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From Huddle to Distanced – Meeting Rooms in 2020

Lifesize Dash for Huddle Rooms

If the hot topic of Video Conferencing in 2019 was “Huddle Rooms” then the hot topic of 2020 is “Socially Distanced Meeting Rooms” – definitely not as catchy! But very much relevant in today’s climate. So, what is going happen to the shiny new huddle spaces we installed last year?

When offices begin to reopen, the way we work will change – we will have to stay 2 metres apart from our colleagues, we are likely to have to wear masks and regularly sanitize ourselves, our desks, our communal spaces and our meeting rooms. But what does this mean for our existing huddle spaces? Huddle spaces were originally designed as small and private meeting rooms for 2-4 people that are equipped with teleconferencing and collaboration technologies. These spaces are now no longer fit for purpose with the current requirements.

So what are we going to have to think about?

Adapting existing spaces

We will have to change layouts of existing meeting rooms to keep our colleagues and customers safe. Huddle spaces can be converted to 1-1 rooms by removing chairs and putting in smaller tables. If the room is large enough, dividers could be put in place and a second conferencing system installed to maximise the efficiency of the space. A similar approach could be taken with medium and large rooms by either converting them into individual rooms or by having participants sit in specifically measured spots around the table that are 2m apart.

Poly Huddle Room Trio and Video Conferencing system with 4 participants

Auto tracking

This leads us to auto-tracking. If there are multiple people in a room but they are are all 2m apart, where is the camera supposed to face? Lots of video conferencing cameras these days come with a feature called “auto-tracking” which automatically detects meeting participants and provides ideal framing for those who are speaking at the time. It detects the people in its field of view, smoothly zooms in on them and frames them. This way, participants on the far end always get the best view no matter how people are in the room. The frame adjusts automatically when somebody enters or leaves the room and is ideal for video conferencing meetings with several participants. Transitions are fluid, delivering a perfectly natural video meeting experience. 

Cisco WebEx Room Kit Pro in large boardroom

Here is an example of a product with Auto Tracking: Cisco Webex Room Kit Plus 

Wide angle lenses

Another useful feature to watch out for when converting your huddle space is “wide-angle lens”. This feature ensure that everyone is seen and feels part of the conversation as it allows participants to be spaced out within a room and still captured on video. 120℃ is classed as “ultra-wide” and so is a good benchmark figure to look for.

Here is an example of a product with a Wide Angle Lens: Poly Studio X30

Poly X50 for Zoom Rooms on top of screen with lady on screen

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you to adapt your meeting spaces to suit current requirements.

Contact Us about your Collaboration Challenges 

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