This has to be one of the coolest thing I’ve tested in my lab, the Evoko Room Manager. It’s a flat screen that you put on the wall next to your conference rooms and it will show you the room’s schedule and also enable users to change/add/end meetings – in a very nice design. The frame is either green if the room is green and red if it’s occupied.

There are plenty of user guides available, other reviews available and a YouTube demo where I book an instant meeting and end it:

Since this is a Sysadmin blog I will focus on the technical stuff and how to manage it rather then the nice design.

The good thing about this device is that it behaves as a client device, so you don’t have to setup a server. The Evoko connects directly to your Exchange 2003, 2007 or 2010 server. It also supports Microsoft Online (Office 365) but not Google Apps nor Lotus Notes at the moment. It’s connected to your network via wired Ethernet and for power you can either use PoE or the supplied power adapter.

On your computer, download the Evoko Configurator. In this example I will configure it to show a room that I have on my Microsoft Online account. First you select which Exchange version you’re using:

Then you select the server and account and while you do that you can press “Test” to make sure it’s correct.

You configure some details and PIN for admin menus:

Then you add all your rooms with username/password. There are some details in the admin guide how you should create and configure these users. You also configure details such as number of seats and what kind of equipment each room has, if it should show the subject of the meeting and who the organizer is. In Exchange 2010 there are ways to add room capacity but the Evoko can’t read that.

Then you Finish and export this config to a USB stick:

Then you boot up the Evoko, insert the USB and press Upgrade:

And then choose the room you configured:

It should boot up and show if it’s busy…

…or free:

And of course, this meeting is also added in the actual Calendar of the mailbox:

There’s also a zip you can download and extract to a USB stick and reboot the device and you will be able to update OS, factory reset and collect logs. BTW, this little device actually seem to be running Windows CE: