Poly launches two Poly Studio E70 cameras to reset the hybrid collaboration room experience
After more than a year and a half of uncertainty, the return to power of most companies is finally taking place. It has been great for me to see smiley faces in person over the past few weeks as I have traveled to meet several clients. While many workers are back in the office, the work environment will be different from what it was 18 months ago. While I think we all agree that the future of work looks a lot more hybrid than it did before the pandemic, I think there will be challenges in creating an ongoing experience between employees in person and those at home. While some companies see it as a challenge, many won’t until their employees experience it. Poly sees this as an important opportunity to implement better collaboration devices for its customers facing hybrid work. Its new device, the Poly Studio E70, will seek to alleviate some of these challenges.
There will undoubtedly be technological challenges for employees moving from 100% online meetings to a hybrid mix of in-person and online meetings. Think about equality – the one-size-fits-all box per person, regardless of level. It is a problem. The conference room is also full of technical challenges so that the implementation of a collaboration device is efficient and simple. The Poly Studio E70 is an all-in-one camera solution with different FOVs, auto framing, four microphones, and many other features that could alleviate a lot of hybrid work issues ahead. Let’s dig deeper into the ad.
Poly Studio E70
The Poly Studio E70 is Poly’s new webcam to deliver an enhanced video conferencing experience for corporate conference rooms. Although we continue to see many workers returning to the office, there will still be many employees working from home a few days a week or some indefinitely. This new hybrid work situation will bring collaboration challenges for companies. Businesses will need robust hardware and software collaboration solutions to maintain a high degree of productivity between in-person and home offices.
The new Poly Studio E70 offers a range of audio and video specifications including 4 MEMS microphones, dual lens (120 and 70 FOV, 20MP 4K), motorized privacy shutter, automated camera framing, and advanced analytics. I like that Poly offers dual lenses with different FOVs because conference room sizes vary widely. I have spent countless hours in conference rooms ranging from four to twenty people and anyone in the distance should have a clear view of who is speaking. Being able to fit each participant into the setting is necessary.
I think it’s wise that Poly also designed the device with a small physical footprint. The dimensions of the Poly Studio E70 are 12.6 x 4.0 x 3.5 inches. I would classify the device as relatively small as it is a single device covering the entire conference room. It’s about as wide as an impressive modern 13-inch laptop.
The Poly cameras packaged in the Studio E70 are impressive. With each coming with a 20MP 4K sensor, I can only imagine the picture quality will be great, especially by webcam standards. I’ll have to try it myself to be sure of it. I’ve had good experiences with Poly’s auto-framing capabilities on other devices, but I’m interested to see how it works with multiple participants joking back and forth. I could see this was causing a problem. The integrated privacy shutters are a nice touch and offer a bit more peace of mind in terms of security.
I could potentially see the 4 MEMS speakers struggling to pick up clear audio from participants in the far parts of the conference room. We’re talking about large conference rooms almost 30 feet long, with Studio E70 located at the opposite end of the conference room. I don’t know of many microphones that can perform well in this range, but I will wait for customer feedback to confirm.
We are now awaiting functional collaboration hardware solutions from Poly. One critical area Poly could use to differentiate itself from the competition would be its software that powers its collaboration hardware. Poly DirectorAI is the software that powers the Poly Studio E70. Director AI uses a blend of AI and machine learning for automatic transitions, framing, and speaker tracking during video conferencing calls. I like to see companies trying to fix these kinds of issues, but there are likely to be issues that need to be addressed once companies deploy the new Poly Studio E70 devices and put them to the test. I like what I see on paper, but there’s a different kind of stress test in a high-paced tech corporate boardroom.
I think Poly will have to overcome a potential challenge: the quick framing transitions, as different participants take turns talking in the room. On the other side, the viewer could feel like they were watching a music video with a lot of quick movements instead of a meeting. I haven’t personally used the Studio E70 yet, but I can’t wait to check out real-world audio and video performance when reviews start rolling out.
Like other Poly devices, users can manage the device from the Poly Lens app. Poly Lens can help you with advanced reports like counting meeting attendees and reporting CO2 and VOC levels. The Poly Lens app makes it much easier to deploy and manage devices from an IT perspective. I have grown to appreciate the app’s clean and simple interface throughout my use with other Poly devices.
There is a need for reliable, simple, and smart devices that enhance and do so with equality of collaboration experiences among employees in the office. Hybrid work is here to stay, and businesses need the right hardware and software for collaboration. After analyzing the Poly Studio E70 announcement, I am convinced that there is tremendous value for a conferencing solution with a high quality camera, varying degrees of field of view, advanced framing software, and more. . I will wait for the critics to reach a verdict on the performance of the 4 MEM microphone. My initial thought is that it will be difficult to pick up clear audio from participants farthest from the conference room camera.
The Poly Studio E70 appears to be a step forward in improving collaboration between in-person and home office workers. If there is one company to solve these collaboration issues, we will be facing in the short term and in the future, it is Poly. If the company continues to integrate more with applications like Microsoft Teams, I believe that together Poly will create better collaboration experiences for all workers.
Note: The editors and editors of Moor Insights & Strategy may have contributed to this article.
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