ClearOne Launches UNITE PTZ Camera with USB 3.0 & DVI Connectivity

ClearOne-UNITE-100-PTZ-Camera-300pxA year ago I was looking around for signs of webcams that leveraged the faster USB 3.0 connection to a host computer. They seemed to be strange and rare items at the time. We had Vaddio appear on VUC472 to present their Huddlestation product. They hinted at a coming wave of USB 3.0 cameras, expecting to see them in the summer of 2014.

It wasn’t until Q4 that I found a USB 3.0 capable webcam-ish thing trumpeted as available. In a press release issued December 9, 2014 ClearOne announced that its new Unite 100 PTZ camera was shipping.

I say webcam-ish as the UNITE 100 isn’t directly comparable to a common webcam, like my tiny-but-trusty Logitech C920. With a 12x optical zoom lens and PTZ mount, it’s something more akin to the CC3000e. In fact, it’s probably better.

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Telepresence For the 1%

Telepresence is something beyond any kind of desktop video calling/conferencing. I get that. A recent update to a post at Telepresence Options details Polycom’s band new Immersive Studio. Reading through the post I must say that I am intrigued and even impressed. However, the $426K starting price suggests that I never actually see one of these installations in person. These sorts of environments are clearly for the 1%.

That said, there are some notable things about the Immersive Studio, things that may be transferable to the rest of us. For example, they use 84” 4K LCD displays. They don’t intend to pass 4K video between sites, at least not yet. They still have 1080p cameras, up-scaling the video for display.

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Series: Lighting for Video Calling and Conferencing in a Home Office

This series is about my efforts to make more ideal use of video calling and video conferencing from my home office. It describes how the existing mix of natural and artificial light was not appropriate for video calling, and my efforts to explore both commercial and DIY lighting options.

polycom-hdx-4500-160px Lighting for Video Calling and Conferencing in a Home Office

Originally published July – August, 2013 (remains ongoing)

Revolve Robotics Kubi: Telepresence Robot or PTZ mount?

kubi-telepresence-robot-holding-surface-proTablets are everywhere these days. In the early I’m morning often seen sitting on our front porch reading news on my Nexus 7.

I occasionally used both the Nexus 7 and an iPad to make video calls using Polycom RealPresence Mobile. I’ve even joined a Google Hangout from a tablet.

Tablets are not exactly video end-points. Holding them up in front of one’s self is tedious, especially for calls of any duration. Propping them up against things is unreliable and leads to unflattering camera angles.

Revolve Robotics hopes to improve this situation. They are about to ship their KUBI device, which is essentially a robotic PTZ mount for common tablets.

Perhaps “PTZ” is not quite appropriate since it normally means pan, tilt and zoom. Tablets don’t have zoom lenses, but KUBI does support rotation, making it perhaps a PTR mount?

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Good Advice On Video Conference Etiquette

This short video from Avaya offers some cute and very good advice on participating in video conference calls.

As you may well know, I’ve been thinking a lot about the lighting in my home office. That it should be one of their points seems very appropriate. Also, the importance of  using the mute button simply cannot be overstated.

Junction Network Phone Labs Reviews The Polycom VVX-1500

This past week Junction Networks phone lab posted a review of the Polycom VVX-1500 Business Media Phone. They make note of the devices’ many fine qualities. The VVX is truly a joy to use. It’s build quality is outstanding, and you simply won’t find a better sounding phone anywhere.

That said, I remain curious about the use of one-on-one video calling. It’s remains unclear to what extent companies are making use of desktop video calling. It’s not the kind of this that springs up organically since one must first seed the organisation with a number of suitably capable phones.

I wonder if this tends to happen within companies that are already making use of traditional video conference installations? Do the Business Media Phones merely extend the reach of such facilities to to the desktop or SOHO users? Or are desktop video phones something completely different?

If you make use of such devices please leave a comment about your experience.