Tag: visual collaboration


Say Hello to Huddle Hub One – Touch-Free Presentations and Conferencing

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? 

Read on…

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.

Huddle Hub One Touch-free Wireless Content Presentation and Sharing Solution

Every Meeting Needs a Huddle Hub One‏

Contact us for more information

or complete the form on our contact page and we’ll get back to you


DEATH of the PTZ?

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

Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia
Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia

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 chamber because 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.

Huddle Rooms

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.

Intermedia for PanaCast 3

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.

.

PanaCast 180 degree field of view
Using the Jabra PanaCast, all participants at the table will be clearly visible to the far end

Intermedia for PanaCast 3A 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.

For more information on the Jabra PanaCast camera, visit intermedia-cs.co.uk, call us on +44 (0)1992 878312, or fill out the form on our contact page and we will call you.


The Huddle Room Camera Problem – Solved

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

PanaCast 3

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.

PanaCast 3

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.


Intelligent Zoom

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.

See PanaCast 3 and Intelligent Zoom in action

Contact us
for more information

 


PanaCast Whiteboard voted Number One by rAVe publications!

We are really pleased to announce Altia System’s newest product – PanaCast Whiteboard – has been voted Number One by rAVe publications.   rAVe reviewed 90 new products, 10 of which were nominated for the Top 10 ‘must see’ innovative products at the InfoComm 2017 event in Florida last week.  PanaCast Whiteboard was then selected for “best of show” award by rAVe.

rAVE commented, “PanaCast Whiteboard will get you hooked!”   To read why rAVe chose our product as their Number One product please click here.

PanaCast 2 is the world’s first Panoramic 180° 4K plug-and-play video camera system.  Now Altia Systems has worked with Intel® to launch PanaCast Whiteboard, a computer vision software that detects content on an existing whiteboard and displays it as an individual screen within a video conference. The software automatically improves image quality and corrects distortion to produce a clear whiteboard image, enhancing the video collaboration experience for remote participants in various business and education settings.

To watch this outstanding product in action, please play the video.

For more details about the fantastic PanaCast 2 Camera, to watch a video of the camera in action or to contact us, please click here.

 

 


PanaCast 2 demonstrated at the Royal Society of Medicine Technology Showcase

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.


The Huddle Room Camera Problem – Solved

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 2 Camera

PanaCast 2 camera

The PanaCast 2 camera meets and overcomes this challenge by employing three horizontal, miniaturised cameras, each with a FOV of 60° and stitching these live video streams together in the camera.  The resulting UHD (4K) resolution output stream delivers a stunning image of the room with an ultra-wide view of up to 180° which ensures that everyone, even in a small group sitting close to the display, is in-shot.

The PanaCast 2 180°, 4K panoramic camera with Intelligent Zoom


Intelligent Zoom

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 camera and 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 2 does all of this for around the same price as a standard electro-mechanical PTZ camera.

See PanaCast 2 and Intelligent Zoom in action

Contact us
for more information

 


The PanaCast 2 Camera System could save you time and money

These days it seems that every time you get in your car you are faced with traffic jams, road works and unpredictable incidents.

In fact, UK drivers spend an average of 30 hours a year in traffic congestion, with Londoners spending a whopping 100 hours! But drivers in Belgium get an even worse deal, as Belgium is Europe’s most gridlocked country with drivers spending an average of 44 hours a year in traffic jams!

Being stuck in traffic is not only extremely time-consuming, expensive and frustrating, but it can also seriously affect health and businesses!

Stress

Long car journeys, whether commuting to work or for pleasure can lead to stress. Drivers may not get home in time to put their children to bed, miss an important appointment or crucial meeting at work, all of which can be stressful.

Air Pollution

Drivers are exposed to more air pollution the longer they sit in traffic. Research from the University of Surrey revealed that pollution levels inside cars were found to be 40% higher whilst in traffic jams or stopping at red traffic lights, compared to when in free-flowing traffic conditions.

Lack of sleep

Drivers who get home from work late, or who get up early to drive to work to miss the traffic queues will almost certainly be deprived of sleep. Lack of sleep can affect performance, attention and long-term memory.

Cost to industry

When employees are affected by traffic congestion it could mean that they are late to work and miss important meetings, or have to leave work early to avoid delays, so are less productive during the day. There may also be financial costs to the business, such as the extra cost of fuel for company vehicles and the cancelling or rearranging of meetings.

If you have employees that have problems getting to work on time and are also looking at reducing your costs, then holding online web meetings could be the answer. You don’t even need to have a big conference or board-room to carry out your web meetings, as with the right equipment you can turn a little room into a video room!

To find out how the PanaCast 2 Camera System can be a productivity booster for your business and save you money – click here.

The PanaCast 2 Camera System the world’s first 180° 4K video camera for personal and room–based video communications.


Research reveals increasing number of organisations using Huddle Rooms for meetings

Research reveals increasing number of organisations using Huddle Rooms for meetings.

The world is changing rapidly and this is particularly true within the conferencing, collaboration and audio-visual industry. Recent research by Wainhouse (WR) has identified three key drivers behind these changes, regarding how people now meet and work together. They are:

  • People
  • Business Environment
  • Technology Advancements and Dependency

The study which was sponsored by cloud conferencing provider Zoom,  also revealed that many organisations are now looking to make the most of their smaller meeting rooms, which Wainhouse Research refers to as “Huddle Rooms.” Click here to learn more from the Wainhouse Research.

More information on Huddle Rooms?

To find out how our Huddle Room technology can help your meetings run smoothly and productively, so you and your colleagues will gain the most from them please click here.

 


The PanaCast2 – a video camera suitable for all locations!

The PanaCast2 – a video camera suitable for all locations!

These days it seems that dispersed team working or virtual teams are becoming commonplace, as organisations look for varied ways to become more competitive and find new ways to provide flexible working for their employees.  As with anything there are advantages and disadvantages.

Enabling people to communicate successfully at meetings when in different locations and time zones can be challenging.

FedEx Cup Commercial – Video Conference

But, organisations of all sizes can make a success of virtual team working with the help of the PanaCast 2 – the world’s first 180° 4K video camera for personal and room–based video communications.  Check out how the PanaCast2 can revolutionise virtual team meetings here. 


A Video Conference Call in Real Life

A Video Conference Call in Real Life

If you’ve ever been part of a video conference call at work, involving lots of colleagues in different locations and time zones, then please watch this short video.  It will all seem very familiar to you!

Enjoyable as the video is…. you will know how frustrating a conference call like this can be. But it doesn’t have to be like this!

A Video Conference Call in Real Life…

Check out the PanaCast 2 – the world’s first 180° 4K video camera for personal and room–based video communications.

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.



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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.”

    Robert
    ScobleFuturist / Rackspace

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

    Michael
    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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