Logitech aims to video-enable every conference room

Webcam, speakerphone for non-telepresence systems (basically, the rest of us)

Your videoconferencing experience is likely one of two scenarios - you work for a company that has a large telepresence system that costs thousands of dollars, and you can only use the system if you have a C in your title; or you boot up your notebook and use the embedded webcam on your notebook and call someone via Skype or some other chat program.

There's not a lot of options in between those scenarios - companies looking to provide a better video conference experience for every conference room without forking over tons of cash for an expensive telepresence system. Logitech is aiming to change that with its new ConferenceCam CC3000e system, which it announced today.

The CC3000e ($999.99) is an upgrade to its existing conference-based system, the BCC950 ($249.99, launched June 2012). While the BCC950 was geared to provide video conferencing for up to five people, the CC3000e is aimed for rooms that can handle up to 10 attendees.

The system utilizes a HD webcam and a speakerphone for audio - the system then ties into a computer via USB cable. The cables are connected through a centralized hub, with up to 16 feet of cabling between the webcam and hub (as well as between the speakerphone and hub), so you can place the webcam at the end of the room (you don't have to keep the webcam and computer close). Displaying the image on a larger screen can be done through standard projector inputs.

The camera provides a 90-degree field of view, H.264 support, 10x zoom and a 260-degree pan, 130-degree-tilt, perfect for focusing in on a specific person or whiteboard drawing. The speakerphone is omni-directional with a 20-foot diameter range, and can also connect to a mobile phone via Bluetooth or NFC for audio calls initiated via mobile phone (in case you don't want to connect this to a landline).

It should be interesting to see whether companies begin placing these in their conference rooms - the biggest hurdle facing adoption for many companies tends to be the technical knowledge of meeting attendees themselves. There are people within the company (I won't name names) who don't know how to lower the screen or connect their computer to a projector, so the webcam/speakerphone peripherals might be beyond their pay grade. However, for the more technically savvy crew on your company teams, this system should provide a better videoconference experience than having to crowd around a tiny screen via embedded webcam, and won't cost 16 arms and legs like a larger telepresence system.

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