By Danny Hayasaka
October 28, 2016
It’s been really fascinating to watch the evolution of the meeting space. I remember conference rooms, the analog speakerphone and using a conference call service to connect multiple participants. Oh, and paying by the minute.
Video was added to enhance the experience. It required expensive codecs, hardware, bridges, managed services and a degree from MIT to operate. So the reality was video conferencing wasn’t used and the codecs sat there and collected dust.
Nowadays there are so many options for audio and video meetings via Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business, Cisco Jabber, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Vidyo, BlueJeans, Adobe Connect, Fuze, ReadyTalk, and on and on. Additionally, meeting spaces can now be anywhere from the traditional conference rooms to huddle spaces.
With so many options, the need for platform agnostic devices has increased. Additionally, customers are in search of “easy”. How do they video enable a room easily, inexpensively and doesn’t require a specialized degree or certification to operate?
Fortunately, there are plenty of options from multiple vendors. That’s the other fantastic thing that has occurred…customers are no longer tied to “one” brand for a complete solution. They can mix and match depending on need and budget.
You can use devices from Logitech, Jabra, Plantronics, Sennheiser, Konftel, Revolabs and more!!!
For personal use, you can use a USB/Bluetooth headset or USB/Bluetooth personal speakerphone and Webcam.
For small groups of 2-5 people, you can use a USB speakerphone and Webcam.
For groups of 6-10, you can go with ConferenceCams, USB speakerphones and Webcam or PTZ webcams.
For even larger groups you have options for ConferenceCams with extended mics, or more robust speakerphones with USB connections and PTZ Webcams.
All these solutions cost thousands of dollars less than traditional video conferencing solutions and they are extremely easy to use. Most are “plug and play”. Simply plug the USB cable into your PC or laptop and off you go.
Logitech is making it even easier with their ConferenceCam Kit which includes Intel NUC, Keyboard, Mouse and Iluminari Quicklaunch SE (a fully configurable and simplified user interface that brings appliance-like ease-of-use to the meeting room, minimizing the need for user training or IT support.)
What does this mean do inexpensive, platform agnostic, easy to use devices mean for business?
Increased user adoption, more collaboration and decreased IT Help Desk trouble tickets.
Below are listed some examples of products that can be used to video enable a space. There are more from other manufacturers/brands. Below are some of the more popular, tested/certified webcams and speakerphones:
Webcams, PTZ Webcams and ConferenceCams:
- Microsoft LifeCam HD3000, LifeCam Cinema, LifeCam Studio
- Logitech B525, B910, C925-C, C920-C, C930e
- Logitech PTZ Pro
- ClearOne UNITE™ 200 PTZ Camera
- Logitech BCC950, Connect, Group, Group + Expansion Mics, Group Kit with Intel NUC, CONNECT Kit with Intel NUC
USB and USB/Bluetooth/NFC Speakerphones:
- Jabra Speak 410, 510 and 510+, 800 (UC and Microsoft variants)
- Plantronics Calisto P610 and P620 (UC and Microsoft variants)
- Sennheiser SP10 and SP20 (UC and Microsoft variants)
- Konftel Ego, 55Wx
- Revolabs FLX UC 500, YVC-300, FLX UC 1000, FLX UC 1500
- ClearOne Chat 50 (UC), 60 (Skype), 70 (Skype for Business), 150 & ChatAttach 150 (UC), 160 & 160 Chatattach (Skype), 170 & 170 Chatattach (Skype for Business)
- Logitech P710e