Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
Polycom Introduces EagleEye Camera
May 5, 2011 | William Zimmerman
One of the primary reasons that Telepresence suites work so well is that users sit and face the video screen, with only one or a few people in front of each screen. Traditional video conferencing rooms put a whole table of people in front of the screen, so users on the far end often can't see participants well. Many rooms put the video system at the end of a long conference room table, making it even harder to see who is who and who is talking.
Desktop video conferencing, like telepresence, puts just one person in front of the screen, often just head and shoulders, which allows viewers to see the most important visual communications components, the eyes and face. My contention is that desktop video conferencing will often provide better visual information than a room-based system, because it has a higher number of pixels per face.
Polycom has just introduced the Eagle Eye Camera, which goes a long way towards resolving this conundrum of the video conferencing room. I had a chance to see the Polycom EagleEye Camera a few months ago and I was very impressed.
The EagleEye uses a combination of audio triangulation and facial recognition to find the speaker in the room and zoom in on that speaker to create a head and shoulders shot of that person. Camera systems that find the speaker through audio clues have been around for many years, but performance is often disappointing. Audio triangulation is not too accurate. Noises (a cough) in the room can distract the camera. And the movement of the camera (zoom out, turn, zoom in) is also distracting.
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