HD videoconferencing for less

LifeSize Communications drops price of LifeSize Focus

LifeSize Communications has a new high-definition IP audio/video package that drops the previous lowest price of its gear for one site by $US1000.

Called LifeSize Focus, the bundle consists of an HD fixed-focus camera and dual omni-directional microphone integrated in a single device as well as a video coder-decoder.

The $5000 price tag knocks $1000 off the previous low-end LifeSize offering, LifeSize Express, whose camera and microphone come separately.

The company says the less-expensive gear is an alternative to full telepresence systems that include multiple cameras, screens, microphones, custom designed rooms and matching furniture that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per site.

While the LifeSize packages don't provide the same telepresence atmosphere, they do produce high quality audio and video that can be deployed at small sites or even home offices where the cost of a full telepresence system would be prohibitive.

Conferencing consultants say an approximation of telepresence without building dedicated rooms to house the equipment can deliver 80% of the effect of a full system. Businesses are adopting telepresence as a way to cut travel budgets and reduce their contributions to greenhouse gasses by flying fewer employees around the globe.

The camera supports 1280 x 720 video images at 30 frames per second, and can focus from 8 inches to infinity in a range of lighting conditions.

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