Tag Archive for: hybrid work

JPL Vision Mini

JPL Vision Mini Overview

The JPL Vision Mini is a small 1080p USB webcam with full HD glass lens. The webcam has a tri-fold hinged bracket with a gripper foot so it can be placed securely above your computer or laptop to allow long distance face to face meetings from your conference room or home office.

The JPL Vision Mini is compatible with all major video collaboration platforms and does not require additional software or downloads. It’s truly plug-n-play. This low-cost webcam is designed for personal use and is packed with great features including two built-in full duplexed microphones that provide awesome mic audio quality! (check out video below to hear for yourself)

JPL Vision Mini Features

  • 1080p HD 30fps CMOS Camera
  • Plug & Play solution – No software downloads needed
  • Full HD 1080p glass lens – No optical distortion
  • Two microphones – Built in dual stereo
  • 67° Field of view
  • Privacy lens cover included
  • USB-A connectivity
  • Desk mount, monitor mount or tripod option
  • AEC – Automatic Echo Cancellation
  • ANS – Automatic Noise Suppression
  • JPL Vision Mini is compatible with all major softphones. No additional software or downloads needed.

Video collaboration is here to stay for organizations small to large to stay connected with their team members in this new hybrid work model. If your business, or you personally are looking for an affordable, reliable, and easy to set up and use webcam, consider the JPL Vision Mini. Check out video below to see the webcam in action! Contact us for more info to learn more about the complete line of audio and video solutions available from JPL!

Cisco Webex 4K Desk Camera

Cisco Webex Desk Camera

The Cisco Webex Desk Camera is a premium USB web camera that provides high-quality video and audio for video conferencing, video streaming, and video recording.

Don’t let poor quality video get in the way of a great meeting, with superior 4K video, high-quality microphone audio, intelligent AI-based features, and IT device management no matter where you are, this webcam is the cream of the crop.

In this blog, we’ll list the specs and features of the Cisco Webex, and later we’ll link a video showcasing the camera and microphone quality!

Cisco Webex 4K Features

  • 4K Ultra HD Video
  • Provides superior video with outstanding clarity, rich colors, great smoothness, superb resolution and frame rate
  • iHDR Enabled Light Performance
  • Improves video quality in various light conditions Helps users always look the best on video calls
  • Auto Focus
  • Brings peace of mind by fast, clear and perfectly sharp focus
  • Adjustable FOV
  • Offers a convenient way to choose the ideal angle of view
  • Built-in Privacy Shutter
  • Controls the video streaming on and off to ensure the complete privacy as needed
  • Offers high quality microphone audio with background noise reduction
  • Face Detection and Recognition
  • Certifies with Windows Hello and allows secure facial recognition login through the IR sensor
  • Multiple Connection and Mounting Options
  • Includes both USB C-to-A and USB C-to-C cables for flexible PC connection plus multiple placement options with the camera clip and the tripod screw thread

Final Thoughts on the Cisco Webex 4K Desk Camera

This is no ordinary webcam. Whether you are working from home or the office, the Webex Desk Camera is perfect for hybrid working styles. Collaboration administrators can easily update and troubleshoot every Webex Desk Camera from the Webex Control Hub making deployment and management easy.

Being able to download the Cisco Webex Desk Camera App and personalize your personal webcam is a huge bonus. From changing the resolution (from low res to 4K), field of view (65, 70, 75 or 81 degrees – show more or less of your space), frame rate, to the color and saturation of your image, this webcam truly does it all. Plus, it’s compatible with all popular meeting or video applications (including Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Zoom, Google Meet and Google Hangouts, BlueJeans, Slack, FaceTime, etc.) And it’s Windows Hello compatible!

Personally, I think this is a great solution regardless of platform if you are looking for a premium webcam. If you want to see it in action along with available settings in the Cisco Webex Desk Camera App, watch video below! If you would like to set up a pilot or proof of concept for mass deployment, contact us!

Bluetooth Headsets Hybrid Work

My Top Picks for UC Bluetooth Headsets for Hybrid Work or Work from Anywhere

In our blog, Questions to ask when selecting audio and video devices for Hybrid Work we learned that organizations should understand if their team members setup is the same in their home as in their office.

If your team members use a computer (softphone) and mobile devices in both locations, here is a list of my top picks for UC Bluetooth Headsets for Hybrid Work, Work from Home, or Work from Anywhere. All models listed are compatible and/or certified with all major business communications and collaboration platforms to include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco and more. All these headsets will pair to your mobile device via Bluetooth and your computer via included USB dongle. Check out this video below on Why you need a USB dongle:

UC Bluetooth Headsets with ANC Speakers

Based off my personal tests and our YouTube Channel viewer comments and feedback, here are my top picks based off overall audio quality, compatibility, ease of use, comfort, & portability. In no specific order:

You can find a complete list of ANC Headset Solutions from Poly, Cisco, EPOS, Jabra, Logitech, and Bose here.

Discreet UC Bluetooth Headsets

If you are looking for a discreet UC Bluetooth headset, here are some you may want to consider.

Poly Voyager Focus 5200 Bluetooth Headsets Hybrid Work

Budget-Friendly UC Bluetooth Headsets

If you are looking for a no-frills, get the job done, UC Bluetooth headsets starting at $159.95 USD, look at these options available in single or dual ear headband wearing styles from Poly and Jabra. Both series support corded USB mode if you forget to charge headset or are experiencing Bluetooth density problems. To help keep you productive and uninterrupted, both offer online indicator/busy lights to show you are in a call. Carry cases are included with all models to make it easy to transport between locations.

See the complete list of UC Bluetooth headsets designed for computer and mobile phone here!

If you would like to learn more about Hybrid Work audio and video devices for your team members, contact us directly Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm ET at 1-800-749-3160 or fill out this form! Don’t forget to ask about our Agent in a Box Service that can help simplify deployments by shipping all the components your employees in need in a single box right to their doorstep anywhere in the US, business, or residential addresses!

Questions to ask when selecting audio and video devices for Hybrid Work

As businesses settle into the new normal, some are adopting hybrid and flexible work models where teams and departments split between working remotely and working in office. Models will vary depending on organization.

Due to the massive surge in demand for USB audio and video devices the first few months of the pandemic, established leading brands had a hard time keeping up. Many organizations and people purchased audio and video devices from lesser-known brands and vendors.

Companies are now beginning to establish audio and video device standards after a year of dealing with “whatever was in stock”. Supply Chain is ramping back up and the leaders in the personal business audio and video device space have product flowing once again.

Organizations are looking for high-quality devices that are durable, reliable, easy to set up and use, and are compatible across the major business communications and collaboration platforms. Some IT Teams are also looking into device management software to help them monitor and manage devices remotely.

When it comes to selecting audio and video devices for your team members, it is critical to understand the individual users’ role and their environments. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Where will they be working? In the office? At home? A combination?
  • What are the noise levels? Quiet, standard Office, Loud? Check out our What’s the Decibel Level Blog and Video.
  • What will they be connecting to? Desk phone (brand & model), Computer, Mobile device, a combination of those, other?
  • If computer (Windows or MacOS, USB-A or USB-C), what communications and collaboration platforms are being used? What is the primary voice platform? Check out this blog and video on What’s the difference between UC and MS Headsets!
  • Is their setup the same in their home as their office? If not, what are the differences?
  • Will they get a set of audio and video devices for each location or are they expected to transport to and from home and office?
  • If at home and their audio or video device breaks or quits working, what is the expectation? Are there plans to supply a secondary or backup device?
  • Do they have ample USB ports?
  • DECT and Bluetooth wireless headsets provide connectivity flexibility and the benefit of mobility. What’s the difference between DECT and Bluetooth and which should you select? Check out this blog and video!
  • Do your IT teams need the ability to monitor and manage devices? Device manufacturers like Poly, Logitech, Jabra and others offer device management software solutions
Jabra Direct Xpress Selecting Devices for Hybrid Work

Authorized partners like Call One, Inc. with over 34 years of experience and a nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Woman Owned Small Business can help narrow down your audio and video device choices. We work hand in hand with all the leading brands to include Poly, Jabra, Logitech, Yealink, JPL, EPOS, and more. Together we can develop customized solutions for your teams wherever they work. You can also take advantage of our Agent in a Box service and have the required components packed in one box delivered to the office or to individual residential addresses nationwide.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation to help you select the right audio and video devices for your organization!

Jabra Evolve2 30 | Outstanding Noise Canceling Headset

In today’s work from anywhere landscape, the Jabra Evolve2 30 is engineered to keep you productive. The headset is lightweight, portable, reliable, and comfortable. With the Evolve2 30, your team can look forward to outstanding calls, superior audio, all-day comfort and noise isolation for instant concentration anywhere.

The Evolve2 30 series is available in USB-A or USB-C, with single or dual ear headband wearing styles and UC or Microsoft Teams variants. There’s an integrated Busylight that turns on automatically when you’re on a call, and you can turn it on manually to signal ‘do not disturb’ mode. But how well does the noise cancelling mic perform? Stick around until the end for a link to our review video.


Jabra Evolve2 30 Features

  • Lightweight USB Business Headset available in UC and MS Teams Variants
  • Plug-and-play connectivity to your computer or mobile device via USB-A or USB-C
  • 2 built-in Microphones filters 12% more background conversation noise for clear, collaborative calls.
  • Integrated Busylight
  • 28mm Speakers for outstanding audio.
  • Future-proof tech that gets better with age thanks to an advanced digital chipset.
  • Noise Isolating Design
  • Reinforced Steel Headband Slider
  • Cable length – 1.5 m / 4.9 ft

Danny’s Opinion on the Jabra Evolve2 30 Series

I was thoroughly impressed with the latest addition to the Jabra Evolve2 Series of headsets and would recommend to anyone looking for a great value on a high-quality USB headset. The Jabra Evolve2 30 is great for use to work from anywhere including contact centers, work from home and in the office. Based on the low cost, light weight, comfort, strong audio performance, and compatibility across all major communications platforms, it’s a winner. The noise canceling mic performance of the Evolve2 30 was so impressive I will be creating another video comparing it to the older Evolve 30 II and new Evolve2 40. For now check out the video below to hear for yourselves how well it performed.

If you would like to discuss deploying Jabra Evolve2 30 in your business, contact center or home office, contact us!

New Yealink UC Workstation and WH66

The Yealink UC Workstation and WH66 as well as WH67 will redefine your workspace. This device features a DECT Wireless Headset, Speakerphone, Qi Wireless Mobile Phone Charger, 4-inch touch screen, Built-in USB Hub (two additional USB ports), connectivity to PC and Mobile Devices, compatible with all major communications platforms to include Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This device has a ton of features to support a variety of use cases for work from home, open offices, and independent offices. Plus, it has great NC mic performance and wireless range for ultimate flexibility.

So, what’s it like?

All-in-one UC Workstation

The Yealink UC Workstation is more than a single base, it eases the management of business communication demands and other USB devices. It also delivers great flexibility with a set of integrated features to facilitate your daily routine. It is professional, collaborative, and available.

Wireless Freedom & All Day Power

No matter when and where your conversation begins, the Yealink WH66 can always catch up your steps. With up to 160m wireless range and 14 hours talk time, it is suitable for users’ daily communication needs. In addition, the product supports high density installation in the open office, which allows up to 200 users (Europe) enjoy the wireless communication at the same time.

One For All Devices Management

The Yealink USB Connect is available for the management of multiple Yealink USB devices, including headsets, speakerphones, and webcams. All the settings can be done through Yealink USB Connect, for example, the setting of the basic and premium function of WH66, which is convenient and efficient for daily use.

Our Experience with the work station

Here at Call One, we are loving this new Yealink UC Workstation and WH66. When it comes to conferencing, mobile use, and headset range, this might be the top dog in Q1 and Q2 of 2021. There is so much to cover on this new product, so stay tuned for more blogs and videos. Check out our latest where we breakdown this new product:

Remember Huddle Rooms

Remember when Huddle Rooms were all the rage?

Remember when huddle rooms were all the rage? All the top research and analyst firms had a ton of statistics like there were 32+ million huddle rooms globally with less than two percent being video enabled and that huddle-room meetings would grow exponentially to represent almost 70% of all video conferencing room meetings by 2022. Those statistics had manufacturers and businesses working overtime to ensure huddle rooms had the appropriate tech to support this boom.

No one expected what happened in 2020. Video conferencing did increase exponentially however, not in huddle rooms. Instead, people joined video calls right from the comfort (or discomfort) of their homes.

Because of COVID-19 there has been a huge increase in desktop video, remote learning and telehealth.

So what happens to all those huddle rooms? I don’t believe huddle spaces are going the way of the dodo bird however, their design and use may be different. Many organizations are retrofitting and redesigning their meeting spaces to support the new normal where health and safety are of utmost concern. They are reducing the number of people by 50% or more depending on size of room to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Some companies are in the process of implementing or are developing hybrid strategies that encompass a mix of in-office and remote work schedules. Some are considering making them private workspaces or a room where an individual can conduct training to the masses via video. And some businesses, haven’t done anything at all. The spaces are just sitting there as their teams continue to work from home.

Regardless, video conferencing and collaboration is here to stay. Brands like Logitech, Konftel, Yealink, Jabra and Poly have developed a broad range of video solutions to support any size room across the multiple video platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

We’re interested in hearing what your business is doing with huddle rooms. Drop us a comment. If you would like to learn more about video conferencing solutions for your meeting spaces, contact us!

L

Lessons Learned in 2020 from WFH and Zooming

When we were all first sent to work from home, it was going to be a temporary thing. Many went home with minimal tools with the understanding they would be back in the office in a couple weeks. Weeks turned into months. Almost a year later and I am still working from home for the foreseeable future. Some organizations have elected to make remote work a permanent thing, so what lessons were learned in 2020 WFH and Zooming?

So what did I learn?

The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively is paramount. 2020 is the year when Zoom became a verb. Everyone was “Zooming”. (Even though other video platforms were also being used.) From company and team meetings, to virtual game nights, happy hours, and holiday celebrations, you Zoomed them. Regardless of video platform, these two things became very important:

  • Audio and Video Quality

Although video is extremely important, I am going to give audio quality a higher level of importance. How many video meetings did you attend where this happened?

  • “We can see you but can’t hear you”
  • “Are you muted?”
  • “Can you hear us?”
  • “Whoever is making that noise, can you please mute?”

Learning how to select the appropriate audio device via the various platforms is a first step. Knowing how to turn your video on and off is also key. And please learn how to mute and unmute. We all had moments where we saw and/or heard more than we should.

If you are like me, you utilized multiple video meeting platforms beyond Zoom to include Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, and more.

I am very fortunate that my role requires me to test multiple audio and video devices from leading brands like Jabra, Logitech, Poly, Cisco and EPOS, along with lesser-known brands like Konftel, JPL, Yealink and VDO360.

While open offices can be noisy environments, working from home present different sources of noise like other adults, children, pets, televisions, doorbells, lawn mowers, and other domestic noise! Some folks also deal with other sources of noise like trains, planes, traffic, construction and more!

Fortunately, there is no shortage of options when it comes to audio and video devices for WFH.

Audio Solutions for WFH

The audio quality from the built-in speakers and mics in a laptop are typically subpar. A professional grade corded USB headset will provide a much better audio experience for you and your audience. Additionally, many headsets offer the ability to answer and end calls, adjust volume up or down, and to enable the all-important mute function via an inline control or through the headset itself. Some headsets even offer a cool feature that places you on mute by simply flipping the boom arm up. If you need the flexibility to roam around your home office, it is best to get a Bluetooth or DECT wireless headset. Imagine having the ability to remain in a call while helping your kids start their online school, going to the kitchen for more coffee, or to go get your food delivery from the front door? Wireless headsets allow you to do this.

Another great feature that some headsets offer is Active Noise Canceling (ANC) speakers that help block out distracting noise and allow you to focus on your call or work.

Personally, I use a USB speakerphone. Speakerphones are a great option especially if you are in a “listen-only” webinar or conference call. Some offer full-duplex audio which allows for multiple users to communicate simultaneously.  Bluetooth and NFC are available in some speakerphone models to support pairing to your mobile device. Personally, I use two speakerphones. I use one connected to my PC for voice and video calls. The other is paired to my mobile device for streaming music.

Have a hard time deciding? Look at these videos!

Headset, Webcam, and Speakerphone Comparison Videos

Headset Mic Test Videos

Speakerphone Review and Audio Quality Test Videos

Video Solutions for WFH

The built-in camera in your laptop typically provides horrible video quality. During 2020 I had the privilege of testing several webcams and cameras. I learned that 1080p means something different to the various manufacturers. Many claimed 1080p but the video quality I experienced was not quite what I expected. I guess Logitech spoiled me and the rest of us. In my opinion, they continue to be the standard when it comes to video quality. That’s not to say other brands didn’t hold their own. In addition to video resolution quality, other factors to consider when selecting a webcam are:

Field of View (FOV)

Today webcams and cameras offer a FOV of 54 to 360 degrees! Essentially the lower the degrees, the less you see, and the higher, the more you see. Some folks prefer not to expose too much of their environment and surroundings to the outside world. While some would like as much of the room or space in view. Your individual use case will always determine what is best for you. Some cameras have software available that allows you to adjust FOV and other settings to improve overall video quality and experience.

Webcam System Requirements

Not every webcam works with every computer or operating system. Make a note of your computer and operating system, then check the requirements for the webcam. ​

Compatible and Certified

Beyond system and operating system requirements select webcams are compatible or certified for major platforms like Microsoft Teams, Cisco® Jabber®, Spark™, WebEx®, Zoom, Google Meet, Bluejeans, and more! ​

Built-in Microphone

Some webcams provide built-in microphones that are pretty good and some that are not. Check out these webcam videos that include mic tests! However, having a built-in microphone is beneficial in some use cases especially those with limited USB ports. A USB Headset or Speakerphone typically provide improved audio quality.

Privacy Shutter

Webcam privacy shutters/cover webcam lens to prevent others from “seeing” what the camera sees. ​ Some webcams have built-in shutters. ​ Some webcams provide lens cover you can affix to webcam. ​ Some webcams do not provide privacy shutter or cover. If privacy is important, please check to see if the webcam of interest includes a cover or not.

Cable Length

It is critical that you understand where end-user wishes to mount camera vs where camera will be connected. ​Cable lengths vary from webcam to webcam. 3ft – 6ft appear to be average cable lengths however some have shorter cables​.

While you can use a USB extension cable do not assume it will work. In order to maintain support for USB 2.0 or 3.0 requirements, there may be cable length restrictions, or you may need special powered USB cable (and even this may not work).

Other features:

  • Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) – Manual, Digital, Software based
  • Device Management Software
  • Windows Hello support
  • Built-in AI
  • Auto-framing, Intelligent Zoom
  • Tripod-ready and other mounting options
  • Rightlight2 Technology for clarity in various lighting environments
  • Autofocus

The point is, while a low-cost headset or webcam may sound appealing, it may not be the best solution for your use case today and in the future? Reminder, what started out as a short-term scenario has become long-term and permanent for many. Do you have the best tools to be as productive as possible while Zooming? To learn more about these solutions, contact us M-F, 8am-5pm ET! 📞 1-800-749-3160 or 📨 sales@calloneonline.com

VDO 360 SEEME

12 Days of Call One | Day Three VDO 360 SEEME – $50 Webcam

VDO360 presents an Enterprise-grade personal webcam. Optimized for laptop use, the VDO 360 SEEME connects via USB2.0 with no drivers needed- Easy to use, simply plug it in for a full 1080p webcam with the great audio you have come to expect from VDO360.

Deep Dive

  • 2 million pixels
  • Mic Distance: 40mm
  • Image area: 5.85mm × 3.27mm
  • OS Support: WinXP/Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10 / Linux with UVC(above linux-2.6.26)
  • MAC-OS X 10.4.8 or later / WinCE with UVC / Android 4.0 or above with UVC
  • Field of view: 75°(W)
  • Power: USB 5V

Performance

We have covered a few VDO products in the past, but nothing quite as interesting as this one. The VDO 360 SEEME puts out a surprisingly good 1080p picture, and a strong microphone pickup. With  a sampling rate of 16KHz/48KHz and a Resolution: 1920*1080@30fps / 1280*720@30fps / 640*480*30fps, the $50 price tag is well worth it. Compared to webcams in the same price range, the blows all competition out of the water. Take a look at this graph (Comparing other VDO360 products)

SEEME1SEE2SEE
IMAGEVDO 360 SEEMEVDO360 VDOS4M 2SEE
SKUVDOCMEVDO1CVDOS4M
MSRP$50$75$139
Mics2No4
SpeakerNoNoNo
MagnificationFixedFixedFixed
Special featureBudget minded, great video and audioPassthrough USB port on rear of camera for data. Use headsets, USB thumb drives, wireless mouse dongles, even when the camera is off. Solid billet aluminum construction.Great video with a far-field mic array that picks up your voice from up to eight meters away.
Great forWFH, Distance Education, Students, general useWFH, Distance Education, Call CentersWFH, Distance Education, Teachers
BUY NOWBUY NOWBUY NOW

Compared to the 2See, the only thing you get is two extra microphones and an $89 price difference. You can almost get two VDO 360 SEEME webcams at that price! On the other hand, the 2see is used for much different use cases, therefore quality, FOV, and range will be a little bit better. However, for the average WFH employee, distance education student, and other general users, this is the webcam to go with.

Overall, we were blown away with the VDO 360 SEEME. Checkout the video below and see for yourself. If you like the video, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up, share, and subscribe! Feel free to leave a comment or suggest a new products for us to cover.