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Polycom RealPresence updates include new audio and visual features

Polycom has announced new audio and video enhancements to improve the user experience of video conferencing.

Polycom added three new software features to the Polycom RealPresence portfolio this week aimed at making employee video collaboration more natural by mitigating environmental or situational distractions like peripheral noise.

Polycom's EagleEye Producer, NoiseBlocker and Acoustic Bubble are elements of the Polycom RealPresence video conferencing platform for room-based, desktop and mobile conferencing. The features demonstrate that Polycom is focusing on often overlooked user experience details, Zeus Kerravala, analyst for ZK Research, said.

Polycom RealPresence now includes intelligent visual and audio features

Video conferencing can improve collaboration between remote employees because unlike audio-only meetings, users are often more engaged when they can see each other.

But in-conference camera operation with traditional video conferencing tools can present challenges for users. The Polycom EagleEye Producer is a camera peripheral that automates operation. The technology can locate the speaker or presenter and frame them for a clear view for remote attendees, as well as change positions when new attendees arrive or leave the conference room. EagleEye Producer can work Polycom's RealPresence Group Series engine and the RealPresence Resource Manager to provide usage data and analytics for utilization planning.

Polycom NoiseBlock -- a new feature of the Polycom RealPresence Group Series and Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server -- can remove peripheral noises in the conference room, such as keyboard typing and paper shuffling. Similarly, the new Polycom Acoustic Bubble technology helps eliminate extraneous noise for mobile or desktop video users, such as background conversations or environmental sounds, like street noise, Polycom said.

Despite the availability of high-quality technology, employees have had to adapt to traditional video conferencing tools by staying in front of the camera, or, by having a meeting attendant spend time using a remote to follow or zoom in on a speaker, which is cumbersome and distracting. These factors decrease the value of conferencing tools, Kerravala said.

"Technology like EagleEye and NoiseBlocker automates a lot of the things that get in the way of having a high-quality, collaborative session," he said.

Polycom's latest audio features are available now, and EagleEye Producer will be available at the end of the month, via a software update, the company said in a press release.

Polycom also updated its RealPresence Desktop and Mobile video applications. Realpresence Desktop now includes integration with active directory systems for predictive directory search and dial by name functionality. RealPresense Mobile for smartphones and tablets now delivers 720p video on select mobile devices, Polycom said.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, senior news writer, and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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