Prior to the official launch, Installation was invited to a product briefing and demo of Logitech's new MeetUp conference camera, designed specifically for the huddle room space.
Although established as the number one for market share in professional-grade webcams and conference cameras, Logitech is still looking at ways to expand its offering via emerging areas of the market – notably the huddle room space. “We’ve gone back to scratch to design a better solution for the huddle room,” said Anne Marie Ginn, Logitech VC senior category marketing manager.
“The traditional codec videoconferencing is quite static in the market, while PC-based or USB-based videoconferencing has grown from a very low base a couple of years ago to now, where it’s predicted to outstrip traditional videoconferencing by 2020,” commented Ginn.
Additionally, research suggests there are around 30-50 million huddle room spaces in the world, however 97% of those are not equipped for any sort of collaboration, which presents a huge opportunity for videoconferencing companies. To make the most of this, Logitech firstly defined what a huddle room is before looking at what sort of solution would be required. “Much of the experience in the huddle room, is people bring their laptops in and use the webcam from their laptop,” said Ginn. “It’s adequate but far from the best experience for the participants.”
What the company has come up with is MeetUp, which will be available from July. This conference cam provides 120° field of view with the option to pan an additional 25° to the left and right. It also has acoustics custom-tuned for huddle rooms and a compact all-in-one design that minimises cable clutter.
To ensure a high quality video experience, there is a low-distortion lens, UHD 4K optics and three camera presets. For audio, MeetUp has three sound-isolating mics and a voice-optimised speaker - the speaker range is 8ft and there is also an expansion speaker available, which will take the range up to 12ft.
Ginn said Logitech describes itself as ‘the Switzerland of videoconferencing’ and MeetUp is designed to work with virtually any videoconferencing software application and cloud service, including Skype for Business, Cisco collaboration applications, and all Logitech Collaboration Programme partners such as BlueJeans, BroadSoft, Vidyo and Zoom.
A feature of many huddle room devices is the ease of use, which has led to questions about the role of traditional systems integrator. When asked, Ginn explained: “We think there is still very much a place for integrators in this scenario.
“Yes a small company can set up themselves, but when you come to bigger companies that are deploying in multiple rooms, multiple sites, multiple countries and all of the complexity that comes with that including cabling, routing, screens. I think there is still a huge proposition there for integrators. It’s not about the one room, it’s about the many rooms. I think in some cases integrators need to adjust their business model, there’s still lots of opportunity around service and support and management of all of those devices.”