As we all begin to think about heading back to the office and returning to a more normal working life, one aspect of the post Covid-19 work environment isn’t going away… and that’s video conferencing.
Once the preserve of the company boardroom, many more of us are now using video chat in business. A laptop webcam is fine for a one-to-one chat, but how can we have great group video chats without having to invest in very expensive high-end video conferencing equipment.
The Coolpo AI Huddle Pana is a product that’s addressing the market for smaller groups holding video conferences or huddle meetings. The Pana is an all-in-one conferencing tool that brings video and audio into one device using something called Meeting Flex to stitch together a panoramic video feed. The system uses AI and a 4K 360° camera as well as a ranged microphone array. There’s an All-Surround speaker system built in so that everyone in the meeting can hear what’s going on clearly.
The idea with the Pana is that it sits in the middle of a meeting table and uses AI to detect who is speaking or reacting to the conversation and switched the emphasis to them. The all-round speaker system is there to ensure that everyone around the table can hear everything clearly.
Using the Pana is simple as it’s plug and play and connects to a computer using a USB cable. It works with virtually all video software such as Cisco Webex, Slack, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Apple Facetime. Obviously, there’s still the issue of the video feed which is not so easy to set up for 360° vision. The best solution would probably be an HDMI feed from the computer to an LCD monitor on the meeting table or a wall-mounted TV. Despite having 360° coverage, in practise, if everyone wants to see the other people in the meeting, a 270° setup might be more practical.
Pricing: $599 / £599 / €599
More info: www.coolpolens.com
- Field of view: Horizontal: 360 ̊ / Vertical: 60 ̊
- Number of cameras: 1 fish-eye
- Stitching technology: Meeting FlexTM
- Supported resolutions: Panoramic-4K HD: 3,840 x 720 @ 30fps
- Image Sensor: 1 / 1.7 inch CMOS, 1,200 megapixels
- Optical focal length: 1.56mm
- Aperture: F2.4
- Camera angle: 360°
- Digital noise reduction: Auto
- Backlight compensation: Auto
- Exposure mode: Auto
- White balance: Auto
- Microphones:4 smart microphones
- Pick-up range: 15-feet
- Speaker: 360 ̊
- Connectivity: USB plug-and-play via USB-A port
- Operating system: Windows 7/8/10, macOS
- UVC video format: MJPEG
- Resolution: MJPEG: 3,840 x 2,160,1,920 x 1,080, 1,280 x 72
- UVC communication protocol: USB2.0/UVC1.1
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.33 x 4.33 x 11.42 inches
- Compatibility: Zoom, Cisco Webex, Slack, Google Hangouts etc