Hybrid meetings: How dedicated audio-visuals level up your huddle room
A typical team meeting today involves a combination of people physically present in a room at the office and those formed of pixels on a screen. The widespread adoption of hybrid work arrangements means that employees get the best of both worlds – the choice to return to the workplace and interact with one another, and of working from home.
However, the new way of working also surfaces changes to the way we collaborate and meet. Boardrooms are great for large, in-person meetings, but the rise in hybrid working practices means smaller, ‘huddle rooms’ for quick collab sessions and brainstorming with remote workers are now more necessary than ever.
While the ideal huddle room is one that is equipped with high-quality audio and video capabilities, and is simple – and quick – to use, the reality remains quite different. According to data from Wainhouse Research, despite the increased need for room-based video conferencing, smaller meeting rooms are not often optimally equipped for video conferencing. This creates a gap: there’s now an increased need for collaboration in distributed teams, but organizations lack the infrastructure to support it.
Organizations may be reluctant to invest in new meeting room technology due to past perceptions of costly expenses that are not cost effective for smaller rooms. However, video conferencing solutions, purpose-built for huddle rooms, are emerging onto the market that have excellent sound, audio, and build quality. They’re designed specifically to support smaller intimate discussions.
As many organizations adopt hybrid working practices, balancing the meeting experiences between remote and in-person employees becomes a critical business imperative. Workers joining meetings remotely need more than a single, lo-res shot of the room accompanied by muffled audio. Closing the disparity in experience between in-person and remote becomes a significant factor in the success of hybrid work models.
Using latest-generation hardware and smart, AI-aided technology closes this gap in the meeting experience significantly. Multiple, tight-beam microphones and 4k cameras that track speakers intelligently bring the remote attendees right into the discussion. Crisp audio and detailed video, follows the path of the ongoing collaboration, making remote attendance a first-class experience.
In the Rally Bar Huddle from Logitech, for example, sound is captured by six beamforming microphones, and optimized by RightSound AI-powered audio optimization that automatically removes background noise. Audio from remote attendees is projected into the huddle room through a full-range ported speaker for crystal-clear incoming sound.
The hardware’s camera produces 4K image quality videos, and pans, tilts and zooms autonomously – just like watching a high-budget production. The system offers two viewing modes: Grid and Speaker Views (see below) help immerse remote attendees as if they were present in the room.
In Speaker View, the camera detects and zooms in on the active person speaking, yet with an omnipresent wide-angle view of the whole room. Alternatively, Grid View captures the head & shoulder view of all meeting attendees and displays them in a “traditional” grid familiar to anyone who’s used video conferencing software.
The 55 cm-long bar is suitable for a meeting of up to six physical attendees and can be attached to a display, table, or wall, depending on the room’s layout.
It’s important that such technology, however impactful, is easy to install. It should also be fast and simple to use. For the Rally Bar Huddle, initial setup takes only minutes, with the unit powered and networked via a single cable.
For end-users, the system integrates seamlessly with Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, so meetings can be up and running in seconds. The system becomes an extension of existing workflows for all meetings, chats, brainstorms and pitch meetings.
For IT teams, the solution is easily managed, maintained and controlled by any Windows PC (Chrome OS is also supported). Accompanying cloud-based software, Logitech Sync, makes fleet management simple – updates can be deployed remotely, and provides helpful room-use insights for the organization. (An optional extra touch comes in the form of the touch-screen Logitech Tap IP)
In smaller huddle rooms, getting in-person and remote personalities in a virtual (or real) space is now a critical element of modern working practices.
Request for a demo of the Rally Bar Huddle here.
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