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Polycom's new immersive telepresence room: The Immersive Studio Flex and the new EagleEye Director II

February 1, 2017 | Telepresence Options

Polycom_Immersive_Flex .png

Polycom Immersive Studio Flex

Story and images by No Jitter

Introduces two new video meeting products aimed at improving in-room and virtual participation.

In a world of video meetings, "Good enough is not good enough" -- a reminder from Michael Frendo, EVP of worldwide engineering at Polycom, in explaining the motivation behind the company's two latest video conferencing products: Immersive Studio Flex and EagleEye Director II.

With the products, introduced today, Polycom aims to improve the meeting room experience for in-room and virtual participants, Frendo told me in a phone briefing.

Immersive Studio Flex
Immersive Studio Flex is a customizable meeting room solution comprising high-definition audio and an 18-foot video wall made up of three 4K UltraHD display screens, as seen below. Besides the audio and video communications, Immersive Studio Flex supports content sharing and offers Skype for Business functionality.

"It seems the UC industry has focused so much on improving virtual meetings that it has forgotten about the need for people to meet in person," said UC analyst and Polycom watcher Zeus Kerravala, when I reached out to him for comment. "The Immersive Studio Flex room does a nice job of blending the physical and virtual meeting spaces so workers can begin working immediately instead of wasting time fiddling with technology."

The "Flex" part of its name comes from the fact that the solution is meant to be flexible and customizable to fit a business's particular room, rather than the other way around, "saving businesses potentially thousands of dollars per room," Kerravala added. "The 18-foot video wall is ideal for agile teams that need to have that lifelike experience where there is no difference between being there and being remote."


Polycom EagleEye Director II

EagleEye Director II
EagleEye Director II is the latest version of the company's technology for tracking speakers in a room. The camera, shown below, automatically zooms in on an active speaker and pans out when the discussion includes more than one person. But it goes a couple steps further than that, Frendo told me. If there are only three people in a 20-person meeting room, only those three people will be framed in the shot. Speakers are framed in such a way as to allow virtual meeting attendees to get both the context of the room and the active speakers. A picture-in-picture display of the room and speaker allows attendees to focus on the speaker while also taking in body language and reactions of those in the room.

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