and LTE networks. Broadcasters everywhere have been faced with the majority of their workforce working from home, yet still having to broadcast to the millions of viewers eagerly awaiting news and programming to keep them entertained and up-to-date in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Agent IC provides a solution that extends intercom access to remote members of the production team to allow for clear and reliable communications.
Launched in 2015, Agent IC was previously utilized as a comms system that linked in-house production staff to those on location and out in the field. Although not specifically designed for the scenario at hand, the app has proven to be highly effective for use in this situation where a production team is spread out and working from home. Broadcast stations of varying sizes throughout the world, including Verizon Media, Philadelphia’s WFMZ/WDPN-TV and Germany’s Home Shopping Europe (HSE24), are now looking to Agent-IC to meet their production needs from home, and in the last two weeks alone, more than 30 customers have added the app to their networks.
Local and remote LQ devices—Clearcom’s line of audio-over-IP interface products— can access up to 48 Agent-IC users, where LQ acts as a server for the app. With a Clear-Com’s Eclipse mainframe in the studio, many more Agent-IC users can access the production intercom remotely—the number of users able to access the main intercom can vary depending on the quantity of IP ports on the E-IPA cards.
Multiple options for connectivity help staff in choosing the best option for their geographic location and time of day, depending on local broadband speeds. 3G, 4G, LTE and WiFi network operation allows for load balancing of interaction with the studio—without necessarily using the same network resources as the editing tools—and can help secure communications without endangering the higher bandwidth required for program content such as video and graphics.
Clear-Com’s Agent-IC App is available on iOS and Android devices, including phones, tablets and the Apple watch. With the appropriate license, the downloadable client can be set up and activated via Clear-Com’s configuration management tools in Eclipse-HX or LQ. There is also a free demo mode available for those interested in exploring the capabilities of the app.