back to article Did anyone tell Logitech about lockdown? Biz launches pricey video chat kit for office conference rooms and 'huddle spaces'

Around the world, office blocks sit empty. Official government guidance says if you can work remotely, you should. However, it seems like nobody told Logitech, which just expanded its B2B video conferencing portfolio with three new devices aimed at the workplace. The most expensive of the bunch is the Rally Bar and Rally Bar …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much?

    For a "web cam"? Oh well.

    Let's hope the built-in software is better than for the webcam I got from them - it's automatic exposure setting ensures that faces are over-exposed and the software they provide (MacOS, at least) doesn't expose the manual controls that are available if third-party software is purchased.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: How much?

      And my Brio 4K keeps switching the anti-flicker settings back to 60Hz, when in my part of the world, 50Hz is more appropriate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much?

        Yep, that one too - it can be set/disabled with third party software as well (which also allows settings to be reloaded).

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: How much?

      >For a "web cam"? Oh well.

      Obviously not been in the market for even a half reasonable pan, tilt + zoom 1080p webcam, but this is a a 4K PTZ webcam...

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    What's the point ?

    I now have almost a year's experience in "video conferences".

    Watching the bland faces of uninteresting people for 20 to 45 minutes at a time while they strive to say something relevant is, in the end, a very painful experience.

    It's not surprising that video phones didn't catch on. Everybody hates them.

    All we really need is audio. The rest is just selling a solution to a problem that does not exist.

    And for the few of you who really do need to see who you're talking to, I'm sure your private jets can get you there without any problem.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What's the point ?

      "Watching the bland faces of uninteresting people for 20 to 45 minutes at a time while they strive to say something relevant is, in the end, a very painful experience."

      It's been like that for years. They're called meetings.

      1. Brad16800

        Re: What's the point ?

        My solution to meetings in the new remote world is so say "sorry, my camera is playing up" then use wireless headset to listen while I go about doing actual work.

  3. Roland6 Silver badge

    Need repositioning...

    Given how bad your typical webcam, mic and speakers are, the market for a decent home setup - that practically anyone can set up and link to Zoom, Teams etc. that could be sold in PC World, John Lewis etc. is probably there for the taking.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Need repositioning...

      It's already there. You just need to buy a webcam, mic and speakers that aren't shit. Plenty on the market, and incredibly simple for anyone to set up by just plugging in a USB cable. The problem isn't that the kit isn't available, it's that people just don't care. Sure, they claim to, but when it comes time to actually fork over the cash, it's a tenner for some cheap tat off Amazon. There's no simple solution to the fact that quality kit costs more.

  4. TrevorH

    Aren't huddle spaces what were in use on Jan 6th in the Capitol?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >The timing isn't exactly great

    I wouldn't say so. Given the time it takes to plan, order and install a load of VC kit I'd say they're launching at exactly the right time. Any business banking on vaccines working is intending to be returning to normality in the second half of the year. Many of those businesses are deliberately avoiding returning to the old normality of everyone in the office at all times. So they'll very shortly be looking at ways to improve the ability of office- and home-working staff to collaborate effectively.

    Now is _exactly_ the time to launch this kind of VC equipment. It's not that expensive either - it's a fair chunk less than Cisco's Webex Room Kits, without the accompanying lockin to Webex. Which is a plus!

    If these work well they're going to be very appealing to SMBs looking to fit out a small number of VC rooms.

  6. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Spanish Flu

    If the Spanish Flu is anything to go by, we will have a third wave and it should be the epidemic should last about 18 months.

    Given that many countries are in lockdown and that the first wave of vaccines have started to be rolled out, I don't think that it is unrealistic that the epidemic should be a shadow of its former self by teh end of summer. If the Spanish Flu is anything to go by.

    And if I am right, Logitech should be nicely poised with these huddle spaces to enter office spaces. It will be a thrill to meet people again (not to mention actually sitting next to them). People in continental Europe will have the thrill of kissing each other again. Nor will the experience of video-conferencing will not have been forgotten as it has been become a normal part of people's lives.

    Until the epidemic started earlier last year, when one team wanted to talk to another team, the large standard tables in a meeting room hindered rather than helped video-conferencing. Either everyone was too small or everyone was in the picture. This offering from Logitech does look veyr appealing in a world where video-conferencing has become a new norm.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depressed...

    ...thinking "social distancing" and "hands, face, space" will never be distant memories, but will become normal behaviour. People are scared to go near each other now, and after a year or two of it, will likely continue to be afraid of being near each other. Having an exposed mount and nose in public will be like walking down the street with a machete as everyone dives out of your way. RIP social interaction, in work and out.

    Sorry for the un-cheery Friday thoughts...

    1. The commentard formerly known as Miek
      Stop

      Re: Depressed...

      I think you are overreacting a bit there, once the virus has cleared people in general will not be diving for cover at the sight of an uncovered mouth or nose; I'm sure people will be getting far too drunk at the pub to give a toss about face masks.

      I think the dive for cover approach will more likely apply at the first sight of someone with the sniffles or a cough; at that point all bets are off

    2. ChrisElvidge

      Re: Depressed...

      Would that be a mount of Venus?

  8. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Stop

    Actually

    Considering we are converting more space for meeting spaces as we don't expect everyone to come back, our office is being turned into more of a conference centre so we've brought some of this kit and shoved it and a screen on a cart so they can be used anywhere in the building.

    I have to assume other companies are doing the same.

  9. poohbear

    The auditors will query every department buying a mini-bar.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

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