Unified Communications Featured Article

Altia PanaCast Offers Improvements in Conferencing Immersion

April 30, 2015

One problem with videoconferencing is that, sometimes, it can feel a bit impersonal compared to a physical meeting. Sure, that personal touch still does mean so much, but with travel costs being at current levels, it's easy to see how some might be willing to sacrifice personal touches for big cost savings. Altia Systems is contributing to the conversation with a new camera called the PanaCast camera system that it's getting ready to show at an upcoming Microsoft event in Chicago.

The PanaCast camera is set to offer what's described as a “natural human visual experience” that's set to make users feel more like actually being in the room. Details are being held somewhat close to the vest until the big announcement on May 4, but early reports suggest that the new PanaCast will offer advancements in device size, shooting resolution, and even in overall ease of use, making it a worthwhile addition to conferencing systems from the boardroom to the doctor's office and even in homes as families get behind videoconferencing as a new means to keep in touch.

Wainhouse Research partner and senior analyst Ira M. Weinstein commented on the release, noting that a panoramic view of a meeting room offered up a vastly different experience in conferencing, with the suggestion being that it was a much better experience overall. Weinstein also went on to note that the camera would offer plug-and-play style operation, support for several different platforms including the always-popular Skype and Skype for Business, and a form factor Weinstein described as “...small and unobtrusive.”

Altia—recently joining the ranks of Cool Vendors as noted by Gartner and joining OnSIP as a Cool Vendor in unified communications—won't just be offering up a new camera, according to reports, but also a complete experience platform known as the PanaCast Experience service. Designed to be used with the PanaCast camera system, it offers the ability to look around the room using multi-touch gestures intended to prove familiar with common devices.

Tools like the PanaCast video system might actually be some of the best for helping to drive growth in conferencing, as such tools address issues some have found in the field. Making a good experience better is a great way to advance a product line, and if the PanaCast works as well as the early reports suggest it will, then there's likely a good reason that Altia was made a Cool Vendor to begin with.

Image via PanaCast

Only time will tell just how well the Altia PanaCast will work for its users, and what kind of impact this improved camera system and its accompanying service will have on the conferencing concept in general. Still, development in this field is seldom a bad thing, and even if this system doesn't change the game as we know it, it may well pave the way for the system that will.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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