The health crisis has caused an explosion of virtual meetings and other videoconferences, as witnessed by the strong growth of Zoom. Logitech, the leading manufacturer of webcams as well as cameras for conference rooms, intends to respond to this increase in demand.
“We estimate that 30 to 70% of employees will be telecommuting every day in the future,” Alan Smith, senior product manager at Logitech, said in a press briefing. Companies will therefore have to be equipped to meet these needs. On the sidelines of CES 2021, Logitech has therefore announced three new video products for meeting rooms.
All-in-one offers for small and medium sized rooms
The first is Rally Bar. It takes the form, as its name suggests, of a sound bar in the middle of which is a 4K camera with a x15 hybrid zoom (x5 optical + x10 digital). A second camera that allows her to focus on a particular person when she speaks. Six microphones managing beam forming are integrated for optimal sound capture, and three additional microphones can be connected if the room is too large for the standard configuration. This device is designed for rooms accommodating between 6 and 14 participants.
For smaller spaces, with up to five participants, Logitech has designed Rally Bar Mini. The format remains the same, but this model is equipped with a wide angle camera (120 °) to capture all the participants. It also has a second camera for close-ups, and can follow collaborators as they move around the room. Rally Bar Mini integrates three speakers and six microphones, and manages beam forming up to a distance of 5 meters.
Rally Bar Mini, Rally Bar and Rally Plus with RoomMate
A module for launching videoconferences without a computer
Finally, Logitech presented RoomMate, a module that makes Rally Plus devices stand-alone (cameras, speakers and modular microphones). Rally Plus is designed for large venues with more than 15 participants. No more need to connect a computer to the system. RoomMate is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and runs on Android 10. These products will be compatible with Microsoft Teams and Zoom when they are released, then with GoToMeeting, Pexip and RingCentral in a second step.
Rally Bar will be available in March at a price of 3999 euros. Rally Bar Mini will go on sale later this year at € 2,999. The same goes for RoomMate, which will be sold for 999 euros. While these prices are relatively high, Logitech is confident, among other things, in the reliability of its solutions over time. “Once installed, our systems remain functional and can start immediately, without loss of time for employees”, comments Alan Smith.
Confidence that also stems from the fact that the equipment manufacturer today provides “almost half of the conference rooms in the world” according to Synergy Research, with a sharp increase in the number of units sold (from 125,000 to more than 200,000) between the second and third quarters of 2020.