Unified Communications Featured Article

Plantronics & Revolabs Get Together to Make UC Clearer

February 09, 2015

There's a concept in science and engineering known as the “signal-to-noise ratio”, a ratio which measures the strength of desired signals to the amount of background interference involved. It's used in other ways as well, of course, particularly in a communications setting, to determine how much content there is and how much fluff there is in a given article or discussion thread. Too much noise, essentially, can interfere with a signal to such a degree that the signal is largely lost. Meanwhile, Plantronics and Revolabs are getting together to make it easier to boost the signal and cut out the noise with a new line of products specifically geared toward getting a signal across better.

Plantronics recently staged an unveiling of four new devices in varying form factors built around the specific idea of making it easier to get a signal across without encountering a lot of noise in the system, a necessity for a variety of technologies, among which unified communications (UC) is a part that's steadily increasing in importance.

First among these was the Blackwire 725 headset, built with active noise canceling (ANC) technology. Backed up by digital signal processing (DSP) and wideband audio, users are better able to hear each other, and thus, more readily communicate. The Blackwire 725 is set to retail for $179, and connects via USB for users.

Next, there's the Voyager Edge UC, a $199 headset that offers Bluetooth connectivity, making it ready to go with a variety of different devices, a particularly useful point given the rise of the mobile workforce. The Voyager Edge comes with noise reduction technology and the ability to answer a call just by putting the Voyager Edge on the user's ear.

Then the Calisto 610 comes in, a corded speakerphone with a USB connection that allows for rapid establishment of conferences for small groups. It can be readily integrated with most softphones, reports suggest, and the system itself has omnidirectional audio, making it particularly useful for conferencing. The Calisto 610 is set to retail at $99.

Finally, there's the new Clarity 340, offered at $149. It's said to work well with the Calisto 610, and is a handset-style device that's particularly useful for users that have hearing or vision problems. The device features large buttons for ease of use, and can amplify sounds as needed for an easier time hearing.

In order to put on a proper UC presence, certain tools are necessary to get the job going. Speakers, microphones, and devices like these present are a large part of the picture, so finding the best in these lines will help ensure that the signal-to-noise ratio is as advantageous as can be generated. A UC system doesn't work very well if one end of the conversation can't make out what the other end is saying, whether through poor-quality transmission or poor-quality receipt of signal, so tools like these, geared toward reducing noise and improving clarity, are likely to prove well-received with companies of all sizes.

The end result here is, regardless of what tools specifically are put to work, the right tools need to be had to ensure that UC can work to its fullest potential.  Reducing noise, and improving the signal, are the two key points to bear in mind, and Plantronics and Revolabs may have just the tools for the job.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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