I remember when I first saw a demo for the BCC950 and thought that is really cool. A low cost solution that is simple and Lync compatible. I liked the device but wasn’t so sure if it was going to be all that impressive at around $250 dollars.
Well, I have been using this device (pictured left) with Lync 2013 for the last few months and so far I am impressed. The pan, tilt, zoom functions work great with the remote and the camera resolution with 1080P works well with Lync 2013’s new HD capabilities. The speaker phone functions really well and for the most part I am using this as my primary audio device at my home office. I rarely pick up my headset unless required. I had forgotten just how handy it is to have a speaker phone in my office. Only problem is my wife doesn’t know when I am on the phone if she doesn’t see me with a headset on. Looks like its time for the presence light:)
One thing that Logitech did a great job of is thinking out of the box for a USB device and adding a PTZ camera to a speaker phone. Had this been just a speaker phone on its own or Just a PTZ camera it would have been pretty lame. But the camera combined with speaker phone makes it worth taking a look at. In fact Scott Hanselman from Microsoft has come up with a great idea and created some software to do remote PTZ from another PC. His project called the SimpleAutoAnswerVideoKioskWithFullScreen is a great example of both Lync’s development capabilities paired with this neat device.
Below is a screenshot of me in a meeting with the BCC950 using the new spotlight feature in Lync 2013. The spotlight puts the video focus on one speaker. It’s a great feature for training sessions or in my case I am create a one person show which could be used as a training vignette. I am using it to demo the HD capabilities of the camera without having smart cropping trim it down. In case you didn’t know smart cropping is another new 2013 feature that removes the outer edges of a HD picture to preserve screen space when using multiparty. But more on that in another post.
Below I did a short video. Its kind of lame but I am messing with the PTZ and you get an idea of the noise it generates during a conference. It nothing to bothersome just something to be aware of. Don’t expect to be super excited by the video its basically me in sweats, working from home not speaking but the recording will show some of the video capabilities of this device used in a Lync 2013 recording.
Overall this is really a great device for $250. I know a number of companies I work with have test devices and so far I have had positive feedback from everyone. With the new HD capabilities and emphasis on video in Lync 2013 I am sure this will be a popular low cost HD solution.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how nerdy the video really is:) Just kidding, I know its nerdy, but leave a comment if you have tried the device.