Organizations are increasingly becoming more flexible with remote work policies and allowing for completely remote roles. When employees are permitted to work from home or at client sites, they can be more productive and save a business money each year in reduced real estate and other overhead costs. While these remote work arrangements can be beneficial, they often require tools and technology to create optimal collaboration and team experience.

One effective method for empowering remote workers to improve productivity and feel part of an integrated team is to use the most recent innovations in video conferencing. A smart camera is a game-changing tool that can take a remote employee, or any other distant participant, and make it seem as though they are right in the meeting more so than fixed webcams or audio-only options.

A standard webcam is a static, single-eye device that captures video only from the point in which it is directed. We've all experienced the awkwardness of adjusting our external webcam, tilting a laptop to get a better view, or trying to cram two or three people into view on a single laptop. A smart camera captures video images naturally and intuitively.

Here are all the details you need to know about smart cameras and how they can help your organization realize outstanding video conference experiences.

Smart camera features

A smart camera enables efficient and productive meetings through a variety of features.

Automatic recognition

The critical feature of a smart camera is the ability to automatically recognize and show the current speaker with a built-in image sensor. This feature alone makes meetings more natural and productive. If you were physically present in a room, your attention would naturally turn to whoever was speaking, and a smart camera mirrors this natural behavior.

But most meetings are not lectures, and several people can become engaged in discussion. Smart cameras realize this and dynamically highlight in-room participants. As a result, meetings seem much more natural. In a natural and comfortable experience, more work gets done.

A speaker and camera that stays out of the way

Smart cameras are free-standing devices that feature 360-degree lenses and audio components that are often found in conference call speakers. Rather than crowding around one tiny camera or built-in laptop camera, your meeting attendees can comfortably sit in a conference room, or remote location and speak naturally just as if all attendees were in the same room.

Ease of setup means fewer headaches

Smart cameras are also easy to set up. All that is typically required is a simple USB connection. With simplified use, your team can spend less time prepping devices for a meeting and more time getting work accomplished in the meeting. The best tech is often something that you barely notice, and a good smart camera stays out of the way while enabling an optimal meeting experience.

No awkward maneuvering required

With a smart camera, your team members can have a more comfortable meeting overall. There is no need to reposition to make sure that participants are in the field of view since a smart camera scans the room and locks in on speakers when necessary.

Manage hybrid teams effectively

Most importantly, smart cameras can drastically improve meetings for hybrid teams. These teams are comprised of in-person and remote participants and are an increasingly common component of modern business operations. With a natural and intuitive smart camera, hybrid teams work more effectively.

The Meeting Owl

One example of a smart camera is the Meeting Owl, a feature-rich all-in-one camera that helps to naturally and effortlessly capture video conferences. Its 360-degree camera and eight omnidirectional microphones isolate speaker video and audio, creating high-quality streams.

The Meeting Owl works with all popular video conferencing services and applications and sets up with just a USB connection. There is no need for software or downloads. When the Meeting Owl internal system requires updating, it happens automatically, without any downtime for your meetings.

At just a little over 10 inches tall, the Meeting Owl doesn't overshadow your meetings, either. It can capture the full panoramic view of your meeting room, and its high dynamic-range lens works in low light situations easily.

With Meeting Owl, your team experiences better meetings with remote and hybrid teams with fewer feelings of disconnectedness. Remote workers once were marginalized as outsiders in an organization, and this inadvertent treatment threatened productivity.

Today, however, remote work is often the ideal situation for both the worker and employee. With smart cameras such as the Meeting Owl, video conferencing will never be uncomfortable again.

No matter where they might be, put everyone in the same room with a smart camera and watch meeting productivity increase.

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