This week, I was delighted to be asked by the Royal Society of Medicine in central London to demonstrate the PanaCast 2 camera system with Intelligent Zoom.
The Technology Showcase Day was organised by Kevin McLoughlin, Audio Visual Manager at the Royal Society of Medicine, who invited 13 companies to demonstrate and present their emerging, innovative technologies. Presentations included new solutions in virtual reality, digital signage, lecture capture and new products aimed at the burgeoning huddle room market including audio, video and innovative furniture designs.
The audience included representatives and senior stakeholders from the Royal Society of Medicine itself plus a number of London-area universities including Greenwich, Hertfordshire and the London College of Fashion.
I received great feedback following my presentation and significant interest in the PanaCast 2 camera system and its ground-breaking features and benefits.
For more details regarding the PanaCast 2, to watch a video of the camera in action or to contact me, please click here.
I would also like to thank Kevin McLoughlin for his invitation and the opportunity to present the PanaCast 2 camera on the day. The Royal Society of Medicine is one of the UK’s major providers of postgraduate medical education and a non-profit organisation. For more details please click here.
Doug Pidduck, CEO, Intermedia.
I just wanted to say to everyone who is celebrating this week ……..
A Very Happy Easter!
I hope you have a good break and the sun shines for you!
The Intermedia office will be shut on the following days:
- Good Friday – 14 April
- Easter Monday – 17 April
We will be open again on Tuesday 18 April.
The Huddle Room Challenge
The need for more useful and ad hoc collaboration with remote work colleagues, clients and supplier/partners is driving the growth of a new kind of video conferencing in the workplace – visual collaboration.
A major challenge is ensuring that everyone and everything that matter to the meeting or presentation is “in shot” and visible to the far end. But a small room with participants close to the display or a large room set out in classroom format demands a camera with a field of view (FOV) much wider than standard video conferencing solutions.
A typical Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) camera has an FOV of just 60 to 90 degrees so not all participants will be visible if the PTZ remains fixed in one position. This leads to the need for one person to “direct” the camera throughout the meeting to ensure the current speaker or the whiteboard is in shot. And, of course, no one wants to do this, so the camera remains locked-off in one position and the far end experience is less than optimal.
But, after over 20 years, the PanaCast 2 camera at last removes the tyranny of the PTZ camera and, for the first time, offers a full view of the room, it’s occupants and whiteboard surfaces without the need for any input from the participants.
On average, 11 million meetings are held in the US each day! That adds up to 55 million a week, 220 million a month and well over a billion a year! This total is just for meetings held in the United States! Imagine what the global total would be!!
With so many of these meetings now being held at a distance over video, it’s increasingly important that we understand how to create the video meeting environment so that both the organisers and the attendees will gain the most from them. These days, getting people together for a meeting can be a task in itself, so they need to be the most productive that they can be.
Good participant engagement is key to video meeting success
Sadly, there is very little academic research out there about the human factors at work specifically in video conferencing calls. However, we have managed to unearth two unusually relevant research papers that deal with the impact of non-verbal clues which, if accommodated correctly in the technical design of the room system, can greatly improve participant engagement and produce better video meeting outcomes. Three important factors that the research identifies are:
- Establishing good eye contact
- Supporting spatially faithful eye contact
- Ensuring correct framing to properly present body language
So, while these two studies by the University of California, Berkeley are eight years old, we found them both really interesting and still highly relevant particularly to modern-day huddle room design.
MultiView: Improving Trust in Group Video Conferencing Through Spatial Faithfulness (David T. Nguyen, Accenture Technology Labs & John Canny Berkeley Institute of Design University of California, Berkeley)
This study looked at the difference in the creation of trust in participants between single-camera, single-codec and multi-camera, multi-stream views of the same room and assumes good eye contact in both cases.
Extract: “The (second) result shows that using a spatially faithful video conferencing system helps improve the trust formation process. Groups meeting through directional video conferencing cooperated more than groups who met through standard video conferencing systems and were more resilient in their cooperation in the face of temptation.
For all our measures of trust, there was no measurable difference in cooperative behavior between groups meeting face-to-face and groups meeting through (a spatially faithful) video conferencing.”
To read the research please click here
More than Face-to-Face: Empathy Effects of Video Framing (David T. Nguyen, Accenture Technology Labs & John Canny Berkeley Institute of Design University of California, Berkeley)
This paper studied the effect of framing in video conferencing and the impact on effective communication when excluding body language cues and presented guidelines for conferencing systems that preserve both gaze and body language cues.
Extract: “Non-verbal communication has proved to be a powerful framework for understanding the video medium. Systems that are careful to preserve important non-verbal cues provide face-to-face-like experiences, while those that do not are measurably inferior to face-to-face.”
To read the research please click here
The Panacast 2 Camera
The PanaCast 2 is the world’s first 180° Panoramic-4K Plug-and-Play USB video camera. It creates a high degree of eye contact and maintains a spatially-faithful view to the far end but using only a single camera and single stream and, when using reasonably large format displays, gaze direction is communicated correctly.
The PanaCast 2 camera not only maintains a spatially-faithful view to the far end, but the new feature of Intelligent Zoom employs advanced video analytics to ensure that room participants are properly and automatically framed so that upper-body language cues are always visible. Intelligent Zoom is a background, dynamic capability that adjusts automatically to participants moving position or joining and leaving the room mid-call.