Featured Article from Conferencing

HELLO Using Kickstarter to Launch New Videoconferencing Hardware

July 27, 2016

There are a number of primary considerations businesses indulge in when picking a videoconferencing system for their conference rooms. They may first take note of competitors’ physical sizes (such as the space a microphone or camera occupies) and then could dive into the quality of those assets (such as microphone sensitivity and camera resolution).

Not one consideration necessarily stands above the rest for all businesses. Smaller operations with five employees may have different needs than large corporations with 500, for instance. That said, videoconferencing equipment manufacturers want to appeal to all shapes and sizes of clients. One newcomer on the scene, a small team named HELLO that currently runs a Kickstarter campaign for an all-in-one device of that same name, tries to pack voice and video, wireless communication, screen sharing and broadcasting features into a single unit that can be placed anywhere in the room.

A quick look at the Kickstarter page shows that, at the time of this writing, the project should have a bit more than 40 days remaining on its stint of initial fundraising where the burgeoning company hopes to raise at least $30,000. On July 26, HELLO had also blown apart its goal by reaching more than $114,000.

What do backers get in return for their pledges? Well, a pledge of $189 to $297 gains one HELLO device and lifetime use of that device at no extra cost. That gift alongside other information on the Kickstarter page indicates that the retail cost of a single unit should run about $150.

HELLO claims that its devices are “simple and streamlined” – a stated welcome change to those products on the market that come “clumsy and bloated.” It begins its market siege with a quad-core processor that runs four microphones and a 4K video sensor. The hardware supports a wired HDMI connection to users’ screens and a Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable connection to other devices to gain internet access. Initial setup comes through the device’s link to a user’s mobile app, some basic input regarding the device’s assigned name and network connection and the scanning of a QR code to finalize installation.

The HELLO team says it is confident with its initial product design and capabilities. From this point forward, however, it will be charged with creating a production line that can deliver on the promise of actually handing these videoconferencing units to all backers and future customers; that is where the influx of $30,000 (or more, depending on support) will make its mark. HELLO said it wants to provide an “extraordinary new collaboration tool” that can benefit all its users. Surely all its backers and all those individuals reading this piece will keep an eye on its development to see how the market reacts.

Edited by Alicia Young