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Inside DTEN’s Philosophy, Product Design and Road Map

DTEN ONboard (Image credit: DTEN)

Founded in 2015, DTEN (opens in new tab) is a relatively young company, and its CEO, Wei Liu’s background in multi-touch technologies that has helped shape the company road map. “One of the things Wei immediately recognized was that this technology could revolutionize how people connect and interact with one another,” says Nia Celestin, Head of Marketing at DTEN. “Moving beyond existing whiteboards, he knew true collaboration required audio, video, and touch, to create a more immersive and complete experience for people to communicate effectively and be more productive in their meetings.”

While DTEN’s audio, video, and touch are uniquely immersive, Celestin says what sets DTEN apart from others is another critical part of the company’s mission: our technology is accessible. “One of the things that we have focused on as a company is creating affordable, high-quality solutions that democratizes touch collaboration technology,” she explains. “DTEN elevates the collaboration experience across the board.” 

This philosophy is readily evident in DTEN’s line of touch collaboration solutions, right-sized for the hybrid world of work. DTEN devices are available for home offices, focus rooms for one to four people, small meeting spaces for two to seven, and larger conference rooms for up to 15 participants, as well as open spaces and workspace reservations.

Creating Collaboration Equity from the Start

Our goal is to create collaborative environments where everyone can participate equally.”

Sally Tung, Head of Product at DTEN

The new normal of hybrid work has brought “meeting equity” to the forefront. DTEN prefers a more a global term of “collaboration equity.” DTEN Head of Product Sally Tung explains, “From our inception, DTEN has envisioned equal experiences for every team member, independent of location and workspace. Our goal is to create collaborative environments where everyone can participate equally.” 

Celestin adds, “It’s a reflection of DTEN’s highly innovative product roadmap that anticipates what our customers are going to need and require. It’s also a fulfillment of our primary mission, which is around democratizing technology and creating inclusive immersive environments.” 

Examples of collaboration equity run through all DTEN products: ultra-high-quality audiovisuals, exceptional user experiences, AI- powered enhancements and more. 

Focus On User Experience 

Several recent AV industry awards, plus two Red Dot awards for product design are testaments to DTEN’s focus on user experience. “The power of design is one of our differentiated capabilities,” Celestin says.

In fact, listening to its customers is critical to the continued evolution of DTEN. “We have a whole crew from DTEN, each with a different role in the same meeting with our customers making sure we understand what they want and what they need,” Tung adds. “From these meetings, we get to understand workflow, the user journey, and what we need to do to help them get their job done.”

Executives including DTEN’s Chief Technology Officer Jin Guo, often join these deep-dive meetings. “Customer experience, user experience, and information experience come together so the product experience is intuitive,” Tung continues. “The goal is to make DTEN solutions as simple as possible to use, with virtually no learning curve.” 

Celestin explains, “We want our customers to have seamless, natural experiences. DTEN technology is so easy, so intuitive, that it replicates the in-person experience – and adds a few new collaboration tools, too.” 

All-in-One: Simplicity at Its Best

So many solutions in the market today require additional componentry, peripherals and cords. From the start, DTEN envisioned something different, simpler."

Nia Celestin, Head of Marketing at DTEN

The focus on user experience extends to the basic DNA of DTEN devices: their all-in-one construction. Although the phrase “all-in-one” is now frequently used (and sometimes misused), DTEN technology exemplifies the moniker. The DTEN D7 provides an example: a single device for video conferencing, content sharing and digital whiteboarding. It has a built-in 4K camera, 16-microphone array, built-in Zoom meeting software and responsive multi-touch display – it is truly all-in-one.  

Celestin adds, “So many solutions in the market today require additional componentry, peripherals and cords. From the start, DTEN envisioned something different, simpler.

“Some of the most common feedback we get from IT professionals is how easy DTEN devices are to install and maintain. That’s especially important in the hybrid work environment, where remote workers often need to set up equipment themselves.” 

You won’t find a several-page catalog of products on the DTEN site asking you to select multiple components to build collaboration spaces. “Our products come in multiple sizes from 55-inch, 75-inch, 55-inch duals, and 75-inch duals for rooms and workspaces of any size,'' Celestin says. “We have a more focused portfolio of products than many others, because we're very intentional around delivering a single experience for the customer.” 


Designed to function as a companion whiteboard to any existing Zoom Rooms, ONboard features a 4K 55-inch display with a 10-point capacitive touch screen. (Image credit: DTEN)

Be Seen, Be Heard, Be There  

The DTEN product team is obsessed with every aspect of creating an equitable meeting experience, and that starts with the highest quality audio, video and touch. One of the biggest challenges of remote participants is feeling excluded from a meeting because they can’t clearly see or hear everyone on the other side. 

“AI enhancements add to the overall DTEN experience: active speaker tracking, noise cancellation and resolution upscaling are all examples of how we improve the meeting experience for all participants,” Tung states. 

“DTEN camera technology is driving towards reproducing the human eye experience,” Celestin explains. “A lot of video experiences are deleting data from your brain. Our technology lets you really understand the dynamics of what's happening in a room. You can see who gets up and leaves. You can see who comes in. It gives you more rich data that, if you were in the room, you would have access to.”

Tung also notes the importance of touch: “Annotation and ideation are very important whether the group is together or remote. Being able to go up to the board and write, pull in an old whiteboard to annotate, and share their ideas with their team is very essential. With DTEN, remote participants can also annotate and participate on the same board just like they would if they were in the same room.”

Enabling the Full Collaboration Experience

Because most of its customers are using Zoom, DTEN is optimized for the full Zoom ecosystem. Its recent announcement of DTEN ONboard is a key example. The new DTEN ONboard gives remote and in-office participants equal access to its digital canvas, promotes collaboration before, during and after meetings with its persistent functionality, and is optimized for the new, feature-rich Zoom Whiteboard release. 

Designed to function as a companion whiteboard to any existing Zoom Rooms, ONboard features a 4K 55-inch display with a 10-point capacitive touch screen.

“DTEN wants to promote collaboration across platforms as well, another way we focus on collaboration equity,” Tung notes. “With DTEN Smart Connect, users have the flexibility to utilize the DTEN experience from other collaboration applications.”

Enterprise-Ready. Affordable. And Available Now

“All DTEN products are enterprise-level ready,” Tung says. DTEN Orbit, a central dashboard for servicing and providing remote firmware updates to all DTEN devices whether in the home or in the office. 

Two other big questions for companies looking to invest in new collaboration equipment: “How much does it cost?” and “Is it available and shipping now?” 

Affordability was part of DTEN CEO Liu’s commitment from the very beginning. “DTEN is delivering best-in-class technology at the most reasonable prices without sacrificing the quality” Celestin says, “We want to get our devices into the hands of more and more customers.”

Another way the company is making their technology more affordable is with DTEN as a Service. “It's product plus service in a single subscription,” Celestin explains, “You can decide that you want to have your DTEN D7 with Orbit service, and you get it as a single subscription based on an annual fee. That makes the device immediately more affordable."

And when it comes to availability, Celestin says, “From a strategy perspective, the company made the decision to move inventory closer to the customer and strive for 100 percent in-stock availability. It's about that obsession about our customers, in making sure that there's product there for them. While supply chain issues have impacted other companies, at DTEN, we are in stock and shipping today.”


DTEN ME Pro (Image credit: DTEN)

Case Study: The DTEN ME Series 

The DTEN ME series of products highlights nearly every aspect of the DTEN philosophy. First, its development anticipated changes in the workplace. Seeing the rise of work-from-home professionals, DTEN ME was in development before the pandemic. 

When the pandemic forced office spaces to close in 2020, Zoom for Home – DTEN ME was ready. Tung remembers, “Companies were in crisis mode, scrambling for ways to connect employees. DTEN had a solution ready that offered video conferencing, content sharing, annotating, and whiteboarding – all in one device.” 

Tung continues, “As always, user experience was at the forefront. Customers were amazed at the ability to fully collaborate from home. And they were appreciative of our attention to detail: DTEN built-in a virtual background feature, anticipating that a home environment can be visually distracting with clutter in the background. Although an industry standard now, DTEN was considered a pioneer at the time.”

DTEN’s product team also anticipated a potential nightmare managing devices in the home. “DTEN ME is incredibly easy to set up,” Tung adds. “The end user can set it up in about five minutes with no advanced technical knowledge. And with DTEN Orbit, the IT department can remotely service the device for their employees and users.”

In 2021, the company added DTEN ME Pro to the product line, designed not only for the home office, but also hot desking and collaborating in small meeting rooms. “The DTEN ME Pro creates the ideal desktop setup so you can use your device to hook into your laptop and use it as a second monitor. You can put it in Zoom mode so that you can have a crisp, clear professional meeting. You can be in any meeting, and still access the DTEN experience, which is our cameras, our audio and our touch,” Celestin explains. “DTEN ME Pro is also versatile enough to be purposed for digital signage and remote reception in the hybrid workplace.” 

Plus, the DTEN ME series just keeps getting better, with a brand-new collaboration equity feature recently added. Celestin provides the details, “We recently released DTEN inclusiview to our DTEN ME series. This new feature, exclusive to DTEN, places each meeting participant in their own unique portrait view. The result is a more equitable meeting experience.” 

Moving Forward: DTEN Trajectory 

“We are a company that certainly isn't resting on our laurels,” Celestin says. “We have a very aggressive, innovative road map in front of us that the product team is always working on.” Customers can expect more exciting developments to be announced in 2022, designed to enable everyone across the hybrid work continuum.  

“The trajectory of what we've done in the past sets us apart and demonstrates where we're going,” Celestin concludes. “DTEN will continue to innovate, making it easier to communicate and collaborate.” 

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AVNetwork Staff

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.