Uma Thurman knows a thing or two about how to stage a video conference.
Well, at least her character in Pulp Fiction did.
“Don’t you just love it when you come back from the bathroom and find your food waiting for you?”
Yes, we do Uma. We all do.
There’s nothing like walking into any room and finding everything is arranged, everything is ready to go, everything is just waiting on your presence.
Like a meeting room. Especially a video conferencing meeting room.
No one wants to wait and awkwardly kill time while the lights, camera, and audio are fine tuned. Or worse, endure a series of false starts as the meeting link up is established and then lost.
Instant Video Conferencing
This kind of ever-ready room would not only make scheduled meetings easier to launch, it would make it possible to hold video meetings whenever the impulse or need arises.
And not just jumpy, echoing Skype-to-Skype laptop chats with remote colleagues, either, but a fully-fledged, high-quality group chat between professional teams without any fiddling or fuss.
If your room is to be ready whenever you are, it’ll have be equipped with speakers and cameras already in place and able to service everyone in the room no matter where they’re sitting or standing or wildly gesticulating.
And, as you’ll probably want to bring along a little more than just a pad and pencil, you’ll need a way to quickly link a laptop or storage device filled with the project particulars to the video hardware.
Luckily, there are a few nice pieces of tech already on the market that would be a good choice for your new instant video calling room.
Devio, Condor, HELLO… No, It’s Not an Aircraft Call Sign
On the sonic front, this instant video calling suite should move beyond the traditional table-based microphones. Do you remember that last video conference you spent leaning out of your chair, trying to speak into the microphone in the middle of the table? Be it a single centerpiece-style microphone or a string of local mics placed in front of every chair, these setups just don’t allow the kind of all-around-the-room coverage a dynamic team needs.
Instead, an array of microphones placed in the ceiling offers better coverage of the room, and declutters the table.
As for the visuals, the soon-to-be-released HELLO by Solaborate connects directly to any TV you can find, and renders 4K video through a voice-activated service. Wouldn’t that be the very definition of the instant video conference room, one where you can just walk in and tell the camera to turn itself on with a voice command? The tech connects with simple HDMI cables and, as there’s no computer involved, can be wall mounted to maximize the space saving advantages of modern flat screen TVs, freeing up the table for your laptops and notepads.
All of these technologies are compatible with popular video conferencing platforms such as Skype, WebEx, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting, which gives you flexibility when dealing with colleagues and collaborators who may be wed to a particular service.
And, importantly, they offer the flexibility of USB and laptop connections that let you get down to business quickly.
Video Conferencing Any Way You Want It
The bottom line is that you want a configuration that needs be set up only once, no matter how many moving parts are required to meet your specific needs. The above examples represent premium solutions, but under integration you may find better combinations of audio and visual. Just remember to keep the room as clutter-free as possible to help do away with dead zones where people’s voices or images may vanish.
Similarly, you want USB connectivity that lets you plug your laptop directly into your audio visual setup so you can instantly share the project that’s triggered the need for an unscheduled meeting.
The resulting scenario is easy to imagine.
You’re working on a project on your laptop, maybe with a few co-workers, and suddenly hit a snag you know another colleague in another office could probably solve. You pick up your laptop, move to the video room, plug into a state-of-the-art audio/visual system and share the problem as quickly as you can raise your potential savior on a Skype call.
Image Source: Flickr CC User Mark Hakansson