Yesterday we took the Polycom CX5100 video conferencing unit for a spin.
If you read my previous post with the video conferencing quiz you will be aware I’ve got issues with how effective VC is particularly for participants joining a meeting remotely.
The CX5100 claims to solve those issues with a 360 camera that follows the sound in the room so the speaker comes on camera when they are speaking, making the experience for a remote user much more involved (in theory).
Additional benefits of the (‘stylish’) base station seem to potentially be the centralised mics offering better audio and also a focal point to remind users in the room they are in a VC scenario… (which is often half the issue – users who are present don’t behave like they are in a VC).
I was joined by PP and OF to trial the kit (we have on loan) down in the goldfish bowl at JPS.
The CX5100 also requires MS Lync (which I didn’t use before) so that was a thing too.
Anyhoo – I was actually really pleasantly surprised. After some initial problems getting lync to run (doh mac!) the experience was pretty awesome! Audio was clear, 1080p images looked great and underneath the speakers you got a panorama of the meeting room. It felt very involved where ever you were.
The screen sharing on lync seemed a bit awkward and the wireless seemed a bit slow at points but the camera followed the speakers well and picked up all round the room.
Next step is to try with more users both in the room and on the line… if feedback is positive then we’ll be looking at purchase.
Here are some pics of the screen interface: (Note pointy Phil)
Note the lady who came into clear up the refreshments from a previous meeting – she made a noise stacking plates as I took one photo and the camera jumped to her!