They’re taking pre-orders for the device, which marries a 4K PTZ camera with a 20x zoom lens, with the ability to drive dual, 4K displays. Thus it delivers 4K participant video and 4K full-motion shared content at each location.
Lifesize must be quite excited since the announcement happened even before they had marketing support for the device. Lacking for a spec sheet, I posed a couple of questions to their sales team. They report the device as leveraging H.264 baseline or high profile, with H.265 on the road map. Further, that 4k30 video requires 3 Mbps for each stream.
Yesterday they finally released a proper spec sheet from which we learn:
- The device is SIP capable (no surprise there.)
- Maximum 83 degree field of view.
- Gigabit Ethernet.
- 10 camera presets (near or far end.)
- Dedicated RJ for the Lifesize phone provides power to the phone via POE.
- Audio codec support includes; Opus, G.722.1, G.722, G.711 and Siren 7.
I’m a big fan of dog-fooding. That’s actually using the tech that’s being pitched. So I was happy to see that the promo video used in the launch of the Icon 700 are actually produced in 4K.
Lifesize began as a manufacturer of end-points and MCUs. They were founded by Craig Malloy, General Manager of Polycom’s Video Communication Division, who was frustrated at how slowly Polycom was moving into HD video conferencing.
In 2015 they made a major pivot from being a maker of traditional, installed MCU hardware to offering their MCU back-end as a cloud service.
This is NOT the first that I’ve heard of 4K video conferencing, but it is the first time I’ve seen a 4K-capable end-point appliance with a real PTZ camera. The Icon 700 lists for $7,500 USD.