Featured Article from Conferencing

New Conferencing Technologies Are "Off the Table"

June 26, 2017

Companies that rely on digital solutions for conferencing today are increasingly building “huddle rooms,” or places where virtual meetings can happen with the assistance of technology. Yesterday’s video conferencing technology, however, is not enough to meet the complex video, audio and collaboration demands of twenty-first century business. When it came to audio, the last generation of solutions had poor quality, and meeting attendees often had to shuffle their positions while speaking directly to system speakers in order to be heard. Many vendors have heard the call, and they’re now focusing on producing conference solutions in which audio matters as much as video.

Due for release this summer, the Yamaha CS-700 combines HD video capture with ultra-wideband audio to fulfill video, audio, and collaboration requirements in one simple, remotely monitorable wall-mounted system. (It’s simple in part because it uses a single USB cable to enable communication). The system was specifically designed as an all-in-one unit to equip huddle rooms with best in class audio, video, and screen sharing capability. The integrated remote management capability enables IT departments across the world to remotely monitor and manage their huddle room installations.

Sound features were enhanced with the addition of cutting-edge audio processing technology courtesy of both Yahama and Revolabs, including a dynamic beam-forming microphone array that allows all speakers in the huddle room to be heard and a four-speaker sound bar. The solution also features a 120-degree wide-angle HD camera (much wider than most of its competitors, eliminating that awkward need to lean into the middle of the table to be seen) to maximize video. It was also built to offer seamless integration with SIP phones and collaboration or unified communications (UC) solutions, such as Microsoft Skype for Business or GoToConference, that allow employees both in the huddle room and out of it to work together effectively. (The product is Bluetooth-enabled with near-field communication [NFC] pairing). From an IT problem-solving perspective, the solution allows for remote management over IP, eliminating the need for IT personnel to race to the huddle room regularly to solve problems.

The Yamaha CS-700 is leading a trend in huddle room experiences, and that is moving all conferencing technologies off the table (since it’s wall-mounted), decluttering the huddle room and leaving space for workers to actually work instead of shuffling awkwardly around cobbled-together machinery that offers a disjointed conferencing experience. Huddle rooms are, in theory, places to be creative and unconstrained in ideas. Conferencing technology today should work with the employees that use it…not against them. 

Edited by Alicia Young