Working for a federal agency often involves attending lots of meetings. Now there is a way to make those conference room sessions more engaging, even if your users are not in the room.
Logitech’s new MeetUp device is designed to enhance a conference or meeting room, providing a premium video and audio experience that easily integrates into almost any existing conferencing software, application or cloud service.
The MeetUp is an oval device with a motorized camera in the center. A speaker and three microphones are hidden along the length of the unit. It is lightweight, making it perfect for shared environments, such as a rolling cart that moves between rooms. It can also be wall-mounted for permanent placement.
Activating the device is as easy as plugging in the 16-foot USB 3.0 cable to a PC or Mac running the desired conferencing software. It took me less than a minute to install.
Videoconferencing Gets More Versatile
Once connected, the MeetUp records beautiful, high-resolution images from around the conference or meeting room. The camera has three default settings, ranging from a 120-degree wide-angle view that could take in my entire 40-foot testing environment, to a close-up mode that can zoom in on individual participants or even a whiteboard.
For extra camera control, the MeetUp includes a small remote that can maneuver the motorized camera beyond its presets. Moving the camera is easy, giving users the ability to pan, tilt and zoom, while the unit automatically refocuses on new targets. All this is accomplished without any noticeable sound. Once the camerawork is complete, a touch of the home button returns the unit back to the default view.
I connected the MeetUp to several conferencing systems for testing, including a cloud service for Mac and Skype for Business running off a PC. In each case, the device quickly integrated with the existing service. The MeetUp enhanced my meetings and presentations by providing high-quality video and better control over what participants could see during the event.
Regardless of how you handle videoconferencing and audioconferencing, the Logitech MeetUp can improve the user experience. Because it can accomplish this using most existing tools and without adding complexity, it should fit comfortably into any conferencing environment.
Make Any Size Meeting More Dynamic
The Logitech MeetUp can enhance any conference room’s video capabilities, easily integrating into almost any existing collaboration software or service. But the MeetUp is more than just a nice camera — it’s also optimized for the audio properties of both small huddle rooms and large conference areas.
At the heart of the audio for the MeetUp are three directional beamforming microphones configured to capture sounds horizontally in front of the unit. The directional nature of the microphones is important, because they can capture very soft speaking — even voices that are just above a whisper — from within the room, while filtering out sounds like outer office noise or street traffic.
For my audio test, I set the MeetUp in a 40-foot test chamber and had several speakers sit at the far end of a long table while I monitored the audio remotely from another room.
I found the audio quality to be very good under normal circumstances. While I could not clearly hear whispering, the unit picked up very soft talking. Further enhancing the difficulty of the test, I added background noise to the environment in the form of a large fan and a device playing music in an adjoining room.
The drone of the fan was completely canceled out by the MeetUp and went unrecorded, even though people inside the room could hear it. The MeetUp is great at removing random noise generated from outside the conference room, such as typical office chatter, people walking by or printers operating.
The music playing outside could be heard remotely, but only when the player was very close to the wall and audible to people inside. Moving the music just a little bit away from the area removed it from the recording. The MeetUp isn’t deaf to sounds that might affect a conference room, but it does a good job at filtering out distracting noises that are not generated from within the room.
As a final note, I also tested the speaker within the MeetUp. From the remote location, I had long conversations with people in the room, and they could understand everything that was said or asked through the device. Paired with high-quality video, for the remote user, the experience was very close to actually being inside the room.
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10, Microsoft 7
Camera Resolution: 1280x720; 1920x1080; 2840x2160
Audio: 3 horizontal beamforming microphones pointing forward
Connectivity: USB 3.0, Bluetooth
USB Cable Length: 16.4 feet
Dimensions: 3.3x15.7x4.1 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds