Logitech’s ConferenceCam is aimed at enabling small groups to collaborate via video conference anywhere.
longtime vendor of consumer tech products, made its first foray into the
corporate side in 2009 with its $405 million acquisition
of video conferencing
company LifeSize Communications, a move that brought it into direct competition
with the likes of Cisco Systems and Polycom.
time, as the LifeSize unit has expanded its capabilities, Logitech itself has
stayed true to its consumer nature, selling everything from mice to keyboards
to laptop accessories. However, thats changing. At the Enterprise Connect show
in Orlando, Fla., March 26, Logitech officials will unveil the Logitech-branded
BCC950 ConferenceCam, a combination high-definition video and audio device
designed to enable small groups of people to collaborate in such settings as
meeting rooms and closed offices.
This is the
first in a line of products designed and developed by Logitech for the business
market, Eric Kintz, vice president and general manager of the Logitech for
Business group, told eWEEK
Kintz and Ziva
Nissan, senior product manager of video products, said the BCC950 ConferenceCam
filled a gap in the video collaboration space, where the norm is either large
telepresence systems set up in conference rooms for large numbers of people or
video conferencing capabilities for individuals on laptops, tablets or
trends as globalization and mobility, more meetings now are done in a virtual
fashion among small groups of people, Kintz said. Whats been needed is a way
to let such small groups meet comfortably and have a solution that is portable
to such spaces as offices and small meeting rooms. Logitechs new device enables
this, Nissan said.
It works for
both smaller businesses as well as enterprises, which might have 500 rooms in
their buildings, but only 50 that have video-enabled meeting rooms. Now people
can meet through video conferencing in the other rooms.
If you try to
huddle three or four people around an iPhone or even a Mac or iPad, its much
too uncomfortable, Kintz said.
The BCC950 ConferenceCam
combines a full high-definition Webcam that can pan an area, tilt and zoom in,
either from a control pad on the device or via remote control. In addition,
through the control pad or remote, users also can do everything from answer or
end calls, adjust the volume or mute the microphone, according to Logitech.
It has a
78-degree area that it can view, a 180-degree video pan and a speakerphone that
enables anyone in the meeting to be heard from up to 8 feet away. It also
offers 1,080p, 30 frames-per-second capabilities and H.264 video technology. It
weighs 20 ounces, making it easy to move from room to room.
for Microsoft Lync and is certified to work with Skype, Kintz said. It also can
work with most unified communications and video conferencing platforms,
including those from Cisco and Polycom, he said.
ConferenceCam, which will be available in May for $249.99 from resellers,
features the control pad as the base, with the camera at the top of a long neck
coming from the base. Kintz said the device has a sharp, sleek look of a
consumer product, which is what Logitech was aiming for. The company took its
cue from Apple, whose beautifully designed consumer-based iPhones and iPads are
finding wide acceptance in businesses. Logitech didnt want a boxy-looking gray
We wanted a
cool design around this, Kintz said. It wouldnt have been something we could
have done five years ago, but Apple paved the way.