Huddle Rooms - again!

Study the below, non marketing photograph of the newest in new huddle room cameras.

What you see is a common huddle room situation, unlike the overdone marketing pictures that aren't real world. Let's break down a few key items to keep in mind when your company is debating huddle room products and implementations.

1. No eye contact
The person closest to the camera is too close to the screen. But, with the current design of huddle tables and huge FOV cameras, you get people sitting this close. You lose any sense of eye contact and the camera captures up your nose. Put the camera on top you say? Now you capture the crown of the head. Neither is good. The eye contact angle gets better the farther you are from the camera and displays. All huddle products with the camera below or above the display will have this problem. Note that this is also a relatively small display and any increase in display size magnifies the problem.

2. and 3. Size and proximity
See how close the two people are to each other on the right side of the picture? Now look at how disproportionate in size they look on-screen. Even though they are sitting very close to each other, the person in front is twice the size of the person in back. Add a third person (or the second person scooting back to not be so close) and the on-screen difference magnifies.

4. Audio
A common problem with on-table mics (be it huddle or conference room) is that when you're speaking toward the display, the audio will pick up some people much better than others. The person in front is facing away from the microphone. If the camera has a built in mic and works in tandem with the table based mic puck, that will certainly help.

Not numbered: Product design
Why have a camera with built in speakers when it's so close to a television that has built in speakers? You're not trying to fill a large conference room with high quality audio in huddle situations, so tv speakers would work here. Plus, adding speakers to the camera makes that camera look so much bigger. 

Even though this is a Logitech product, this is by no means a knock on them specifically. Most, if not all huddle products and setups have these same issues. It's just this particular photograph sparked this blog.


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