New Cisco Conferencing Devices Designed to Eliminate Meeting Fatigue

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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 on meeting fatigue related to video conferencing. That survey showed that 81 percent of the participants reported experiencing physical complaints at the end of a day of video meetings.

While respondents felt more flexibility and increased productivity from working remotely, the increase in video conferencing caused a negative impact on well-being, according to Snorre Kjesbu, senior vice president of Webex Devices when announcing the new video product line.

“It’s more important than ever for companies to focus on empathy and well-being. Recent years have turned the modern company and its way of working on its head. The world of work has changed,” he says.

Inclusive meeting experiences

The lineup of video equipment focuses on hybrid work that gives employees the flexibility to work from virtually anywhere. At home, in the office or on the road presents unique challenges.

In the study, background noise, poor sound and video quality were the top video conferencing frustrations that led to fatigue, according to the research findings from Dimensional Research.

That’s why Webex has built a set of video conferencing tools to support wellness and sustainability. Under a hybrid work model, the design and technology have incredible potential to improve the video conferencing experience.

The design reduces fatigue and provides a more sustainable workplace. It also helps businesses build inclusive experiences that connect minds around the world. The result makes where and how work is done more flexible than ever, says Kjesbu.

Taking on new challenges

Research in the workplace revealed three challenges Webex addressed in its video conferencing hardware. It provides solutions to promote a natural connection when some participants are in the office and some at home.

The new equipment solves problems around uncontrollable variables in work environments. It also covers how companies can reduce the environmental impact of their workplaces, Kjesbu noted.

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

Cover all options

Webex Room Bar is a device that (as shown above) turns huddle spaces and small to medium-sized conference rooms into a hub for engaging collaboration. The immersive multi-platform video conferencing features help people thrive in remote meetings.

The device uses artificial intelligence to ensure that everyone in the room is in a perfect picture, so that all participants are equally present during the conversation, wherever they are working. Spatial audio makes you feel like scattered team members are in the room with you.

AI-enabled background noise removal minimizes distraction and allows participants to hear clearly and effortlessly. Third-party video interoperability provides flexibility to join any meeting, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

The device is lighter, thinner and made for easy disassembly and recycling. The packaging uses significantly less materials, eliminating box-in-the-box packaging, single-use foam containers and redundant parts.

Cisco Desktop Camera 1080p

The new Cisco Desk Camera 1080p features omnidirectional microphones and face detection for superior autoexposure, autofocus, and white balance. The combination allows meeting participants to hear and see clearly, regardless of what’s happening behind them at home or in the office.

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

Cisco Desk Camera 1080p adds top quality video to a home monitor or laptop and can also be used in the office for hot desking experiences.

The challenge with shared seating is inclusion. It can give employees a loss of personal space. To address this, the company has made hot desking a personalized experience, Kjesbu noted.

Users can sign in and book an available shared device using their Webex profile. This gives participants access to their agenda meetings, whiteboards and recent conversations. It’s like they take their desk everywhere with them.

Solutions for Language Barriers

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

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This service translates meetings into text on the screen in more than 100 languages. With this feature, a live interpreter translates meetings to help businesses overcome geographic and language barriers.

Prices and availability

Room Bar starts at US$1,799.
Orders in these regions start in May: Europe and UK, US, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Morocco.

DeskCam 1080p starts at US$125.
Orders begin in late May in Europe and UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan.

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