Commercial Integrator 2023 - 69

C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
○ Companion and onscreen meeting technologies that
allow in-room participants to easily see chats and polls, as
well as to both share and manipulate content.
The entry point for these emerging meeting-equivalence
applications is much lower than it was for telepresence. All
that is required is the right camera (or cameras), headsets,
speakers and soft ware to capture participants and share them
with one another. (This despite the fact that many of these
room systems, with names like " front row " or " high impact, "
sometimes look eerily similar to the telepresence systems of
the mid-2000s.) But here is the burning question to consider:
Will companies buy, deploy and use these technologies?
Global Study of IT Leaders
Metrigy gathered data from 440 IT leaders responsible for
communications and collaboration. This global study included
participants from North America, western Europe, southeast
Asia and Australia. We found there was limited interest in
some technologies, such as virtual reality, but a lot of interest
in technologies that improve meeting experiences for remote
participants. In our study, just 8.9% of participants said that they
had already deployed virtual reality technologies for employee
collaboration. An additional 22.3% planned to do so in the
future, while 27% are evaluating VR at the moment. Use cases,
however, weren't for meetings. Rather, those using or planning
to use VR wanted to support specifi c use cases, such as product
demonstrations, training, virtual tours and employee social
engagement. Another example would be mine exploration,
where VR could allow a person to control a remote device.
With regard to remote-att endee framing, 37.4% plan to purchase
center-table camera systems, while 30% plan to deploy
systems that place multiple cameras in a meeting room. Both
of those improve meeting equity for remote att endees, but
they do nothing to improve the experience for those in the
meeting room. To improve meeting equity for in-room participants,
we expect to see growth in deployment of onscreen or
companion-mode solutions that allow employees to collaborate
from a personal device while in the meeting room.
The goal of telepresence - creating a virtual environment
that allows all meeting participants to feel as if they are in the
same room - still exists. However, the market has evolved from
one centered on high-cost, specifi c solutions to one in which
VR and in-room technology will provide meeting equivalence at
a signifi cantly lower cost and with greater room fl exibility.
Irwin Lazar is president and principal analyst for Metrigy.
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Commercial Integrator 2023

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