The evolution of remote conferencing has always brought challenges. As meetings, which were simply audio-based evolved into videoconferencing, challenges due to innovations were apparent but not significant. Then, as COVID increased the frequency of videoconferencing calls, it became evident that improvements were needed. The fact that everyone on a call is having an equal experience does not mean that they are having an equitable one.
The key issue for remote participants is engagement. It is an in-person participant’s natural reaction to turn and speak to the person they are addressing without really thinking about where the camera is in the room. This results in the remote participants seeing the side or back of the speaker’s head. However, with everyone being more aware of remote participants, it can feel awkward to be in the room since it is difficult to know where to look. These friction points can take us away from the meeting space and successfully collaborating. Intelligent video removes these obstacles and makes the connection between remote and in-person participants more natural.
Remote participants also want to be engaged but not disrespectful; they need to be able to read the room and know when it is appropriate to interject by seeing faces and reactions as well as body language. One of the biggest challenges is not to have conversations broken up. Intelligent video can bring this human element back into meetings.
So how can intelligent video make the meeting more equitable?
To start, don't just look at the room from a meeting space point of view (e.g., the walls, the display, and participants, which is only part it). Look at the room as a way to build engagement and productivity. To ensure that remote participants can see a direct view of every person and can also see a composite view of the room, you need to look at the design and functionality of each space to assure that you have the right intelligent video solution for that specific room.
Over the last three years, intelligent video technology has grown significantly, and this raises a lot of questions. When do I need group framing? When do I need speaker tracking? When do I need video switching? The answers are based on the functionality of the room.
For smaller meeting spaces, you have the Jabra® PanaCast 50 with three cameras in a video bar sitting at the front of the room, which is going to give you those effects. It provides multiple views and close-ups that allow remote participants to maintain engagement with everyone in the room.
But for medium to larger spaces, multi cameras are needed to ensure an engaging and natural collaborative hybrid meeting experience. Crestron sightline, an exclusive single provider solution will provide better in-person and remote experience through AI-driven One Beyond cameras, allowing framing and tracking capabilities that let every person, regardless of where they are in the room, have a camera trained on them when speaking. This is necessary for meetings where collaboration is a priority.
If it's a meeting with a simple presentation, you might only need one camera tracking the presenter at the front of room and another to show the entire space. This requires back-end technology, specifically switching technology with Crestron’s Automate VX™. Crestron integrates it all, whether it's the audio pushed throughout the room, or the video being pushed to different displays with the camera technology.
Just walk in, start the meeting, and it all works.