Categories: Collaboration Devices

Setting a new bar for hybrid video meetings

As workplaces are becoming connected hubs for people to team up and collaborate, it is imperative to look beyond the meeting room experience as we knew it before the pandemic. There’s been a lot of talk around bridging the gap between people at home, on the go, or at the office.

As the entire industry transitions to hybrid work, designing the modern conference room presents questions:

How can we adapt physical meeting spaces for hybrid work at scale, in a way that doesn’t bog teams down with complex hardware management?

How can we replicate or improve in-person interactions to ensure no one is left behind from subpar meeting experiences?

And what is the role of collaboration technology in promoting a culture of well-being, engagement, support and connection as they transition back to the office?

As a recent industry survey suggested, a staggering 88% of knowledge workers were frustrated with in-office technology experiences. Therefore, hybrid workspaces and meeting rooms in this new era of work require a blend of flexibility, immersive conferencing, inclusivity, and workspace intelligence that converge into a fluid experience.1 And that’s why we set out to provide tools to support human connection and infuse seamlessness into the workplace journey.

Whether it is flexible home office solutions such as the Webex Desk Mini, hot desking in reimagined shared spaces with Webex Desk Hub, or no compromise, integrated room solutions with the award-winning Webex Board Pro, we’ve been designing devices to elevate the collaboration experience and keep everyone connected.

Webex Room Bar: setting a new bar for hybrid meetings

A few years ago, we launched the Webex Room Kit Mini with the aim to pioneer the video bar space for smaller rooms and huddle spaces. I’m thrilled to share that now we are taking the technology to a completely new level by introducing the latest addition to our next-generation room device offerings: the new Webex Room Bar.

It’s by far the most feature-rich, flexible and intelligent video bar solution available today designed for huddle rooms and small workspaces. Let’s have a closer look at how Room Bar is setting a new bar for video conferencing and hybrid collaboration.

Enable flexible workspaces

Room Bar is designed to provide enhanced flexibility via video-enabling more workspaces while supporting more setup options, multiple meeting platforms, and workspace integrations. Bring immersive dual-screen experience into your conference space for stunning live video and content sharing. Join meetings on Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom—we’ve got you covered. Or augment the experience to cover even more meeting spaces by connecting the video bar with an external microphone and rest assured everyone in the room is clearly heard.

In addition, Room Bar comes in two beautiful color options, First Light Gray or Carbon Black, so that you can pick based on what fits best in your environment.

Augment your room with immersive conferencing

When it comes to enabling more engaging, natural meetings, we don’t just talk the talk. With almost all meetings including remote participants these days, your focus rooms, huddle spaces, shared spaces and conference rooms need to be equipped with the right technology for seamless hybrid meetings.

With Room Bar, you can have full HD video, intelligent speaker tracking and intelligent camera views, spatial sound emitted closer to the live video feed of the remote speaker, immersive 4K content sharing and industry-leading, AI-based noise cancellation. By doing so, all participants in the meeting can get a boardroom experience.

Level the playing field for everyone in the meeting

Webex Room Bar helps you level the playing field for everyone in the room and on the far end. Imagine meetings where everyone is perfectly and equally framed. The new 12 MP camera offers a wide field of view so that people sitting closer to the device, in smaller huddle rooms for instance, are still captured.

Get access to translation, live captions, gestures and reactions, and embedded apps such as Slido, to make meetings more inclusive and engaging for every participant. The coherent and intuitive user interface is easy to use, removing the friction and frustrations historically associated with using conferencing equipment.

Weave intelligence into the workspace

As businesses reimagine their workspaces, a key aspect of this process is how to make the workplace more intelligent while allowing people to have control over their in-office journey to best fit their workstyle.

Room Bar comes with Webex Room Navigator, the award-winning touch panel providing instant access to device and room controls. Join a meeting with a single tap (or even your voice with Webex Assistant), change video layouts, or access workplace experience apps, right at your fingertips. The same way as the rest of our room devices, this compact video bar uses smart ultrasound technology to sense presence in the room, allowing for automatic “wake up” and enabling people count to track room utilization and facilitate better resource planning.

With Room Bar, you have the freedom to use the device as a codec-powered appliance or a USB peripheral. Connect Room Bar with your laptop with a single USB-C cable for an immersive video, audio and content experience, using any meeting platform.

A video bar that’s simple to set up and scale

Video-enabling your small workspaces at scale has never been easier. Whether you need to bring video to one conference room or equip an entire campus with reliable, multi-platform video conferencing, Room Bar is the right solution that’s easy to deploy, engaging to use, seamless to manage and more affordable to maintain – creating a truly connected workplace. You have all essential components in the box for a simplified setup while we’ve made configuration hassle-free across all endpoints to help you get your deployment up and running in no time.

Using Control Hub, you can manage not only the video bar but your entire Webex deployment, including devices, users, integrations and workspaces, with a seamless admin experience from provisioning and troubleshooting to workspace insights.

Support well-being and sustainability

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, Room Bar goes beyond “just” video-enabling your spaces. The built-in sensors in the touch panel allows you to track room conditions in real time to make sure your teams get an optimized environment. Smart macros can trigger automatic alerts to remind users of safety guidelines while digital signage helps to keep your workforce and visitors informed and engaged.

Sustainability is not just a tick-a-box exercise but it’s inherent to how we design and produce our products. In line with our circular economy commitments, Room Bar is crafted to support a sustainable future for all: from the materials we use, the way we design the device and its packaging, the way we improve shipping and optimize its carbon footprint while in use to lengthening the product lifecycle through easy repair, refurbishing and recycling. We are going to share more about this journey soon, so stay tuned!

Bring big ideas to small rooms

As we’ve examined, Webex Room Bar is a compact, yet powerful room device providing flexible, intelligent and inclusive meeting experiences in your huddle spaces and smaller meeting rooms. It is designed to transform your workplace for hybrid work, in a cost-effective, manageable and simple way.

I couldn’t be more excited to share this new solution with the world and can’t wait to see how Webex Room Bar will help businesses around the globe redesign their workspaces and solve hybrid work challenges. Exciting times ahead!

Want to experience Webex Room Bar first-hand? It’s still not too late to visit the Webex booth (#2K100 in Hall 2) at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in Barcelona and get immersed in our experiential workspace demonstrations.

Interested to learn more about Webex Room Bar? Visit our website for a visual tour showcasing how the solution can enable your workspaces for hybrid work.

Read our new eBook around how Webex Room Kits can enable flexible workspaces, from the dedicated office through the huddle space to large conference rooms.

1 Survey Insight: Meeting Room Video Conferencing Trends, Drivers and COVID-19, Wainhouse Research, Q2 2020.

Published by
Espen Loberg

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