Month: February 2017

Lots of interest in the PanaCast 2 with Intelligent Zoom at ISE 2017

Wow, that was the week that was! Back from Amsterdam after an amazing four days at the 14th annual ISE event.

The world’s largest AV and systems integration show held at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, was once again a resounding success for us. More attendees visited the show than ever before and the 1,100+ exhibitors were spread out over the largest floor space to date.

The show was buzzing and it was great to meet so many new and returning customers at the Altia stand. There were times when our stand was almost bursting at the seems which was extremely gratifying considering we were not in a particularly high footfall position. People seemed to be seeking us out with a lot of interest in the PanaCast 2 camera system and, in particular, the new and exciting Intelligent Zoom feature.

If you didn’t make it to the show to see the PanaCast 2 with Intelligent Zoom in action, or if you would like to see it again – Click Here to watch how this powerful automation technology works, it’s just like employing your own professional cameraman!

To find more details regarding the PanaCast 2 and how to contact me simply: Click Here.

Doug Pidduck, Director, Intermedia.

P.S. Date for your diary – Next year’s event – ISE 2018 will take place at the RAI Amsterdam during the week of 6-9 February.

ISE 2017 in Amsterdam finishes today – another sucessful event

I just wanted to say that ISE 2017 was once again a great event.  Now in its 14th year, it gets better and better each time. The show was buzzing and it was great to meet so many new and returning customers at the Altia Stand.

There was lots of interest in our PanaCast 2 camera system with Intelligent Zoom.

You can find more details regarding the PanaCast 2 and how to contact me on our website.

If you didn’t make it to the show and you would like to see the camera in action then please Click here to watch.

Doug Pidduck, Director, Intermedia.

Intermedia Communication Solutions is a specialist supplier of equipment and services for this new Huddle Room market and we can help our clients acquire enterprise-grade solutions at cost-effective pricing.



The stunning PanaCast 2s has its European début in Amsterdam this week at ISE 2017

We are very excited to announce that the World’s First Software-Defined 7.4 Megapixel 180° Video Camera and winner of the CES 2017 Innovation Award will be on show at ISE 2017 in Amsterdam this week, February 7-10

PanaCast 2s is a powerful software-defined video camera that enhances and extends the functionality of the PanaCast 2 panoramic camera. It delivers 7.4 Megapixel panoramic video with real-time video stitching, delivering a 180º wide by 54º tall field of view, with 5120 x 1440 pixels per frame, at 30 frames per second, with less than one frame latency.

The PanaCast 2s system comprises a PanaCast 2 device and the PanaCast Computer Vision Engine (PCVE) software – which contains the first real-time OpenCL video stitching pipeline and runs on standard processors – creates a scalable software-defined panoramic system.

The scalable software-defined architecture enables PanaCast 2s to support a wide variety of deep learning applications as well as edge analytics and edge computing. It allows PanaCast 2s to deliver 78% higher resolution and produces a natural-looking video stream without scale distortion. The 7.4 Megapixels enables 5x lossless digital zoom (i.e., you can zoom in 5x digitally without any loss of resolution).

The PanaCast 2s will be available in Q1 2017.

If you would like to see his unique camera in action – please visit our stand at the : ISE 2017 show – Altia Systems – Stand: 13-E72.


Altia Systems Announces Intelligent Zoom for PanaCast 2

Altia Systems Announces Intelligent Zoom for PanaCast 2

Intermedia Communication Solutions are pleased to demonstrate to you the benefits of the new and exciting Intelligent Zoom for PanaCast 2.

Watch this short video and see for yourself how this powerful automation technology works, just like employing a professional camera man.

To learn more about Panacast products here.

Huddle Rooms and Spaces

Video conferencing has traditionally been associated with large boardrooms and meeting rooms. However, the demand for more spaces capable of supporting visual collaboration has driven the need for lower cost, simpler and more compact hardware solutions specifically designed for these smaller spaces.

Intermedia Communication Solutions is a specialist supplier of equipment and services for this new Huddle Room market and we can help our clients acquire enterprise-grade solutions at cost-effective pricing.

Millennials and the Huddle Room

Millennials and the Huddle Room

Now, I’m not a Millennial (I wish) but my three daughters are. They’re part of the first generation to have a computer in the home while they were growing up.

For my eldest daughters, that meant an Atari 800 or a BBC Computer and loading games from an audio cassette tape recorder. But my youngest has never known a world without the Internet. She was the MSN Messenger queen, the Napster and Limewire princess. She would have a permanent MSN session going with webcams with her mates after school (but without the sound on, strangely – they preferred to IM chat even with video) and sending and listening to (illegal) music files until they shut down Napster (and I found out about Limewire and where all the viruses were coming from)

So why are they so important to the growing visual collaboration market and what’s the connection to the so-called Huddle Room boom?

The Millenials

The premise behind the emerging Huddle Room concept is that work practices have changed and are continuing to change due largely to the impact of the Millennial Generation now entering the modern workplace in large numbers.

This generation, generally considered to have been born between the years 1980 and 2000, was the first to grow up with computers in their homes and those of this generation now establishing themselves into the workplace have never known a world without the Internet.

The preferred workflow model for this group tends towards multi-tasking, non-serial and ad hoc in nature. They create a workflow virtuous circle by reducing their structured workflow time (for example, scheduled meetings) to a minimum by the use of ad hoc collaborative tools like IM, voice and, increasingly, video communications, releasing themselves and their colleagues for more ad hoc (and more productive) engagements.

The dual trends of remote working and globalisation have created demand for colleagues to collaborate outside of the same physical space.

When you add in the spectacular growth in the use and power of smart mobile devices along with the BYOD/CYOD effect, the pressure on the enterprise to facilitate useable remote collaboration is becoming irresistible.

Huddle Rooms or Huddle Spaces?

There is a fundamental dichotomy, however, between the need for ad hoc visual collaboration and the use of meeting rooms. Meeting rooms are often in short supply and need to be reserved and scheduled, dislocating the ad hoc workflow model.

This factor is leading to enterprises looking again at small meeting rooms and spaces which have, until now, been overlooked for video collaboration capability.

On the other hand, visual collaboration in open spaces it practically challenging.

Steelcase Media:Scape

Steelcase, who have looked at the practical design needs of modern meeting spaces, says this about The Workplace Challenge:

Huddling in Open Spaces

Steelcase’s Media:Scape HD Videoconferencing brochure shows some attractive ideas but conveniently ignores some serious practical issues. In particular, acoustic isolation, microphone (voice) pickup and camera control.

Acoustic isolation: while people talking at normal levels in the open lounge concept would probably not be too distracting for co-workers, far end (programme) audio coming from loudspeakers represents a real challenge in open offices.

Microphone (voice) Pickup: Picking up voices and differentiating them from background noise would be a real challenge in these open-plan designs particularly if the participants are likely to move around and use whiteboards or flip charts.

Camera Control: The Steel case pictures show PTZ cameras, which, typically, have an angle of view of around 70-80°, meaning that many of the near-end participants in their photos would be off-camera unless someone was prepared to act as a Director and adjust the PTZ positioning (which, in the real world, almost never happens).

So the open-plan video lounge, while an attractive idea, is likely to bring with it some significant practical and physical challenges leaving the traditional, closed meeting room as the likely low-hanging fruit for early Huddle Room deployments.

Huddling in Traditional Meeting Rooms

Such august research bodies as Gartner, Frost & Sullivan and Wainhouse Research all agree that there are circa 30-50 million meeting rooms worldwide that have no permanently-installed visual collaboration facilities. So there is an obvious business opportunity here for the right solution if the collaboration demand is real and growing as they are suggesting.

A disadvantage of using traditional meeting rooms is that they may not suit the ad hoc workflow model because meeting rooms are generally in short supply and so their use needs to be scheduled. However, if every meeting room, even small rooms suitable for just 4 or so people, has a visual collaboration capability, this issue is mitigated to an extent and if these rooms are not able to be scheduled in advance beyond a few days or even hours, there will be more opportunity to use them in an ad hoc manner.

Prohibiting the scheduling of rooms a long way in advance was a key design tenet of Vodafone’s Video Lounge concept which was, in fact, a precursor of the Huddle Room idea (and led to the RayCube concept). Although primarily about videoconferencing and not collaboration, it was driven by some of the same imperatives, particularly the scarcity of video-enabled meeting rooms.

The lounges coThe lounges could only be booked up to two weeks in advance and this was achieved simply by a user writing his or her name onto a booking sheet pinned to the lounge wall. If the room was not in use within 15 minutes of the assigned start time, it would be released for general availability again.

Huddle Room Challenges

The main criteria that Wainhouse are advocating for the Huddle Room solution are:

  1. Low cost
  2. Easy to deploy
  3. Easy to use
  4. Easy to support
  5. “Good enough” performance (i.e. not OTT on the quality of experience if that means compromising point 1)

In general, the problems with video room deployments tend to come down to five factors – video (and content), audio, control, cable management and support factors:

Video & Content

  1. Camera view – how to ensure everyone is in-shot
  2. Lighting – have enough light in the room which is suitably diffused and avoiding problems caused by changing light from external windows
  3. How to see and interact with whiteboard/flip-chart work


  1. Voice pickup – how to ensure that everyone can be heard
  2. Programme sound – how to ensure that the far end can be heard properly in the room
  3. Reverberation – keeping the local sound reflections (from walls and other hard surfaces) to a minimum
  4. Background noise – external noise – traffic, sound bleed to/from adjacent offices, noisy HVAC etc


Typical Problems in Practice:

  1. Inconsistent room design and equipment types
  2. Non-existent or intimidating control systems (users don’t want to look stupid in front of peers)
  3. Poorly-designed UIs
  4. Poor or no user training and/or training forgotten due to infrequent use
  5. Complicated procedure to share data
  6. Cable Management
  7. Cables trailing untidily and even dangerously across table tops and floor
  8. How to call for support when required?

I will post again on some of the potential solutions to these challenges so, if this subject is of interest to you, watch this space.

Thanks for reading and please follow our page for following instalments.

"More than 2500 organisations in 38+ countries are using the PanaCast daily to improve their communication and productivity.

Over 200 universities are now adopting the PanaCast for lecture capture and huddle room deployments."

What our clients say!

  • “(PanaCast 2) is a very different form factor than the usual 1080p camera that we are using elsewhere in the lab. You can see it has no seams and it’s a very good picture quality.”

    ScobleFuturist / Rackspace

  • “PanaCast…actually seems like something that would be both fun and exceedingly useful.”

    SeoWriter / TechCrunch

  • “The actual image captured by the camera when we tried it in a lecture theatre (300+ seat) was perfect. Every seat in the frame, handled the lighting conditions well, good focus, seamlessly stitched. Very impressed.”

    Geoff Lambert
    Sr. Project Manager of IT & Digital Services / University of Western Sydney

  • “… a great improvement over standard video chat experiences.” Read article

    Michael Gorman
    Editor-in-Chief / Engadget

  • “The panoramic view allowed me to see all five remote participants at the same time, and the 4k resolution provided great visual detail – allowing me to feel ‘connected’ to everyone in the meeting.”

    What Ira M. Weinstein thinks about the PanaCast 2
    Senior Analyst & Partner / Wainhouse Research

  • “We chose the PanaCast 2 video camera because it gives an immersive sense of participation to remote meeting participants. With PanaCast 2, there is no need to squeeze together to get into the scene or waste time panning and zooming like with a typical conference room camera.”

    Jolean De KortJolean De Kort
    Director Employee Technology / GoDaddy

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