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Cisco Spark Room Kits - Making Every Meeting Room Smarter

March 28, 2017 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Cisco

The magic that started with Cisco Spark Board continues. The Cisco Spark Cisco Spark Room Kit and Cisco Spark Room Kit Plus are the newest additions to the Cisco Spark portfolio, which aims to revolutionize the meeting room.

We've packed innovations into each of the Room Kit options. All you need to do is to add a video display or two. The kits use automation and intelligence to remove the frustration and delays you've experienced with many meeting room technologies.

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Both Room Kit and Room Kit Plus are available for on-premises deployment with a set of next-generation features, such as counting the people in the room. When rolled out with Cisco Spark, the kits deliver a full host of next-level experiences enabled by the cloud. Buy now for an on-prem or hybrid environment and be assured you'll have the additional benefits of Cisco Spark when they are ready.

Smarter Meeting Rooms
Connecting people is about more than seeing each other; it's about getting more done - quickly. With Cisco Spark Room Kits, meetings can start on time and flow uninterrupted.

  • Smart start-up with auto wake-up and automatic pairing with a personal device
  • Smart presenting with wireless 4k sharing
  • Smart platform with APIs for third-party developers
  • Smart integration for simpler interaction and connection to third-party devices

This is the Future
I'm particularly excited about three innovations that show where artificial intelligence can take collaboration.

  • Intelligent framing: We're pushing the boundaries with a smart and effortless experience. It's like having a TV camera operator in the room. We have had speaker tracking in our high-end systems - and now Cisco Spark Room Kits have it, too. The feature automatically detects who in the room is speaking and selects the best camera framing for that person. "Best overview intelligence" detects all people in the room and selects the best group framing when no one is speaking. If a large room has only two people, the camera intelligently frames those people.
  • Analytics in diagnostic mode: Artificial intelligence can be pragmatically applied for resource planning. The Room Kits have a high-performing face-detection module that tracks where people are and the angle they're facing. The system pinpoints the speaker through audio triangulation using the six embedded microphones. The system also counts the number of people in the room. You can send all this data to a management system for customized applications.
  • Voice and face recognition: This is still in beta, but you'll soon be able to place calls via voice commands and the system will recognize attendee faces and label them with their names. These pre-production capabilities present groundbreaking opportunities for both automated calling and content delivery based on a meeting's participants.

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Cisco Spark + Cloud = Advantages
The Cisco Spark Room Kits in our office are registered to the cloud, which means I can take my meeting with me -- moving it from my mobile phone to the meeting room. When I walk into any room that has a registered Room Kit, it recognizes and greets me with a message on the screen. Registering to Cisco Spark enables a seamless workflow before, during, and after the meeting. That's because the Room Kit is an extension of the online Cisco Spark space. People in the room can also initiate a call or share a file from a Cisco Spark space on a personal device.

The advantages also extend to IT. The Room Kits provide end-to-end encryption and are easily provisioned and managed with alerts and metrics. The kits join the large portfolio of Cisco Spark-ready endpoints, including the cloud-optimized Cisco Spark Board 70 and 55.

Raising the Bar on Quality and Choice
And by the way, the Room Kit options both have great audio and video. The built-in microphones capture voice and perform speaker tracking. We've optimized the speakers for voice, lip sync, and echo cancellation. And, for the most advanced camera capabilities, we feature a 5K UltraHD camera.

You can deploy Cisco Spark Room Kit in a small-to-medium-sized room, and Cisco Spark Room Kit Plus in a large room. Both options support one or two displays. I think you'll want dual displays when you see how beautiful the white board looks when dialing into a Cisco Spark Board. Imagine the experience: You see the white-board content in stunning 4k resolution on one screen, connect with people in 4k on the other, and interact with the white board on your laptop or tablet.

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The Room Kits work with your current display, or use an LG display to optimize the experience. This LG optimization is an initiative with vendors to ensure that you get the highest quality experience beyond our own technology.

We've unpacked quite a lot here. The most important take away is that the Cisco Spark Room Kit and Room Kit Plus deliver high-quality, next-gen meeting experiences to every room.

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Snorre Kjesbu
Vice President and General Manager
Cisco Collaboration Endpoints Technology Group

Snorre Kjesbu is the Vice President and General Manager for the Cisco Collaboration Endpoints Technology Group (CETG). He leads a global organization of more than 500 people responsible for all Cisco Collaboration endpoint products, which range from IP phones to three-screen room-based immersive systems. As the leader of CETG, he provides direction for product management, operations, innovations and development. His global team is primarily located in San Jose, Oslo, and Bangalore.

Before joining Cisco, Kjesbu was Senior Vice President for Tandberg's Endpoint Product Division where he was responsible for the development and innovation of all Tandberg's video endpoints. Prior to Tandberg, he was a Technology Program Manager at ABB with responsibility for ABB's research and development on wireless communications. Kjesbu and his team at ABB were awarded the Wall Street Journal Innovation award for their work on wireless sensors in 2002.

Kjesbu serves on the board of directors of several ITcompanies, and holds more than 20 patents in the area of communications and video conferencing. He is frequently invited to speak at key events and was a guest lecturer at the Stanford Network Research Center in Stanford University.







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