Poly adds two Zoom certified devices to its video conferencing portfolio
This week at Zoom’s Zoomtopia event, Poly announced two Zoom certified additions to its family of video conferencing solutions, the Poly Studio X70 (new) and the Poly Studio E70 (newly certified). Zoomtopia is Zoom’s annual video conferencing event, where it announced new innovations in the field of video calling solutions. Earlier this year, Poly announced a suite of new audio and video solutions for remote workers, which I discussed here. I wrote earlier this year about the Poly Studio E70 and my full thoughts on it, and the X70 is its more complete brother with a few differences. These devices are Zoom certified with features specific to most of the new Zoom solutions announced at Zoomtopia.
Following the accelerated use of remote working last year, the video calling solutions space presents many new opportunities to be filled. Businesses and employees are embracing this new era of hybrid work, and companies like Poly are here to provide some of the best video calling solutions on the market. Let’s take a look at what Poly’s new video conferencing solutions have to offer and how they, alongside Zoom’s new service offerings, stand out from the crowd.
Poly Studio E70 and Studio X70
The Poly Studio E70 and Studio X70 feature dual 4K cameras with NoiseBlockAI and Acoustic Fence technology for background noise cancellation and direction. By webcam standards, the 4K sensors in these solutions should be excellent and looking at the lenses there is no comparison. The NoiseBlockAI responds to one of my criticisms with the Poly Studio E70: the 4 MEMS microphones potentially have trouble picking up clear audio from participants in the farthest parts of the conference room.
Both come with light, monitor, and shadow controls from Poly’s TC8 display. Poly says this integration comes from its partnership with Extron. I was given a preview of Poly Virtual Control, and it looked smooth. I don’t have a lot of details on it, but it should have a clean and simple interface if it looks like the Poly Lens app. The Poly Studio X70 and Studio E70 also feature a privacy shutter and air quality monitoring sensor. NoiseBlockAI blocks noise using machine learning algorithms, and acoustic fences capture voices in a specific area. I also have to say that the Poly Studio X70 and Studio E70 are aesthetically beautiful devices which is essential for the look and feel of the room.
Both video conferencing solutions feature Poly DirectorAI technology that uses AI and ML for automatic real-time transitions, framing, and tracking. Poly calls DirectorAI the mastermind behind his “cutting edge” video experience. DirectorAI is a differentiating solution for Poly when it comes to videoconferencing devices. From what I’ve seen of competing solutions, Poly is currently ahead of this vector. You have to experience it to get it.
Both devices are Zoom certified to support Zoom’s new Room Smart Gallery. Zoom Room Smart Gallery uses AI to create individual flows for participants in the room during a video conference call. Rather than a telecommuter seeing coworkers on a single stream, he uses AI to track the face and movements of each person in the room to create multiple streams from a single stream. Room Smart Gallery can use multiple cameras, and people can leave the room, and it adapts to their movements.
After hearing about DirectorAI in the Poly Studio E70 earlier this year, I had my doubts. My first impression of DirectorAI’s framing transitions was that it would be difficult to keep up if the camera is continuously moving from person to person. I use a camera for my video calls and podcasts that uses AI to frame my face. It frames my face slowly rather than a quick jerk. Considering that the DirectorAI functionality in Zoom calls would be to frame people for a separate feed on the Zoom Room smart gallery makes sense. Poly says AI can send three unique video streams to frame participants in the room to remote participants. In other words, cameras can focus on one person in a room talking, two people having a conversation, or a crowd of three.
The difference between the Poly Studio X70 and the Studio E70 is that the Studio X70 is larger and Poly says it’s great for quick deployment in any office. The Poly E70 has a smaller, more compact design and is ideal for custom designed parts. The Poly Studio E70 is designed for medium to large rooms and does not have the stereo speakers that the Studio X70 does. The Studio X70 delivers “boardroom-filling” stereo sound with two-way stereo speakers that have custom bass. It would have been easy enough for Poly to come up with one solution and not the other. Although the two solutions are similar, the X70 is a plug-and-play solution. In contrast, the Studio E70 is best for rooms with other equipment like ceiling speakers or speakers passing through a large screen. Choosing between the two will not depend on quality or value, but on the right solution for the room you are trying to fill.
Both solutions have Zoom certifications, with Microsoft Teams certification coming soon. The Poly Studio E70 has a starting price of $ 3,499 and the Studio X70 has a starting price of $ 6,999. Both devices are available worldwide and include support for Poly Lens devices. The Studio X70 and Studio E70 join Poly’s suite of video conferencing devices, including the Poly Studio P series, Studio X30 and Studio X50. You can read my coverage of these devices here and here, respectively.
Poly’s DirectorAI and Zoom’s new Room Smart Gallery help solve what I see as the biggest problem with hybrid work. Both solutions tackle the same problem of making remote workers feel more inclusive by focusing and breaking up on people during a group flow. It has all the right specs and AI enhancement technology that creates an immersive experience for conference calls.
The biggest hurdle I see the Poly Studio X70 and Studio E70 overcome is the difference in parts that these devices will process. Each room will have a different floor plan, ceiling height, number of people, chairs, tables, and acoustic layout. Poly’s DirectorAI is designed to handle these various variables and adapt to the room. If Poly can keep improving their DirectorAI, the experience will keep getting better and better. All of this to say that DirectorAI and NoiseBlockAI are impressive technologies that are currently unmatched in the video conferencing solution space. I say currently because competition is coming, albeit from vertical stack suppliers. The future of the boardroom will have multiple camera units operating in tandem. I am impressed with the start.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy Co-operative, Jacob Freyman, contributed to this article.
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