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UCC AV: the future has arrived

August 31, 2017

The technologies used to conduct conference calls and meetings haven’t changed much over the years. What improvements we’ve seen were mostly centered on improved call quality, not new features that make it easier and more effective for us to collaborate. That’s about to change thanks to some cutting-edge technologies hitting the market.

The ways we meet are changing

It’s not always ideal to get everyone together in a conference room. Impromptu huddles can take place in any cubicle or office. To address this need, conferencing camera manufacturers have developed ultra-wide-angle cameras that are small and portable to allow them to be used in rooms of all sizes. At the same time, software companies have developed apps that allow huddles to easily happen anywhere.

Even traditional conference rooms are getting upgrades. New center-of-table devices bring heightened productivity. These look like cubes with 17-inch touchscreen displays on each side. Also incorporated are cameras, microphones and speakers allowing participants to share presentations, annotate, collaborate and communicate with the screen facing them. The effect for the remote party is a 360-degree panoramic view of the table.

At the same time, the OLED technology used to make our home televisions and smartphone screens has improved to the point where we’ll soon be able to have thin screens that we can roll up and tape to a wall. An entire room will be able to be turned into a screen. With mobile cameras and lightweight thin OLED screens, conference rooms can be created anywhere.

Audio magic has arrived

Audio is improving by leaps and bounds as well. Humans can filter the sounds around us into multiple streams to select what we want to focus on. The problem with traditional conference audio is that every sound is combined into one channel. If multiple participants speak at the same time, it comes across as noise. Companies have now figured out how to record and emit sound in a way that our ears can selectively hear what they need to. A room full of people can be talking on a conference call at the same time and, just as if they were in the same room as the listener, the listener can tune their ears to the one voice they want to.

Additionally, with the introduction of spatial audio, you’ll soon be able to hear from where a person is speaking on their end of the call. For instance, if they walk to the left end of their room while speaking, you’ll hear their voice coming from the left end of your room.

Since we’ve all spent countless hours on conference calls, it’s clear that the need for a more natural, immersive communication experience exists. Indeed, mobile workers and dynamic environments call for innovative technologies to heighten collaboration. Thanks to these innovations, a new reality is possible. Contact Ingram Micro to learn how you can bring these new solutions to your customers.