Hybrid work: Logitech launches room booking – ZDNET


Accessory maker Logitech, known for its mice, keyboards and webcams among other things, is banking on the success of the first version of its MeetUp video conferencing camera. Since its release in 2017, it has reportedly sold around 1 million units.

So here’s MeetUp 2. It’s designed for small group meetings, around six people in a room. This camera is all in one. In the form of a bar with less rounded edges than before, it integrates the speaker and the lens. And above all, Logitech assures that MeetUp 2 is powered by artificial intelligence.

MeetUp 2 video conference camera under the screen.  Image by Logitech.

MeetUp 2 video conference camera under the screen. Image by Logitech.

Thanks to its own RightSight 2 function, the 4K camera can adapt to the number and distribution of people in the room.

We noticed it ourselves during the demo, when starting it zooms in or out depending on the position of the people in front of the lens. Other options are also possible, such as a grid display: each participant’s image is cut from the 4K display and assembled with the others to form a grid.

Focus on the sound

Another function, RightSound 2, is more original. It is an improved sound reproduction. Therefore, it is artificial intelligence that is used to get rid of the voices of the participants as best as possible from the noise from the surrounding environment, for example those coming from other related meetings, the voices of possible car traffic, work on the construction site in the vicinity, … In addition to the optimization of artificial intelligence, MeetUp 2 equipped with six microphones that can work in beam shaping and thus allow focusing on this or that place in the room.

Logitech MeetUp 2 can be connected directly to one of the participants’ computers via a USB socket or connected via Ethernet or Wifi and managed using the Logitech Sync management software. It is also able to control other devices of the brand, for example to update them remotely.

MeetUp 2 is compatible with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom. The company, which has been showing its interest in being environmentally friendly since at least 2008 with its first sustainability report, tries to specify that the plastic parts of the camera are 60% made from recycling. Priced at €1,000, MeetUp 2 should be available in August 2024.

Flexibility

As more and more employees come and go in recent years, juggling remote work and being on-premises, finding a meeting room can be more difficult than before.

There are several room management tools available for businesses of a certain size, from Cisco Webex to Zoom.

So far, Logitech has integrated six partners into its Logitech Sync system, Microsoft, Zoom, Appspace, Robin, Ricoh Spaces, Meetio (the company it bought). Which allows you to book a room either remotely, like on your computer, or on-site via the Tap Scheduler (by Logitech), a small touchscreen panel attached to the wall.

Room booking interface on Tap Scheduler showing various available room booking tools including Logitech Room Booking, Ph.  Moctar KANE.Room booking interface on Tap Scheduler showing various available room booking tools including Logitech Room Booking, Ph.  Moctar KANE.

Photo credit: Moctar KANE. Room booking interface on Tap Scheduler showing various available room booking tools including Logitech Room Booking, Ph. Moctar KANE.

Room reservation test

Logitech is now adding its own room booking software tool, simply called Room Booking, to the six existing solutions. We noticed a particularly interesting combination with the Tap Scheduler panel for booking a room and its occupancy time with a few clicks on the screen attached to the external wall.

The background of the screen will then change from green to orange and then to red to notify anyone who walks by that the room is about to be occupied or is already occupied. The practical, colored LED on the edge of the Tap Scheduler also makes the room status visible from the side: so those looking for a place to meet can recognize free seats at a glance from the corridor.

It is also possible to view the company’s schedule of available or unoccupied rooms on Tap Scheduler.

Red LED light on the Tap Scheduler indicating the unavailability of the room, Ph.  Moctar KANE.Red LED light on the Tap Scheduler indicating the unavailability of the room, Ph.  Moctar KANE.

Photo credit: Moctar KANE The red LED light on the Tap Scheduler indicating the unavailability of the room, Ph. Moctar KANE.

Room booking on Tap Scheduler via Room Booking, Ph.  Moctar KANE.Room booking on Tap Scheduler via Room Booking, Ph.  Moctar KANE.

Photo credit: Moctar KANE. Room booking on Tap Scheduler via Room Booking, Ph. Moctar KANE.

Stop Room Booking button on Tap Scheduler via Room Booking, Ph.  Moctar KANE.Stop Room Booking button on Tap Scheduler via Room Booking, Ph.  Moctar KANE.

Photo credit: Moctar KANE. Stop Room Booking button on Tap Scheduler via Room Booking, Ph. Moctar KANE.

Logitech Sync management interface.  Image by Logitech.Logitech Sync management interface.  Image by Logitech.

Logitech Sync management interface. Image by Logitech.

Necessary for rooms: EUR 180 per year per room

Currently, Room Booking is in beta (available at sync.logitech.com). From the end of this summer, room booking should be offered in a minimum offer called Essential for Rooms for €180 per year per room, including additional features such as remote access to the user interface, remote troubleshooting of accessories (web camera, video conference camera and scheduler taps). or even a room occupancy analysis tool.

The Tap Scheduler is sold separately for €700. It’s not a given. However, comparison with the competition is not easy. For example, competitor Cisco’s wall-mounted control panel for room reservations (Webex Room Navigator) costs at least twice the price of Logitech, but the service offer of this major player in the field of video conferencing solutions is not identical.

Hybridization of work is also synonymous with diversity of solutions.



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