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3. Mersive Solstice Vs Zoapi Hub

What are the differences between Mersive Solstice and Zoapi Hub? #

Mersive makes hardware-based collaboration products known as Mersive Solstice. Mersive Solstice is a custom hardware + software solution with a cloud dashboard for management. Mersive offers new updated hardware once every few years. Solstice was launched with Solistice Gen 1 Pod. While Gen1 pods are discontinued now from production, Gen2 pods are currently available in the market. Mersive has recently launched Solistice Gen3 Pods with Conferencing support.  While there are many similarities between Solstice and Zoapi Hub in terms of the offering, there are many fundamental differences in the way these features are offered. In this article, we will explore the difference between Zoapi Hub and Mersive Solstice.

Hardware, Software and the Operating System #

As mentioned earlier, Mersive Solistice is custom hardware running on an embedded processor and operating system (Linux or Android). Mersive Gen2 Pods are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon S805 processor with 3GB RAM and 16GB flash, latest Gen 3 Pods are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB RAM and 16GB flash. Gen 2 Pod supports single Full HD display output and Gen 3 Pod support either single 4k output or dual Full HD output.

Whereas Zoapi is Windows 10 based software that can run on any PC with Windows 10 OS. Zoapi also provides preinstalled devices through its resellers which comes as hardware and software combination. Alternatively, you can buy just the Zoapi software for as low as 10$/month and run it on any off-the-shelf PC/mini-PC to convert that device into a complete meeting room solution. Zoapi Pro pre-installed hardware is based on 10th generation Intel I3 processor with 4GB RAM and 120GB SSD. Zoapi also supports 4K output and dual display features.

Wireless Presentation #

Mersive native app can be used on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. Solstice Pods supports browser-based screen sharing on laptops along with Airplay and Miracast protocol for app-less screen sharing.

Zoapi provides a native app for Windows, MAC OS, and Linux. Zoapi also supports Airplay and Chromecast protocols (with help of third-party application) which can be used for app-less screen sharing from iOS, Android, Chromebook, Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Browser-based screen sharing, Android, and iOS apps are currently under development.

Network Configuration #

Solstice can be connected to Ethernet and Wifi. Solstice also provides its own wifi access point. Solistice apps require you to select the room name from the list of available rooms or enter an IP address to join. With multiple network configurations, finding the right IP address to connect can become a challenge. Mersive provides a cloud configuration to avoid entering IP addresses.

Zoapi supports multiple isolated network configurations simultaneously. It supports up to 4 different networks. You can connect corporate Ethernet and guest Ethernet to Zoapi device. You can also connect the Zoapi device to another wifi as per the need. Zoapi Hub also provides its own internal wifi access point for Guest users to connect and share. Zoapi’s advanced device discovery mechanism lets you connect to any Zoapi device from your laptops connected to different networks with just a 4 digit PIN without needing to select from a confusing list of discovered devices or without entering the complicated IP addresses.

Video Conferencing & Collaboration Apps #

Solistice Gen 2 Pods are purely wireless presentation devices and do not support any form of video conferencing. Their latest Gen 3 Pods along with their cloud subscription plan supports BYOM conferencing by wirelessly streaming the camera, mic, and speakers connected to the Solistice Pod back to the client laptop. This way you can utilize the room AV system for call running on your laptops. Note that actual video conferencing calls will be taking place on the user’s laptop using the network and resources of the laptop.

Zoapi on the other hand leverages the underlying Windows platform for providing users complete meeting room solution. With Zoapi you can use your favorite video conferencing applications such as Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, Webex, Bluejeans, and many more. Zoapi also supports all major collaboration tools based on windows. With apps like Softphone Pro you can even remove the conventional phones on your meeting room table.

The fundamental difference between Solistice and Zoapi for Conferencing is, Solistice provides conferencing support by streaming the room AV back to your laptop whereas Zoapi runs the conferencing apps directly on the Zoapi Hub. This way Zoapi Hub works as a complete Video Conferencing endpoint not requiring your laptop to join conferencing calls.

Cloud Management #

 Mersive provides a cloud platform for managing Solistice Pods. With Mersive cloud subscription, you can manage your Solistice pods, Configure digital signage, Room calendar integration, update Pod’s firmware, get usage statistics and analytics, etc.

Zoapi provides a cloud admin dashboard that can be used for status monitoring, managing and configuring the devices, Configuring digital signage features, integrating room calendars, managing Room scheduler application, and viewing and exporting details stats and analytics on room usage. Zoapi dashboard also provides an AppStore for installing, upgrading and managing third-party video conferencing and collaboration applications. Zoapi cloud dashboard also comes as an on-premise service for large enterprises.

Calendar Integration & Room Scheduler #

Mersive Gen2 and Gen3 Pods support room calendar integration using their cloud API services. You can integrate your room calendar and Pod will display the room booking status on the home screen. Because of the architecture of Conferencing support, room calendar integration cannot be used for one-click meeting join.

With Zoapi, you can integrate your meeting room/classroom to your room calendar and view all the meetings booked in rooms, access the meeting description and other information on the device, launch scheduled video conferencing calls using the meeting link, etc. Zoapi Hub also provides onscreen meeting reminders based on your meeting times.

Zoapi also provides a room scheduler app license along with its premium plan. This app can be used on any android table to convert it to an on-door meeting room management Room scheduler. This app will show if the room is available, booked or occupied by changing its background color. You can also book Adhoc meeting while walking inside the room with a single click.

Price #

 Mersive Solstice Gen2 pod retails at 1299$ and Gen 3 pod retails at 1399$.  Both of these hardware come with a one-year free cloud subscription. After one year, Mersive cloud subscription can be renewed at 280$/year.

Zoapi Hub software has two plans Lite and Premium. Lite plan costs 10$/month whereas premium plan costs 15$/month. Zoapi Hub software can be installed on any Windows 10 based machine. Zoapi Hub Plug and Play device is also available as preinstalled version on intel mini-pcs

Summary #

 Mersive Solstice is a hardware-based product for wireless presentation and digital signage. Their latest Gen 3 pods support Video Conferencing by reverse streaming the camera connected to the Pod back to the user’s laptop. If you are looking for custom hardware and prefer to use your laptop for conferencing then Mersive Solistice is the right solution.

If you are looking for a complete meeting room solution with the wireless presentation, video conferencing, calendaring, room scheduler with collaboration tools, and looking for Opex expenses then Zoapi offers everything you need and comes as a Saas solution that can convert any of your general PC/mini-PC into a complete meeting room AV equipment.

Note: All information provided here are collected online from the web pages and public forums. Features, numbers may vary depending on the product and time.

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