When it comes to video conferencing in a business environment, unless each participant has a camera in front of them, chances are it’ll be one camera showing the entire room. It’s not a bad solution, but we suppose that there could always be room for improvement. Instead of hooking each participant up with a camera which might not really be feasible in a boardroom setting, Polycom has announced a new video solution in the form of the Polycom CX5500 and CX5100 Unified Conference Stations which according to the company, are industry first’s when it comes to 360-degree, panoramic 1080p HD video solutions which has been custom-built for use with Microsoft’s Lync 2013.
Due to its panoramic capabilities, which is thanks to the five built-in cameras and the software that stiches everything together, the camera can be placed in the middle of the room or in the middle of the table. Polycom believes that this enables a more natural conversation and allows for better collaboration and will be able to track the flow of conversations at 30 frames per second. Setup is apparently pretty straightforward as it just requires the user to plug it into a computer via USB and fire up the Lync application. While pricing of either solution has yet to be revealed, Polycom has stated that their CX5100 Unified Conference Station is scheduled for release worldwide in September, while the CX5500 Unified Conference Station with SIP Telephony will be available in Q4 of 2013.