Dan Freeman, CEO of VDO360, just gave LDV the inside scoop on their newly released Clearwater PTZPC cordless conference room solution.
With the official release hot of the presses, Dan was kind of enough to chat with LDV and allow us to share this story as early as possible with our LDV readers.
This new product provides a potentially cable free (other than power) VC experience. The huddle room video puzzle has become easier and easier due to the affordability and availability of affordable USB PTZ cameras (like the VDO360 Compass). However, the USB cable between camera and PC is still another wire that must be cleanly run. By providing an “all-in-one” PC and camera combo (wireless speakerphone, keyboard, and mouse included), we can eliminate all cables, making installation a lot cleaner and easier.
There are 4 elements to the Clearwater that I particularly appreciate.
- The VDO360 Compass Camera: The top half of the Clearwater is essentially the latest version of Compass. Please click here to see LDV’s Review of the VDO360 Compass to learn more.
- The NUC PC: For years, I have appreciated the pairing of an Intel NUC to turn a VDO360 Camera into a complete VC endpoint, running my business video app (or apps) of choice.
- The Software Integration: Although it is beyond the scope of this article, Dan shared details about the software integration between the two devices. The bottom line is there is a lot more going on here than basic USB plug and play. Dan has been working with the NUC for years, and developing elements of his cameras specifically with the NUC in mind. The result is a very tight and clean integration.
- The Hardware Integration: While it may seem to be a simple matter to create a new form factor merging the camera to the NUC, there was actually a lot involved here. But the most important fact is that Dan waited until the 5th version of the NUC was available to make this leap. While the earlier versions of the NUC did the job, this version has the power to provide the full quality experience that Dan was looking to provide.
Even small conference rooms need more than webcam video. A true PTZ solution greatly expands the use of the room by adding the flexibility of various meeting and presentation set-ups. To further support this, the Clearwater and all VDO360 products offer strong “preset” view support, allowing users to easily switch views without a lot of fuddling around.
VDO360 has expanded upon this functionality with a new product, Flare preset buttons, which will be released soon along with the Clearwater. The Flare buttons can be deployed in different locations in any meeting room, and when clicked the cameras will shift to the preset covering that location. In other words it is a “look at me” button. If you wish to present from the head of the meeting room table and notice that the camera is pointed elsewhere, you simply hit the Flare button at the head of the table. Very cool concept!