To get video into more conference rooms, Logitech goes medium

The ConferenceCam CC3000e is a plug-in peripheral for meetings of 6-10 people using existing applications

Logitech is turning to what it knows best with its latest in-office videoconferencing system: Rather than a standalone hardware and software platform, the ConferenceCam CC3000e is essentially a peripheral.

The system, which will carry a U.S. list price of $999.99 and go on sale worldwide this month, can connect to PCs and Macs via USB and to smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth or NFC (near-field communications). When users plug their devices into the ConferenceCam, they'll be able to run commonly used collaboration software including Skype, Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber and WebEx, Vidyo, and Logitech's own LifeSize UVC ClearSea.

The CC3000e is designed for groups of six to 10 people in small or medium-sized conference rooms. It consists of a camera, a separate speakerphone, an infrared remote, and a small cabling hub for plugging in clients and large video screens. The system is a bigger alternative to the BCC950 ConferenceCam, introduced in 2012 for meetings of up to five people.

Though mobile work has increased the demand for virtual meetings, the proliferation of mobile devices and BYOD policies has expanded the options for videoconferencing beyond the large room systems that used to be at the heart of enterprise video. Logitech still offers big-screen room systems through LifeSize, but with the ConferenceCam line it aims to bring video calling to more spaces in an office.

Only a small percentage of conference rooms are equipped for video, and Logitech wants to bring the capability into more of those rooms, said Ziva Nissan, Logitech's senior B2B video product manager. The CC3000e is intended as an alternative to full-size room systems that's both less expensive and easier to use. Enterprise employees often know how to use Lync, Skype or other video applications but don't understand the software that's used in a conference room's system, and calling in tech support to help initiate a call can delay the meeting, Nissan said.

The CC3000e has a 1080p camera with a 90-degree field of view to fit in several meeting participants at a time. It has a 10x lossless zoom, which is designed to zoom in on details without a reduction in quality, using the same principle as the Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone camera. The speakerphone has a 20-foot diameter range and can use stereo or mono sound, with noise and echo cancellation.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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