New Cisco Conferencing Devices Designed To Heal Meeting Fatigue

Webex by Cisco Room Bar
Credit: Cisco

Webex by Cisco last week announced the release of a new set of video devices designed to meet the challenges of hybrid work environments.

Dimensional Research recently conducted a study of meeting fatigue related to video meetings. That research found that 81 percent of participants indicated experiencing physical ailment at the end of a day filled with video meetings.

Even though respondents felt greater flexibility and increased productivity working remotely, the rise in video meetings caused well-being to be negatively impacted, according to Snorre Kjesbu, senior vice president of Webex Devices in announcing the new video product line.

“It is more important than ever that companies place an emphasis on empathy and well-being. The last few years have flipped the modern enterprise and its ways of working on its head. The world of work has changed,” he said.

Inclusive Meeting Experiences

The video device lineup focuses on hybrid work that gives employees the flexibility to work virtually anywhere. At home, at the office, or on the go brings with it unique challenges.

In the study, background noise, poor sound, and video quality were the top video meeting frustrations leading to fatigue, according to Dimensional Research survey results.

That being so, Webex built a set of videoconferencing tools to support well-being and sustainability. Under a hybrid working model, the design and technology have incredible potential to improve video meeting experiences.

The design reduces fatigue and provides a more sustainable workplace. It also helps companies build inclusive experiences that connect minds around the globe. The result makes where and how work gets done more flexible than ever before, according to Kjesbu.

Meeting New Challenges

Workplace research highlighted three challenges that Webex addressed in its video conferencing hardware. It provides solutions to promoting natural connection when some participants are in the office and some are at home.

The new equipment solves issues around uncontrollable variables in workplace environments. It also addresses how companies can reduce their workplace’s environmental impact, noted Kjesbu.

“Human-centered design in hardware and software solves these challenges. As companies are rearranging their offices and incorporating new technologies, we can design them to promote user well-being and to be inherently more sustainable,” he shared.

Covering All Options

Webex Room Bar is a device that (as shown above) turns huddle spaces and small-to-medium-sized meeting rooms into a hub for engaging collaboration. Its immersive, multi-platform video conferencing features help people thrive when faced with distance meetings.

The device uses artificial intelligence to ensure everyone in the room is perfectly framed, giving all participants equal presence on the call from wherever they work. Spatial audio makes it feel like dispersed team members are in the room with you.

AI-enabled background noise removal minimizes distractions and ensures participants can hear clearly, and without strain. Third-party video interoperability provides flexibility to join any meeting, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

Cisco Webex Room Bar for Video Conferencing

The device is lighter, thinner, and manufactured for easy disassembly and recycling. Its packaging uses significantly fewer materials that eliminate box-in-the-box packaging, single-use foam containers, and redundant parts.  

Cisco Desk Camera 1080p

The new Cisco Desk Camera 1080p features omni-directional microphones and face detection to deliver superior auto-exposure, auto-focus, and white balance. The combination enables meeting participants to hear and see clearly despite whatever is going on behind them at home or in the office.

The corporate office is changing with the use of more flexible seating solutions, like hot desks, and less dedicated space.

Cisco Desk Camera 1080P

Cisco Desk Camera 1080p adds topflight video quality to a home monitor or laptop, and can also be used at the office for hotdesking experiences.

The challenge with shared seating is inclusion. It can leave employees feeling a loss of personalized space. To address this, the company made hotdesking a personal experience, noted Kjesbu.

Users can sign-in and book an available shared device with their Webex profile. That gives participants access to their calendar meetings, whiteboards, and recent calls. It is like taking their desks with them wherever they sit.

Language Barrier Solutions

Translation technology enhances inclusion and understanding regardless of language barriers. Real-time translation is available on Webex Devices.

This service translates meetings into more than 100 languages as on-screen text. With this feature, a live interpreter translates meetings so enterprises can overcome geographical and language barriers.

Pricing and Availability

Room Bar starts at US$1,799.
Orders in these regions begin in May: Europe and the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco.

DeskCam 1080p starts at US$125.
Orders start in late May in Europe and the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan.

Availability for both in other regions will roll out later this year.

Jack M. Germain

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open-source technologies. He is an esteemed reviewer of Linux distros and other open-source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Email Jack.

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