When your users walk into a meeting room do their hearts sink at the thought of sharing content from their mobile device?
Would you like to be able to offer them the ability to present their smartphone, tablet or PC content to their colleagues in seconds without cables or hassle?
Would you like to offer them this productivity advantage from anywhere on your premises not just in designated meeting rooms?
No cables from the user’s device to the AV equipment – get your meeting up and running in seconds. Connecting any mobile device is via your enterprise wi-fi or via Huddle Hub One’s optional (secure) wireless access point. No hassle with finding/connecting/touching common cables, wrong sockets, display set to wrong source etc. etc.
Shared Content on All Logged-In Devices – the shared content from the sharer can be streamed back to other participants’ personal devices (PC, Mac, iOS, Android) so you are not relying on everyone having to see the room display (in fact there doesn’t even have to be a display in the room).
No USB dongle required – enterprises regularly disable the USB ports on laptops to guard against data loss plus no problem with lost dongles!
No Client Download Required on PCs or Mac’s – Apps are available for all major platforms but, for PCs, the HHO also supports a superb sharing experience just through your usual browser – no admin rights required.
Simple BYOM Video Calling – the room AV (display, camera, speakerphone, all-in-one USB device etc.) can be connected to the HHO making a BYOM (bring your own meeting) connection to the AV in the room completely wirelessly. The current sharer simply makes a video call using their preferred video client (e.g. MS Teams/SfB, Zoom, Cisco Webex, GotoMeeting etc)
Multi-Session Smart Room Support – the Huddle Hub Enterprise model can support up to six separate and isolated sharing sessions called “Smart Rooms”. So a group of users who need to meet, say, in a room without a Huddle Hub One or for ad-hoc gatherings in casual huddle or rest areas, for example, can grab a Huddle Hub virtual room and immediately start sharing content between their devices.
The pan, tilt and zoom or PTZ electromechanical videoconferencing camera was introduced so far back in the mists of time, almost everyone has forgotten, or never knew, why it was necessary in the first place. Has it had its day?
A quick bit of VC history…..
Viva La Resolution!
Modern video camera resolutions are typically measured in megapixels or millions of pixels. Even smartphone cameras now exceed 33 megapixels but, back in the day, videoconferencing video resolution was limited to about 100,000 pixels (no, really, just 352 x 288) and these had to stretch across large display screens (usually from projectors) so that those seated furthest away could see a usable image. So the video images weren’t great and the rooms had to be carefully designed to get the best from the limited quality.
In order for the far end to make out who was actually speaking, the PTZ camera was introduced so that you could zoom in and devote those 100,000 pixels to the current speaker. Of course, someone had to ensure that the camera was pointing in the right direction at the right time. In other words, someone had to “direct” or operate the camera and, in the days of the half million-pound video room, there was often a technician around tasked to do this.
Want to learn about the modern alternative to three decades old technology? – click on this image of the future, today
When systems became lower cost and more numerous, user interfaces were created to allow the participants to control their own calls and it was at this point that PTZ control really became a pain.
Users were not interested in controlling the camera
Users were not interested in controlling the camera. It was a distraction from the meeting and too demeaning for a senior executive to get involved with the technology. It was also an opportunity to screw up in front of one’s peers when the technology did something unexpected (like focus on the ceiling).
So what did they do? They set the zoom to fully wide and left it there demoting the expensive PTZ to a fixed camera, making it irrelevant and degrading the experience for the far end users – and they are still doing it.
Sure, there were attempts to resolve this using push-to-talk microphones that forced the camera to the current live mike and voice-tracking cameras which were supposed to move automatically to the current speaker. Apart from causing sea-sickness in the viewer from rapidly-tracking images, these voice-tracking cameras were pretty bad at finding the speaker unless the whole room was set up in something akin to an anechoic chamberbecause the audio tracking system would often mistake a reflected audio path as the direction of the speaker and focus on the source of the reflection from, for example, an adjacent wall. Not very helpful and, if an animated discussion broke out with multiple participants speaking at the same time, video pandemonium could ensue.
Move forward 30 years. The big difference is the video resolution of current systems. Most enterprise-grade videoconferencing systems can deliver at least 1920 x 1080 pixels or full HD with some capable of 4K, or Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 or around 8 megapixels).
Add to this the vast improvement in display technology and the early problems around being able to discern who was speaking due to poor resolution have gone; in most rooms, everyone can now be seen clearly so why are we still deploying PTZ cameras? In fact they are now not only redundant, they are becoming a major problem.
This term has been adopted to mean small rooms that have not previously been considered viable for video capability due to cost. Three big factors are coming into play to change things significantly:
User demand: for more video collaboration facilities in the workplace.
Cloud video services: where the large cost of the video network infrastructure is being picked up by a Videoconferencing as a Service (VCaaS) operator and clients need only pay a low subscription fee for access and
Dramatically falling room hardware costs: It’s now possible to deploy professional-quality video into a huddle room for less than $2,000 including a large format display and these costs are continuing to fall.
It’s now possible to deploy video into a huddle room for less than US$2,000
Under pressure from their users for more readily-available visual collaboration facilities, organisations are pressing these Huddle Rooms into video service at a time when the above factors are combining to take away a lot of the pain.
But there is a problem with these legacy PTZs when you start to use small rooms that only seat a few people; the participants are all very close to the display and, consequently, very close to the camera.
Legacy conferencing cameras will not see the closest participants at the table
A typical PTZ camera has a field-of-view (FoV) of just 70-90 degrees. When placed in a small room, this will mean that some of the participants closest to the camera will be partially or completely excluded or it forces everyone to huddle closer than they may have anticipated around the furthest end of the table.
A Modern Solution – No Mechanical PTZ and a 180° Field-of-View
In both the security and conferencing markets (the two biggest markets for PTZ cameras) the trend today is away from electro-mechanical cameras that physically move, toward fixed, high-resolution cameras. This is becoming possible because the resolution of low-cost cameras is becoming so large that the camera can remain static and the panning, tilting and zooming can be achieved by using software to move around the fixed image from the camera sensor.
Jabra has come up with the first new approach to the videoconferencing camera in three decades
The Jabra PanaCast is an industry-leading example of this move towards “soft” PTZs. Jabra has come up with the first new approach to the videoconferencing camera in three decades and it’s both obvious in hindsight and a radical departure.
The Jabra PanaCast camera is three cameras in one with a total native resolution of close to 40 megapixels. This provides a highly detailed image much larger than that needed in a standard video call and can support a lossless zoom of 6 times. Meaning that the soft PTZ action can easily be accomplished within the camera’s captured image without any apparent degradation in the quality received at the far end.
In the PanaCast, Jabra has also produced the world’s first 180° 4K panoramic camera designed to cover the entire room in a single, ultra-high-definition video image.
Now, while wide-angle or wide field-of-view cameras have been around for a long time, unless you spend a huge amount of money on special lenses, they produce significant spacial and radial distortion (the so-called fisheye effect) causing the apparent size of people at the edge of the lens to be exaggerated and adding an unrealistic curve to their image while participants furthest from the camera appear diminutive in comparison. This creates a very unnatural image unsuitable for professional videoconferencing.
Jabra took a different approach. They took three ultra-high-resolution cameras each of a more modest field-of-view and stitched the three images together dynamically in the camera while also adding image correction to produce a single video stream that can cover up to 180° with virtually zero distortion.
The result is a very clear view from even the smallest Huddle Space in which every person, whiteboard or flip-chart is clearly visible within a naturalistic image which belies the closeness of the participants to the camera.
A Typical View from the Jabra PanaCast Camera
Jabra PanaCast’s field-of-view is up to 180 degrees
And, because the image is in high definition, individual viewers or sites can pan and zoom using touch screen devices into the part of the transmitted scene that interests them most without impacting the view of any other site. So, if I want to see the presenter or the whiteboard while you prefer to watch the reaction of others in the room, we can both do so using our own devices with no conflict.
By banishing the PTZ camera to history, one big intimidating factor in the video meeting room may be removed. In these days of self-service visual collaboration, the technology needs to be as transparent to the user as we can make it. The Jabra PanaCast camera is a game-changer in the video meeting room and allows organisations to expand their use of video especially into smaller rooms or Huddle Rooms and, at the same time, delivering a much-improved user experience.
Not the kind of “huddle” experience you had in mind?
The falling cost of hardware and the growth in cloud video services has led to smaller and smaller rooms and spaces being equipped with video collaboration facilities. This trend, referred to as the Huddle Room market by industry analysts, in turn has led to a problem around camera field-of-view (FOV). Standard pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras or low-cost, fixed webcams typically have a FOV of less than 90° which, when deployed in small rooms with the participants close to the display, means that some participants will always be out-of-shot.
The Revolutionary PanaCast 3 Camera
The PanaCast 3 camera meets and overcomes this challenge by employing three horizontal, miniaturised cameras, each with a more modest FOV and stitching these live video streams together in the camera. The resulting UHD (4K) resolution output stream delivers a stunning, natural-looking image of the room.
The ultra-wide view of up to 180° ensures that everyone is in-shot, even in a small group sitting close to the display. Even so, the undistorted view delivered to the far end belies the closeness of the local participants to the camera.
The addition of the Intelligent Zoom feature completes the solution in a novel way. Intelligent Zoom uses advanced in-camera video analytics to detect the faces of participants in the room and frames the transmitted video appropriately for the individual or the group. This framing happens dynamically and automatically and adjusts for people joining or leaving the room in mid-call.
The combination of the wide-angle camera with the Intelligent Zoom feature removes any concern by the local participants about whether or not they are being seen by the far end and greatly enhances the user experience of the video collaboration session at both ends.
Finally, the PanaCast 3 does all of this for around the same price as a standard electro-mechanical PTZ camera.
We’re absolutely delighted to announce that Altia’s PanaCast 2 has been shortlisted in the Collaboration and Conferencing category of the forthcoming InAVation Awards 2019. It’s great to have the opportunity, as a finalist in this category, for Altia’s exciting technology and all of its partners to be recognised in such an incredibly innovative industry.
The PanaCast 2 video camera’s technology can be used to create top-quality, online video meetings, which also helps to reduce operational costs, enhance the user experience and improve productivity.
As you know, the InAVation Awards provide a platform where manufacturers, integrators, distributors and consultants compete for the most highly regarded prizes in the professional AV industry. The winners of all categories will be announced at the ISE show in Amsterdam on 5th February 2019 when pioneering product development and outstanding integration skills will be rewarded.
So, you can vote for Altia and The PanaCast2 RIGHT NOW by clicking here to put them in with a chance of winning this InAVate award! We know that the competition in this category this year is very tough so we’re unashamedly asking you to spread the word and encourage your colleagues to vote too!
However the voting goes, we’ll look forward to seeing you at another exciting ISE in February and the annual gathering of AV industry luminaries.
Collaboration is key to success in today’s competitive landscape. The easier it is for team members from every background to work seamlessly together in an enhanced collaborative space, the quicker you’ll achieve incredible results with every meeting and conference.
New, innovative technologies are being created for small or “huddle” rooms at an astonishing rate and these cost-effective solutions are making it simpler for organisations to bring the right team together for the most creative brainstorming and meeting sessions possible. Huddle Rooms allow users to redefine their meeting experience by introducing next-level collaboration where attendees can design, sketch and share their ideas.
The question is can you take your Huddle Room video meetings experience to the next level?
Download our latest tips and ideas guide containing a few key steps that you can take to enhance the video meeting room experience and unlock your team’s true potential.
Download the guide now by filling in your details in the form on our contact page.
Altia Systems, the makers of the industry-leading PTZ-killer, the PanaCast 2 180˚ 4K conference camera, has just announced the availability of the PanaCast 2s, the world’s first 5K 180˚ panoramic conference camera.
That’s 5120 x 1440 pixels or 7.4 megapixels at 30 frames per second; a 76% increase in pixel count over its little brother the 4K PanaCast 2.
But why, in a world that rarely uses video meeting resolutions of more than 720p, would you want to use a 5K camera? The answer is the lossless zoom.
The PanaCast does away with the traditional pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) camera, a legacy, dumb light-gatherer compared to the sophisticated, 9-processor intelligent vision system that is the PanaCast. The PanaCast cameras provide a low-distortion, 180˚ field-of-view which means you will see everyone in the room, be those close-up participants in a small huddle room or a roomful of students in a wide
classroom, and at extremely high edge-to-edge optical quality.
Now, of course, you won’t always want to see the whole 180˚ view. For example, when a couple of people sit at the far end of a conference table, standard cameras would just present these participants as tiny, perspective-shortened individuals stuck at the end of a massive table.
So the PanaCast has another trick called Intelligent Zoom (or IZ for short). IZ detects faces and, when activated, will zoom and pan the view to optimally frame
the detected participants. If someone enters the room mid-call, IZ will dynamically reframe the transmitted image to include them. Similarly, it will automatically adjust if someone leaves the room.
What has all this to do with 5K? Well, the larger the resolution of the captured image, the greater the zoom capability without any apparent loss of resolution at the far end. Actually, with 5K captured video working over a 720p connection, you can
(losslessly) zoom by a factor of 4. It’s like having a standard camera with an optical zoom of 4 times but with no moving parts and delivered in a considerably smaller footprint.
This makes PanaCast 2s a great solution for all sizes of conference room and classroom.
Altia Systems, creators of PanaCast 2, the world’s first 180° Panoramic-4K plug-and-play video camera system, will demonstrate PanaCast 2s and the PanaCast 3D live streaming solutions at CES 2018.
CES 2018 – Booth MP 25953
PanaCast 2s, the first software-defined Panoramic-5K intelligent vision platform which enables 4x lossless digital zoom up to 16 feet at 720p, was recognized as a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree. The PanaCast 3D VR kit, another CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree, delivers real-time stitched 180° 4K video directly, with no post-processing requirement. The kit now brings production-grade real-time immersive 3D video through the company’s in-device video stitching technology.
Altia Systems will be present at booth MP 25953 at CES 2018, which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 9-12, 2018. In addition to its PanaCast 2 Panoramic-4K camera system, the team will be exhibiting the following products:
PanaCast2s:the first software-defined Panoramic-5K (5120 x 1440 pixels per frame) video camera system that delivers 4x lossless digital zoom up to 16 feet at 720p and 30 frames per second. PanaCast 2s is a software-scalable intelligent vision platform, and is currently the only panoramic video solution designed for use in medium to large conference rooms. PanaCast 2s also enables content creators to deliver Panoramic-5K videos.
PanaCast Intelligent Vision products add unique capabilities to enhance participants’
collaboration experience. The suite includesIntelligent Zoom, PanaCast Whiteboard and PanaCast Vivid. The software products autonomously act upon intelligence generated from the real-time, immersive PanaCast video stream.
PanaCast 3D VR Kitdelivers 180° 3D content with full 4K resolution in real time, with
in-device panoramic stitching that eliminates the complex process of post-production stitching. The broadcast-ready kit creates Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and mixed reality experiences with point-and-shoot simplicity.
The fully stitched and synchronized content is available in real-time to help content creators see and adjust the video instantly. The kit has been used by early adopters and customers to bring natural looking 3D video in broadcast,
sports and education.
Video has risen to the very top of the list as the communication method of choice for the corporate and business environment. As the use of video continues to grow, it is essential that companies build a culture that has bought into this form of communication.
Why build a Video-First Culture?
Looking at communication methods among different age groups, show that 87% of younger respondents would prefer to work for a more “video-enabled” organisation or business rather than one that limits its investment in video conferencing and external and internal meetings.
This tells us that video will continue to gain in popularity as the younger generations work their way up to holding more senior roles.
Future-proof your communication
In case you still need to be convinced, here are a few benefits of video communication:
Choosing to schedule your meetings via a video conferencing platform instead of a traditional conference call can help you develop more meaningful relationships with colleagues, business partners, clients, investors and more.
Video can help to reduce the cost of both time and money in travelling to and from meetings. Your most expensive asset is probably your people. Do you really want them to spend their time stuck in traffic when they should be working productively for you?
Setting up a meeting lightening fast – Using something like Zoom which is low-cost, reliable and secure, with your PanaCast 2 Video Camera, you can set up a meeting and have 10 groups of people spread out all over the world in that meeting in less than 1 minute.
Humanise your interactions:
Video allows participants to pick up the nonverbal cues, that make up to 93% of standard communication.
When using the right technology, video communication has the potential to mimic face-to-face interactions. Seeing someone while they are speaking transforms the nature of the conversation, for the better.
Cut travel costs:
Video calls allow you to schedule regular meetings, internal or external, without having to physically travel to another location. This helps to cut travel costs and time. This enables your business to allocate that budget elsewhere (perhaps for some new video conferencing technology!).
Enable remote work:
Last year, about 43% of management and director level people spent at least part of their time working remotely.
In order to keep all of these remote employees engaged and feeling as though they are part of the team, video communication can be used to coordinate check-ins and to give remote employees the opportunity to have some valuable face time with the rest of the team.
Video communication will continue to rise in the coming years, which makes the case to start building your video-first company culture now.
So, if you are going to use video, why not do it professionally?
If you’ve been dying to get your hands on the remarkable PanaCast 2 Video Camera (and who hasn’t?), now’s your chance to do that and save £240!
From this Friday the 24th until Monday 27th November 2017, you can claim this state-of-the-art video camera to enhance your online meetings for a massive 25% discount!.
Remember – PanaCast 2 is the world’s first 180° 4K panoramic video camera designed specifically for the huddle room or classroom; in fact for any use case where the field-of-view of legacy PTZ or web cameras will just not get everyone in the shot or distorts the image so badly as to make it unusable. PanaCast’s pin-sharp, low distortion, wide-angle video outclasses any other room camera available today – at any price.
The plug-and-play device works seamlessly with popular video collaboration services such as Skype® for Business and Zoom without requiring any driver or software installs.
To secure your 25% discount, use the promotional code BLK17 in the checkout process before the end of Monday 27th November 2017.
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
So confident are we that you will be completely delighted with PanaCast’s stunning performance, we back every purchase, even with this discount, with our 30-day, no-quibble, money-back guarantee so there’s almost zero risk to trying it out!
So what are you waiting for? Click the button to claim your discount!
Intermedia Communication Solutions, together with Altia Systems recently hosted a PanaCast Webinar and as we have received lots of great feedback from the people who attended, we have decided to share a recording of the Webinar.
By watching the video you will learn all about the world’s first 180° Panoramic 4k plug-and-play USB video camera, hosted by Steve Mills of Intermedia and demonstrated by Javed Tufail of Altia Systems.
During the Webinar, Javed also demonstrated the new Whiteboard technology which allows people in multiple venues to see your whiteboard live as you write on a separate screen.
He also demonstrated the PanaCast Vivid software. This is a newly-developed real-time HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology which is a fully integrated high-performance engine running in the PanaCast Video Processor.
It automatically and continuously improves video quality under varying light conditions to enhance participants’ collaboration experience.
So, take a look at the Webinar now by clicking on the link below…
If you would like to know more about the outstanding PanaCast 2 or a personal demonstration, then simply call us on +44 (0)1992 878312.
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"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.”
Sr. Project Manager of IT & Digital Services / University of Western Sydney
“… a great improvement over standard video chat experiences.” Read article
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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