AVT Question: It has become clear that the proliferation of hybrid meeting solutions has dramatically altered the landscape of the office—shifting the physical space requirements of organizations and opening up seemingly limitless possibilities for the hybrid employee.
We reached out to the industry thought leaders whose companies are innovating technologies for the new era workplace for their insights and to share best practices to help ensure that employees can enjoy the same immersive meeting experience, regardless of their location. [February 2022]
Thought Leader: Holger Stoltze, Senior Manager of Technical Sales and Marketing at Yamaha Unified Communications
Today, we are in the early stages of the changes we will see take place in meeting spaces. The work-from-anywhere phenomena has dramatically altered the expectation of the meeting experience. Over the last two years, meeting goers got used to either seeing “participant view,” where all participants are shown onscreen, or “speaker view,” where only the current speaker is shown. Likewise, with audio devices front and center on personal devices, they got accustomed to everyone being well understood. Now, a meeting room with one camera and screen at the front of the room and a central audio device no longer reflects this expectation.
To enable efficient hybrid meetings, the experience for local and remote participants needs to be equivalent. Remote participants must be able to follow what is going on in the conference room and those in person must be represented as distinct individuals, just like remote participants, despite being in a shared physical environment.
In response, meeting room displays, cameras, and audio will undergo a transformation. Displays will be deployed around the room. This will allow local participants to see content and remote participants without having to turn toward the front of the room—while sitting in a normal position at the table and being able to look at other local participants. Camera(s) in the room will be more intelligent, tracking active participants and coordinating images between several cameras. Most importantly, audio capture and playback in the room will improve by adding more microphones and/or adaptive microphone technology and ensuring volume levels are consistent throughout meeting rooms. The seat next to the audio device is no longer the only one heard by the far end, and it is no longer the only space where what was said remotely can be heard comfortably and reliably.
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