This past week Polycom announced a new device they call the VVX-1500 Business Media Phone. Combining the telephony features of the SoundPoint IP650 with a camera & touchscreen LCD but still in a desktop form factor, it looks to be a true business class desktop videophone.
The device has many interesting aspects. Of course, Polycom is an established leader in larger video conferencing systems. The VVX-1500 extends that reach down to the desktop. Based on the specifications given it would seem a natural addition to an enterprise that wanted video conferencing integration across both desks and board rooms.
Audio codec support includes G.711, G.729AB, G.722, G.722.1 and G.722.1C providing ample ability for wideband calling, or in Polycom parlance, HDVoice.
The 7″ touchscreen LCD provides the basis for many of the phones functions. Both the display and the built-in camera are adjustable to suit the user. Leveraged in concert with the built-in micro-browser and an XML API, the large LCD supports the development of interactive applications addressing specific business applications.
The phone also includes a web-based user portal that lets users establish the display of data from online sources during idle periods. Such displays might include weather, sports results, stock prices or downtown parking availability.
From a practical perspective the phone supports power-over-ethernet and draws a very modest 11 watts. It also provides a two port gigabit ethernet switch to reduce the requirement for network wiring to the desktop.
I must admit that video phones have not typically piqued my interest. However, the ability to tie the LCD display into core business processes like CRM, inventory control or security/access control makes the VVX-1500 potentially very interesting.