Monday, November 29, 2021

Webex launches features and devices at WebexOne conference

At its second annual WebexOne conference last week, Cisco announced a series of enhancements to its Webex ecosystem as well as some new devices aimed at hybrid workforces.

Hardware

  • The new Webex Desk Mini is a décor-friendly collaboration all-in-one PC that is designed to fit into home environments. It features a 15.6-inch interactive full HD display, an HD camera with 64-degree view, a full-range speaker, and a mic array with background noise removal. It comes in five colours and will be available for pre-order in early 2022. Canadian pricing has not yet been announced, but in the U.S it will start at US$995.

    The Webex Desk Mini comes in an assortment of colours. Credit: Cisco
  • The existing 24-inch Webex Desk unit will also get a colour makeover, with its decorator versions starting at US$1249.
  • The Webex Board Pro is an all-in-one for the office or meeting room, and features integrated video conferencing, dual 4K cameras, directional audio, two active styluses and a choice of a 55 or 75-inch responsive display. It will be available to order in November 2021 starting at US$8,995 (55-inch) and US$14,995 (75-inch).

    The Webex Board Pro
    Webex Board Pro on its rolling stand. Credit: Cisco
  • Cisco has partnered with Bang & Olufsen on the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 Headset, with Webex integration, call controls, adaptive active noise cancellation, and Cisco management and analytics baked in.
    The Webex Headset 980
    The Webex Headset 980. Credit: Cisco

    The headset will be available to order in early 2022 for US$549.

  • Cisco has also added the Headset 320 series to its portfolio. These headsets feature a new Webex button that allows users to take a call, start a meeting, or bring the Webex app to the foreground of the device screen.

Software and features

  • Optimize for all voices will enhance Webex’s voice recognition, which currently focuses on only the person closest to the microphone, to balance sound from all speakers, regardless of how far they are from the mic. It will arrive early in 2022.
  • Vidcast, now in public beta, lets users record, watch, comment, and react in their own time. It will be integrated into the Webex app in spring of 2022.
  • People focus camera capabilities, coming in December, will provide optimized visuals of in-room attendees’ facial expressions and body language. In early 2022, it will be further enhanced to show individual attendees in separate boxes.
  • Integration with other conferencing services will allow Webex devices to seamlessly interoperate with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google.
  • More than 60 new partner integrations are coming to Webex, including Slido, Smartsheet, Miro and Mural, with more on the way. When a user shares an app in Webex Meetings, everyone in the meeting can immediately see and interact with the content, without having to download the app.

Something completely different

How do we describe Webex Hologram? It provides an augmented reality (AR) experience within Webex meetings, taking advantage of AR headsets including Magic Leap and Microsoft Hololens, to provide photorealistic 3D holograms of people as well as of physical and digital assets such as prototypes of an auto part. It allows interaction with those virtual objects by many users in different locations, for example allowing a design team to brainstorm over a component’s design elements.

Learn more, or request access to the pilot here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.

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