Recent advancements in technology have simplified the process of installing audiovisual equipment. In the world of video conferencing (VC), this has made the technology more cost-effective and accessible.
The impact of technology with the necessity created by COVID-19 has caused the VC world to explode, with exponential growth in service ubiquity and user numbers. In 2021 video conferencing is a business-critical feature in the digitization and disruption of the workplace.
In this article, our Pre-Sales Solutions Manager, Jared Bolton runs through 5 innovations that positively impact video conferencing deployments.
1. POE (Power over Ethernet)
As the acronym suggests, Power over Ethernet offers the ability to pass power and data through ethernet cables, replacing the need for a separate power source.
POE has been around since 2003 but is now making its mark in technology deployment. Modern network infrastructure allows POE-powered componentry to be the “new norm”, reducing cables, connections, power source requirements, and ultimately the complexity of installations.
USB is the second major piece to this pie. All USB interfaces have paved the way for plug-in-play equipment, but the true hero is USB-C.
USB-C is the latest addition to the growing USB family, and like POE, it is capable of powering devices. In video conferencing, USB-C supports AV connectivity with displays, offering significant benefits.
One of the considerable advantages of the USB-C connector over the A and B connectors is that it is reversible, meaning insertion from both sides is possible. Deployments also benefit from its slimline size. USB-C has dimensions of 8.4 x 2.4 mm, which is similar to the current micro-USB connector. In addition to being easy to handle, the connector is also robust and designed to withstand 10,000 insertion and removal cycles.
Advancements in microphone technology, such as auto-volume levelling, background noise reduction, and AI speech detection, offer users high-quality audio. Learning from thousands of users AI speech detection can precisely differentiate undesirable noise from human speech, with microphone systems continuing to learn and update with usage.
Microphone technology has also helped video conferencing deployment. The latest microphones are adept at picking up clear sound from anywhere in small and medium-sized rooms, with simple easy-to-connect extensions designed for additional microphones located around large rooms. This technology reduces the complexity around both planning and installation, making life easier for VC deployment engineers.
Gone are the days of installing purpose-built cameras. It is now commonplace to see 4K cameras integrated into VC units of all sizes and shapes. The latest cameras detect meeting participants, auto-frame and auto-focus, automatically move the lens, and adjusting the zoom leaving no one out of the picture. This technology has simplified camera placement and eliminated the need for flux meters and indirect lighting, with 4k and 8k technology cutting camera noise and offering flawless resolutions. With the latest hardware, camera installations are both fast and efficient.
5. Platform decentralization
Last but not least is the decentralization of communication through cloud-based unified communication platforms. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Cisco Webex have taken AV deployments into a new realm offering the ability to turn any PC into an immersive meeting room experience with the addition of a few USB peripherals. These platforms supply powerful and streamline devices, containing technology capable of supporting meeting rooms of all shapes, layouts and sizes. In 2021, video conferencing is a business enabler, with Zoom, Teams, Meet and Cisco Webex enabling more companies to benefit from high-quality video calls with cost-effective, efficient-to-setup, purpose-built devices.