Businesses across many industries have already to connect with workers, partners, clients, and experts all over the globe in a format that is nearly as good as face-to-face interaction—and costs less in the long run.
While the most basic video conferencing systems use webcams for collaboration, some of the most advanced video conferencing systems use pan-tilt-zoom cameras, which focus on the room as a whole and provide some degree of flexibility regarding to the images displayed. You can view one side of the table or the other or a head-on view with a pan-tilt-zoom camera. You can even hone in on a presenter—but only if someone is controlling the camera.
But as technology has evolved, experts have found a way to enhance video collaboration through presenter-tracking cameras. As their name implies, these cameras “follow” the presenter’s movements across a room. The presenter-tracking cameras bring a new level of connection and realism to a full-room video conference; permitting the ability for those on the far side to view facial expressions more clearly, and making the connection between towns or across miles that much more tangible.
Presenter-Tracking Cameras: The Next Generation of Video Collaboration
Rudimentary AV systems rely on webcam technology to guide video collaboration. Unfortunately, webcams aren’t meant for full-room collaboration. Webcams are best used as a personal device and follow an “arm’s length” rule—if you get any further than arm’s length from the camera, the image will suffer, as will the entire video conferencing experience. At arm’s length, you can display facial expressions, gestures, and other nuances that make video collaboration preferable to phone or email, whether you’re using it for business or to connect with the grandchildren. Put a webcam in front of a large room of people, however, and you lose those nuances.
Pan-tilt-zoom cameras, while capable of handling full-room collaboration, have their sticking points. They’re a hassle to operate, and video conference participants don’t often move the cameras around to focus on individual speakers. UC enterprises increasingly turn to the next generation of video collaboration—presenter-tracking technology—to overcome those hurdles.
Take a look at some of the advantages of presenter-tracking cameras in typical applications.
Foster an Atmosphere of Inclusion
Sensors inside presenter-tracking devices hear the speaker and move the camera to get a good shot. At the same time, additional cameras stand at the ready to track the next speaker. When several people are speaking at once, the system defaults to a wide angle.
Presenter-tracking helps participants become more engaged in the meeting by evoking more of a conversational feel, even across miles. When you’re attending an in-person meeting, you tend to look at the person speaking. These video collaboration systems enable near- and far-side participants to do the same, making the speaker the focal point. Participants can focus on the conversation, even taking note of the presenter’s gestures and facial expressions. Many organizations, from higher education to corporate enterprises, are beginning to realize the potential of presenter-tracker technology.
Enhance Your Education Curriculum
Presenter-tracker technology connects classrooms for an enriching educational experience. From elementary school to higher education, video collaboration tools give children and adults alike access to quality education regardless of their geographic location. Modern video collaboration systems eliminate the feeling of isolation students often experience outside a traditional classroom environment; presenter-tracker technology makes off-campus learners feel as if they’re in the classroom. This enables increased participation and allows students to pick up on the language cues they may miss with less flexible video solutions.
Higher learning institutions aren’t the only ones using video collaboration: Museums and other cultural institutions also utilize the newest technology. Places like the Sealaska Heritage Institute use sophisticated video conferencing systems to conduct meetings and encourage distance learning. Since museums serve the general public, it makes sense that they open video suites to allow visitors from around the globe to view collections from the comfort of their homes.
Think Large Scale
Video collaboration systems that use tracking technology offer greater freedom and creativity to presenters than traditional systems. In this age of big data, analysis on the big screen becomes easier when a presenter can move across the room and point to on-screen graphics that illustrate a point. Also, presenters will feel more at ease with the ability to get out from behind the podium or their seat at the conference table and interact more closely with participants on the near-end. Meanwhile, distance participants can observe nuances not available via webcam. Webinars could become increasingly broad in scope.
Current video systems allow professional organizations to conduct conferences that engage people worldwide; the flexibility to move around a room or across a stage while doing so will add another level of realism and engagement to the webinar experience. Such advancements in technology allow for increased sophistication in AV systems. Presenter-tracker technology creates a nuanced interaction that conveys facial cues and body language—an adequate substitute for face-to-face conversation. Professionals from all industries can connect from anywhere in the world and have a meeting experience that is as close to real-life as possible without jumping on a plane.
At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.