ATEN has previously only made its Boundless technology, which removes the danger of short black screens when USB signals move from computer to computer, available in KVM-over-IP solutions. This gives it broader utility in control room applications which warrant always-on status.
ATEN Technology, which makes both KVM and ProAV connectivity solutions, has announced their new 4-port USB Boundless KM Switch (CS724KM). It is the first ATEN product in the KM category. It is also their first product other than KVM-over-IP solutions to feature ATEN’s Boundless Technology.
The Boundless technology allows an admin to switch USB signals from computer to computer simply by moving the mouse from screen to screen. No additional hotkeys or buttons need to be hit to switch from port to port.
“The whole purpose of this ability is to alleviate user intervention while switching between computer, so that they don’t have to push a button or a hotkey, and more importantly, to alleviate the problem of not seeing anything on the screen until the mouse reinitializes to the next port,” said Aaron Johnson, product manager at ATEN Technology. “It doesn’t take a long time for this to happen, but it does take 3-4 seconds, and given where these switches are used, that amount of time can matter. They are designed for control room applications – banking and trading, transportation, oil and gas, medical, broadcasting, post- and pre-production work – and public safety and 911 call centres. In a 911 call centre, a lot can happen in 3-4 seconds. This eliminates the possibility of having a black screen, and with it, a distraction that could be problematic.”
The switch is designed for complex multitasking applications. Users can control up to four computers with a single keyboard and mouse, or daisy-chain two switches, enabling control of up to eight computers from a single console.
“This daisy chain capability should enable the CS724KM to cover quite a bit of the market, and satisfy most of the user cases for this kind of product,” Johnson said.
ATEN initially developed the Boundless Technology for use in their KVM-over- IP Matrix System , which combines KE Series Extenders with KE Matrix Management Software to extend, control and monitor access to computers across a network.
“Competitors have something similar, which has brand names like Glide and Switch, and Free Flow,” Johnson indicated. “This is the first time, though, that we have used this outside of a KVM Over IP environment. This is a KM solution only – not a full KVM.”
The 4-port KM Switch also features an intuitive GUI-based configuration utility that lets users customize their mouse cursor movement paths according to the specific monitor layout at the desktop or workstation. The configuration tool is easy to set up and compatible with Windows operating systems.
The switch is bus-powered, obtaining sufficient power supply from at least two connected computers, so no external power adapter is required.
ATEN’s 4-port USB Boundless KM Switch is available for $USD 576 MSRP, which includes cables. It has a three-year warranty.