Categories: Collaboration Devices

The best video conferencing equipment for 2022

Pictured above: Webex conferencing devices in focus rooms and huddle spaces.

As we step into 2022, let’s first take a step back. A few short years ago, video conferencing equipment was largely available in select meeting rooms. The office was filled with spaces for conference calls and local collaboration—you know, the rooms with a phone in the middle of the table, microphones strewn about, and if you were lucky, a dry-erase board in the back littered with colorful streaks.

The meeting rooms were frequently overbooked and often frustrating to use. Your coworkers would have difficulty finding the meeting code or fumble for the right wires to share their screen. And we’ve all had colleagues peek in before our meeting is done, eager to settle in before their meeting starts.

Today, as hybrid work becomes the norm, every space has the potential to become a meeting room. That includes your kitchen table, your desk at home, a meeting room in the office, or anywhere you are on the go. The need for video conferencing equipment is vast with 98% of knowledge workers saying remote participants will be part of their meetings going forward.

Connecting team members with high-quality video conferencing is more important than ever and so is your choice of video conferencing equipment.

Let’s look at what you should consider as you evaluate the best video conferencing equipment for your home and office.

View our recommendations for the perfect device to fit every workstyle and any sized space:

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What’s the best video conferencing equipment for remote work?

Pictured above: Webex Desk Mini, a portable video conferencing device designed for remote work.

Different workstyles require different types of collaboration capabilities. Start by identifying the capabilities different teams need and then determine the right devices for efficient and effective team collaboration across your organization.

An all-in-one collaboration device is perfect for remote collaborators. They combine high quality hardware including a touch screen, camera, speakers, and microphones that removes the clutter from the desk. In addition, video meetings run natively on the devices—freeing up the processing on your computer so you never have to worry about your apps running slowly or crashes while you’re in the meeting.

The best all-in-one video conferencing equipment for remote collaborators should allow workers to:

  • Meet face-to-face with high-quality audio and video
  • Limit meeting distractions with advanced noise removal and virtual background capabilities
  • Seamlessly co-create and collaborate with coworkers
  • Easily switch between messaging, calling, and meetings
  • Access and edit whiteboards before, during, and after a meeting
  • Join any meeting service including Webex, Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams

Because every home office is unique, you’ll want to avoid devices that may take up too much space. That’s what makes the Webex Desk Mini special: It’s a combination of compact size and impressive power. If you’re looking for the best video conferencing solution for the home office in a small form factor, we recommend the Webex Desk Mini.

Home offices aren’t the only variable to consider when outfitting your remote workers. The ways in which individuals work and collaborate differ too. Some prefer to co-create; others work almost entirely through constant communication; and still others like to plug-in, concentrate, and dive into focus work. To see how specific video conferencing equipment and devices optimize workflows for remote communicators, concentrators, and more, check out the Devices Guide for Remote Work.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for the desk?

The desk is where employees spend most of their time in the office, but they often rely on multiple devices and applications to collaborate and get work done. Employees need collaboration tools that seamlessly integrate into their workflow, offering the same experience no matter where and how they collaborate. This helps remove points of friction that can slow productivity throughout the workday.

The best video conferencing equipment for the desk should include the ability to:

  • Meet with distributed colleagues using high-quality video and audio hardware
  • Replace desk clutter, such as phones, webcams, speakers, and monitors with a single device
  • Join any meeting service such as Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom, and Google Meet
  • Quickly and easily access calling and video conferencing features
  • Seamlessly integrate with the productivity tools your team uses every day
  • Ideate and co-create with digital whiteboarding and content annotation
  • Remove background noise for a crisp and clear audio experience

We know the task of transforming your desk from a mess to a masterpiece can feel insurmountable. But if you’re looking for the best all-in-one video conferencing solution that declutters the desk and takes your collaboration experience to the next level, we recommend the Webex Desk.

Picture above: Webex Desk with an array of color options so you can personalize your space and get the best work and collaboration experience at the desk.

What’s the best device for hot desking?

With hybrid work on the rise, hot desking is a popular alternative to personal desks as many workers will not need a dedicated space in the office. In fact, 93% of organizations are increasing the number of reservable desks in the office, according to Dimensional Research. These spaces should provide everything an employee needs to be just as productive as they would be at their personal desk. The experience must be seamless and intelligent.

Hot desking devices allow anyone to turn an open desk into their personal workspace just by touching or docking their phone to the device. Today’s mobile, collaborative workers crave this type of agility.

The ideal solution for hot-desking should include the ability to:

  • Gain instant visibility into all available and booked desks
  • Reserve an open desk by using your laptop or phone to authenticate your identity with a secure and touch-free login experience
  • Join meetings at the touch of a button
  • View your schedule and join upcoming meetings with touchless voice commands
  • Make and receive phone calls
  • Join meetings from any collaboration platform
  • Log out automatically or easily release your booking at the end of your working session
  • Optimize office real estate by gathering real-time environmental, occupancy, and desk usage data

If you’re looking for the best video conferencing solution for hot desking, we recommend the Webex Desk Hub.

Hot desking streamlined  |  Webex Desk Hub

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for jump spaces and focus rooms?

Jump spaces and focus rooms provide a quick, ad-hoc space where people can step into a quiet environment for important meetings or to concentrate on their work.

Traditionally, these spaces lack advanced communication and collaboration tools, but employee expectations are changing. With offices evolving to meet the requirements of hybrid workers, well-equipped jump spaces will become increasingly important as employees will need more spaces to meet and connect with remote colleagues.

The best video conferencing solution for focus rooms and jump spaces should be able to:

  • Function as a shared device that any employee can use
  • Provide an all-in-one experience through a small form factor that includes a screen, camera, microphones, and speakers
  • Extend the laptop display so that the device can be used as a primary monitor
  • Provide a touchless experience to reduce the spread of germs
  • Charge laptops and mobile devices while individuals work and collaborate
  • Provide co-creation features like digital whiteboarding and content annotation
  • Allow users to quickly and easily access calling and video conferencing software
  • Provide a digital assistant or calendaring system to determine availability and book the space

To get the best video conferencing solution for jump spaces and focus rooms, explore the Webex Desk Pro.

Pro tip: When it comes to jump spaces and focus rooms, employees need to know which rooms are available and individuals occupying these spaces may need extra privacy. A navigation solution like the Webex Room Navigator provides wayfinding capabilities, allows employees to book a workspace in an instant, and indicates which rooms are occupied or vacant with a clear LED indicator.

Picture above: Webex Room Navigator outside of a meeting room indicating that the room is occupied and displaying details on the meeting that’s currently taking place.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for huddle spaces?

A huddle space is a small room or open space that accommodates meetings for just a few people. Huddle spaces are becoming increasingly popular as teams need informal spaces to connect and drive work forward. Every organization, large and small, should dedicate a portion of their workplace toward small group collaboration. These spaces need technology that lets teams share ideas and collaborate effectively.

Depending on the activity, organizations can use a variety of collaboration devices. When planning a huddle space, consider the following:

  • Will the teams in this space need to collaborate with remote colleagues, partners, or agencies?
  • Does the space need only video conferencing capabilities or will it be used for co-creation and digital whiteboarding?
  • Do you have enough huddle spaces to support the number of ad-hoc meetings that teams need?
  • Can teams quickly get started?
  • Does the device come equipped with noise removal if it’s located in an open space?

The best video conferencing equipment for huddle spaces should include:

  • High-quality video conferencing capabilities
  • The ability to share content on the screen locally or within a virtual meeting
  • Co-creation capabilities if the space is being designed with ideation in mind
  • Intelligent alerts and social distancing reminders if the huddle space becomes overcrowded
  • Analytics for optimization and insights into utilization
  • The ability to join any meeting service

If you’re looking for the best video conferencing equipment for huddle spaces, we recommend to use flexible video bars, like the Webex Room Bar, if the space will primarily be used for local and virtual meetings. On the other hand, if the space is intended for local and virtual collaboration and co-creation, be sure to consider an all-in-one video conferencing and whiteboarding devices like the Webex Board Pro 55.

Pictured above: Webex Room Kit Mini and Webex Room Navigator in a huddle space connecting distributed colleagues.
Pictured above: Webex Board Pro 55 in a huddle space connecting local and remote teams to ideate and co-create.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for creative collaboration?

Ideation rooms are small to medium-sized rooms that allow teams to gather, share ideas, and make progress towards their goals. These rooms are typically equipped with a whiteboard, dry erase markers, and sticky notes.

However, these limited tools make it difficult to engage remote participants in the collaborative process during the meeting, let alone share the whiteboard or continue to iterate after the meeting.

The best video conferencing equipment for ideation rooms should include:

  • High-quality video conferencing capabilities with optimized views and spatial audio, enabling immersive experience
  • Easy wireless pairing with laptops and mobile devices to connect and share content
  • Powerful whiteboarding capabilities with digital sticky notes and shape recognition
  • Ability for multiple devices to connect so everyone can participate
  • Integration with third party applications such as Office 365, Trello, and Salesforce.com
  • Ability to access whiteboards anywhere and pick up right where you left off
  • Analytics for optimization and insights into utilization

We recommend the Webex Board Series for anyone that’s looking for the best video conferencing solution for ideation and visual collaboration.

Pictured above: Webex Board Pro 75 brings a local team together to ideate and co-create.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for meeting rooms?

Seasoned employees know the meeting room can be fraught with issues. Typically equipped with a conferencing phone, projector, whiteboard, and outdated video conferencing equipment, these rooms are burdened with multiple points of failure.

Modern collaboration devices have the power to replace much of the technology in these spaces with a single device. And you get a single-pane-of-glass view to manage and triage issues instead of having to monitor multiple systems. A modern meeting room can provide an unexpectedly pleasant experience, happily stripping the meeting room of the dubious honor of being the most frustrating room in the office.

The best video collaboration solution for meeting rooms should include:

  • High-quality video conferencing capabilities
  • Quick and easy access to calling and video conferencing software
  • The ability to share content on the screen locally or within a virtual meeting
  • Social distancing reminders and intelligent alerts if too many people are occupying a room
  • Noise removal to keep the audio crisp and clear
  • Zero-touch experiences to reduce contact with shared surfaces
  • A digital assistant to book your rooms and manage meeting tasks
  • Alerting and digital signage that directs employees to the nearest exit if an emergency occurs

Looking for the best video conferencing solution for meeting rooms? You’ve found it with the Webex Room Series and Webex Board Series.

Pictured above: Video conferencing and screen sharing with the Webex Room Kit Plus.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for the boardroom?

The C-Suite requires an experience that brings executives and partners together as if they were sitting face-to-face—even if distance is a barrier. The collaboration devices in the boardroom need to combine high-end, customizable designs with intuitive, powerful functionality.

To outfit your boardroom with the best video conferencing equipment, you’ll need:

  • Premium audio and video for a true-to-life, immersive experience
  • Directional sound to emulate the in-person experience
  • Content sharing without sacrificing the video-first experience
  • A digital assistant to help with starting the meeting, taking notes, real-time translation, and transcription
  • High-definition displays
  • Customizable high-end finishing and furniture

If you’re looking for the best video conferencing solution for the boardroom, we recommend the Webex Room Panorama.

Pictured above: Webex Room Panorama in an executive board room with a dedicated content sharing screen.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for joining Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams meetings, Webex meetings, or Google meetings?

Whatever video conferencing software you’re using to join a meeting, there’s no better choice than a Webex device. Webex devices can connect to any meeting service while providing all the advanced device features you need—like background noise removal, virtual backgrounds, co-creation capabilities, and more.

Bonus: How to solve the top 5 conference room woes

  1. Is this room free?

In a hurry? Need to find a space to meet? In many offices, it can take a couple of laps to find an available room. Video conferencing equipment like the Webex Room Navigator help erase the pressure of finding a meeting room with LED indicators outside of the room to show which rooms are available and which are occupied. You can also see the upcoming schedule and if there’s a meeting going on in that room, it can direct you to the nearest available room. No more running around the office, no more sweaty meeting introductions.

  1. Where is the conference room?

We’ve all had that moment of trying to find the meeting room on an unfamiliar floor of the office. After you’ve circled the building and realized you’re back where you started, you may even pop your head into a coworker’s cube to ask where the room is. With wayfinding capabilities, you’ll never have to worry about locating the meeting. Paired with a mobile device, you’ll get a familiar navigation system that guides you to where you need to be.

  1. Does anyone know the conference code?

Don’t let a conference code get in the way of starting your meeting on time. With wireless pairing to your laptop or mobile device, modern collaboration devices can authenticate you as soon as you walk in the room and let you join your meeting with the push of a button. Better yet, take advantage of a digital assistant for a zero-touch join experience.

  1. Can you pass me the cable?

Cables, cables everywhere, nor any cable to connect. Finding the right connection that works with your laptop can be frustrating and time consuming. Not to mention that cables strewn about make for a messy meeting room. Modern meeting rooms equipped with the latest video conferencing equipment will allow you to pair wirelessly and share your content from your laptop or mobile device. No more searching for cables, no more messy conference rooms.

  1. Who is that person?

This might be an understandable question if your meeting is being Zoom bombed (which is why you should consider going with a highly secure video conferencing solution—maybe the one that’s rated best of breed by the NSA?). More frequently, this question gets asked when we’re in a large or cross-functional meeting. Leading video conferencing vendors have introduced advanced AI capabilities that can identify who the speaker is, providing name labels and titles beneath every speaker. So you’ll never have to ask, “who is that person?” again.

Audio rendering with captions:

Learn more

Webex earns new high recognitions from G2 and TrustRadius in video conferencing

5 questions small business owners should ask themselves before choosing a video conferencing solution

What’s new in Webex: January 2022

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Published by
Derek Stevens

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