In an age of video bars and webcams more and more organisations are adding a dynamic new dimension to their remote meetings, by taking a multi-camera approach.
That’s the experience of hardware manufacturer, Boom Collaboration, which has seen growth in ‘live events’ and more intuitive conference calls, rise by over a third so far this year.
The Texas-based company is witnessing a significant acceleration in demand for multi-camera conferencing which it views as an exciting new era for larger remote gatherings, transforming standard meetings into more engaging and powerful customer experiences.
Founders Fredrik Hörnkvist and Holli Hulett believe new technology is helping blur the lines between traditional video calls and once complex AV production broadcasting.
Church ceremonies, court rooms, auction houses and healthcare training are some of the most popular sectors so far – as deployments continue to diversify. Industry trade shows are attracting remote visitors where panel debates and live presentations are all benefitting from a multi-angle approach.
Equally larger traditional conference rooms are adding additional cameras for a more intuitive life-like experience – according to the company which has seen a 35% surge in multi-camera sales so far in 2023.
“There’s no doubt we are seeing major growth in live events and remote communication on an international scale across a growing number of sectors,” says Hörnkvist.
“Many of today’s popular software-based meeting apps have the option to share multiple cameras and it’s clear this type of technology adds a new edge to traditional meetings, presentations and live shows.
“Healthcare training for example, is an area where lots of students can witness heart surgery remotely, rather than all being crammed into an operating theatre which wouldn’t be viable. They can view and learn clearly from various camera angles, from anywhere in the world.”
He continued: “Equally there are many conferences, trade shows and industry events that can sell more tickets by having a remote element too. There’s one price to attend in-person plus an online pass option.”
Hörnkvist highlighted: “There are many things to consider when planning a remote gathering. The first is identifying a suitable location with good lighting and audio dynamics. Next is considering camera angles and decor plus how many actual cameras will be used. Technical knowledge is crucial too. Who is going to act as a producer and switch between cameras? How is content going to be shared? Do you need outside expertise? Also, how long will the event last is another factor. You don’t want people becoming bored and losing interest. Interaction is crucial.”
He feels advances in technology open the door to easier management of multi-dimensional meetings – creating more opportunities to enhance the overall customer experience.
“It’s often been a complex and technical process in the past. But advances in technology are inspiring greater user confidence and expertise,” he notes.
“Power and electricity supply capacity can be a challenge. We often recommend using cameras that have a PoE capability. This makes it easier to deploy devices on the same network and improve room aesthetics, without unsightly cables everywhere.”
He says overall appeal will be further enhanced by new solutions such as Boom’s GOJO camera controller, which can manage over 250 devices, if required.
For Hulett the use of high performance 4K PTZ cameras and expandable audio is essential; insisting ‘quality counts’.
She explained: “High quality PoE cameras, expandable audio and easy to use camera controllers/mixing desks are some of the key ingredients for a successful remote experience. Don’t overlook the importance of audio compared to video. If people can’t be heard clearly, then the show is over.”
Hulett began the business with co-founder Fredrik Hörnkvist in 2020, with Boom now embarking on a global expansion drive including the UK and Europe.
She advises: “To overcome some of the fundamental room challenges we always suggest putting the main camera at eye level on the same wall as the display so that it’s natural and easy to engage directly with people.
“We feel something like a 360 degree camera is actually counter intuitive to the way we communicate as it doesn’t promote natural eye contact and reading of body language cues. Also because more people are using video calls now they are more aware of their physical appearance while on screen. This further enforces the need for high calibre cameras that make the most of a variety of meeting conditions.’
Hulett concluded: It’s about creating a space that goes beyond the traditional video conference room by facing cameras in multiple directions, for more fluid and engaging experiences. We expect these trends to continue to expand and diversify, as a new era and the next chapter in video conferencing begins to unfold.”