Until very recently the user experience of video conferencing solutions left much to be desired. And for small businesses, the complexities and cost pretty much priced them out from deploying the technology. Owl Labs has created an easy to use, all-in-one audio and video device called Meeting Owl to address the first problem — although the cost might still be a bit high for some small businesses.
Introducing the Meeting Owl Video Conferencing Device
Meeting Owl was born out of the frustration Owl Labs’ cofounder and CTO Mark Schnittman was experiencing while working remotely and communicating with existing video conferencing systems. Along with CEO Max Makeev, Schnittman decided to fix video conferencing for the remote employee.
Meeting Owl is a plug-and-play video conferencing device optimized with a 360 degree camera for a panoramic view and intelligent focus. With these features, it can focus on one, two or three individuals at the same time by automatically identifying and highlighting active speakers in the room. And best of all, the single 360 degree lens doesn’t need to stitch the video, unlike other multi camera systems.
The video optimization software and automatic speaker focus lets you see the most recent in-room participants without adjusting cameras or using remote controls. When it comes to audio, eight omnidirectional echo-canceling microphones and a 360 degree speaker capture and amplify the voices of all participants.
Some of the smart technology integrated into the Meeting Owl includes the ability to intelligently get better over time. Using WiFi, it improves the remote experience by automatically updating and syncing new features in the background.
Meeting Owl is compatible with web-enabled video conferencing providers, including Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans and Skype for Business. When you are ready to initiate a video conference, all you have to do is plug the USB cable to your laptop and you can start.
Pricing and Availability
The Meeting Owl comes in at $799. Although the features it offers are well worth the price, there will be small businesses choosing instead to go with the free options available to them in the market place. But it is important to note, as your business grows, your video conferencing solution has to improve. Free applications, a laptop camera and a regular microphone may not cut it forever, particularly as your need for seamless web conferencing grows.
Even if you decide the system is worth the money and are ready to move ahead however, you may not be able to get your hands on one immediately.
Meeting Owl is currently on backorder with up to six to seven weeks for delivery.
Image: Owl Labs