RealPresence Centro was built with instinctual human behavior in mind – that people feel more comfortable communicating and collaborating in the round. Out of the box assembly takes only about twenty minutes. Connectivity is as simple as an Ethernet cable and plugging in to a power source. Users sit in a circle around the unit, whether that be a circular boardroom, chair layouts in a huddle room, or an open-office environment.
The base unit emits sound from four speakers, one on each side, displays the time on each side, offers a USB port for charging devices on each side, and glows blue when not in use and green when in use. BYOD receiving capabilities are built into the base, and wheels allow for the system to be easily transported to different rooms. Attached are four touchscreen displays that can be used to start a meeting with a single click, drive and interact with the system, or annotate content when content is on-screen. Content can be shared wirelessly from mobile devices by pairing easily with the system.
A central recorder consisting of five 1080p cameras sewn together raises from between the screens when conferencing begins. Even standing between two lenses of these cameras offers no distortion in imaging, creating a panoramic, high definition view of participants gathered around the system. Ergonomics and human behavior were studied to find ideal viewing angles for the tilt of the screens and orientation of the cameras. The cameras are outfitted with Polycom EagleEye, NoiseBlock, acoustic bubble and acoustic fence technology.
What that translates to are dynamic viewings of remote participants with no user adjustment. If no one on the other end or everyone on the other end are speaking, the screen switches to a double-decker view of the panorama so all participants are seen. If someone speaks up, the screen adjusts to a close-up of the speaker, with the full panorama shown on the top or bottom of the screen. The orientation of that panorama depends on the speaker – if the speaker is sitting and their face occupies the bottom of the camera, the panorama moves to the top of the screen, and vice versa if the speaker occupies the top of the camera. It basically applies post-production to the video conference in real time, creating an engaging view without anyone having to think about it but the system itself. Attendees of the event conferenced with Polycom reps in the Austin offices live, and the experience was incredible.
That’s Not All Folks
Along with the three larger debuts, but no less impressive, were a number of new Polycom solutions.
Polycom Medialign enables consistent collaboration solutions across the enterprise without the need alter the room in any way. RealPresence Medialign has a modern, all-in-one design consisting of dual 55- or 70-inch screens and features Polycom’s patented voice, content-sharing/management and video technology. Medialign can be quickly assembled and installed without tools and interoperates with the broadest array of UC platforms in the market. Like every RealPresence Group Series solution, RealPresence Medialign features unique NoiseBlock technology, Acoustic Fence audio technology and EagleEye Producer and Director camera technology that provide an unmatched experience.
Polycom Concierge is the first enterprise software that instantly connects your device to solutions across Polycom’s collaboration portfolio for ease of conference control. The Polycom Concierge technology enables user devices to be at the center of meeting control, wirelessly connecting to Polycom solutions. Participants can easily invite additional team members, adjust the volume and far-end camera angles or mute active participants all from an application on their own device. Concierge allows users to share content from their devices and even see content shared from others – up close on their own device. Users can also easily connect to a call right from their calendar from any room.
Finally, officially announced that the industry leading portfolio of Polycom VVX business media phones will be the first phones to support and interoperate with the forthcoming cloud voice service offering as part of Microsoft Office 365. Earlier this year, Polycom and Microsoft announced a partnership to develop joint solutions for Skype for Business. The announcement further expands the company’s long-standing relationship with Microsoft and builds on the more than 40 Polycom solutions that deeply integrate with Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business.
The announcements of these products come on the eve Polycom’s celebration of twenty five years on Thursday October 8th. After so many years in the conference space, it’s encouraging to see the company working so hard to drive the next generation of conferencing. With a number of engineers and representatives attending Tuesday’s event as guests and participants in demoes, it’s clear to see that the employees behind these innovations have a deep regard and excitement for what they are doing. We look forward to covering the usage of these new innovations, and new products Polycom has coming down the line.