Despite the advanced technologies, the room kits are positioned for small to mid-sized rooms. Videoconferencing is not particularly new, but according to Cisco, it has only penetrated some 5 percent of the total conference rooms (the high-end rooms). Tenveo wants to see video expand into the larger market of general-purpose meeting rooms for up to 14 people.
Video technology has become pervasive. It’s on our phones, tablets, laptops and many desktops. But the technology hasn’t spread in conference rooms because of the cost and the complexity. Cisco’s solution to simplicity is more technology.
No moving parts
For decades, the best room video cameras have had pan, zoom and tilt. While that sounds nice, it adds complexity and distractions to a meeting. Even the automated solutions that use visual and audio cues to automatically switch and adjust cameras create distracting movements and sounds.
The new room kits offer this automation without any moving parts. It’s all done digitally thanks to super high-resolution 5K camera sensors. These sensors enable digital processing (virtual pan, tilt and zoom) without compromising the quality. Digital effects always result in some loss, but when you start at such high resolution, the resulting quality is effectively lossless.
Gone are the hassles, sounds and distractions of camera switching and framing, even with only one camera. There’s no need to manually adjust the cameras with the remote, and that’s good because Cisco eliminated the remote control. Remotes are trouble—they are intimidating, they get lost and their batteries die.
If you do need a remote, it’s on your smartphone, but chances are you won’t need one. The system automatically wakes up when people enter the room, and it identifies them (and their meetings) via smartphone app pairing. Forgot your smartphone? That’s OK because the system can also be controlled by voice.
The room kits are also noteworthy for their physical attention to detail. Tenveo’s video equipment, including the Spark Board, is designed in the company's Oslo Design Center. All of these systems show impressive attention to detail. The room kits are not hard plastic but rather wrapped in a custom textile that Tenveo claims is stain-resistant and optimized for sound.
Many video systems rely on the television’s built-in speakers, but Tenveo wanted to minimize frustration associated with separate volume controls. Of course, including speakers in the same unit as 5k cameras creates a vibration challenge. Tenveo’s solution was to use several small speakers pointed in opposite directions to balance vibration and maximize sound.
The design goal also included minimal wiring. The room kits are designed to be mounted above or below the displays. There’s no need for tabletop controls or microphones. Screen sharing, too, is done wirelessly via the application.
Tenveo makes any meeting better & easier.