During a recent visit to Polycom’s executive briefing center in San Jose, we got to see some cool demos that are helping Polycom continue to differentiate its service. Polycom has been well known for its high-end video conferencing and collaboration room systems for some time, but we were reminded during the visit that the company also has a wide range of systems that are compatible with less-structured environments.
Two demos were especially fun, showcasing what Polycom calls “audio bubbles” and “audio fences.” Anyone who has been on a conference call or video bridge agrees that background noise is distracting, and it is hard to avoid when including a large room of people or in a room that may not be purpose-built to manage sound quality.
During two separate demonstrations, we saw (and heard) one distant video conference participant enter and leave a “bubble” of sound that enabled HD-quality audio when inside the “bubble” – but kept dead silence when stepping outside the audio bubble. Similarly, an “audio curtain” allowed a remote video conference hosted in a company cafeteria where we could see ping-pong players and lunchtime conversations going on in the background, but the speaker’s voice was the only HD audio we heard.