Logitech makes video conferencing available to the masses
By Edwin Yapp June 30, 2017
- Targets both small and large businesses requiring conferencing gear
- Supports wide-angle view, 4K video, and all popular conferencing software
COMPUTER peripherals giant Logitech has launched what it claims to be a cost-effective video conferencing solution that it says will appeal to the masses given its advanced features and affordable pricing.
The Swiss-based company has introduced the Logitech MeetUp, a dedicated conference camera equipped with audio microphones that is designed for small meeting and huddle rooms – spaces that are smaller than traditional conference-sized rooms.
Logitech MeetUp boasts of being able to capture a wide 120-degree field of view with the ability to pan an additional 25 degrees to the left and right. The unit is a plug-and-play system, which can be easily connected with leading and common video software conferencing solutions in the market, the company claimed.
According to its managing director for Asean and India, Moninder Jain, high quality video conferencing isn’t new but most systems are too expensive and beyond the reach of most companies, especially smaller ones in the region.
Jain said Logitech’s vision is to equip every meeting room with video conferencing facilities as such communications are far better than phone conferencing and email collaboration.
“I often get this question from customers: ‘Who is your competition and what’s so different about your system?’ [as video conferencing isn’t new],” said Jain during a recent media briefing. “Our strength is that we’re disrupting the market with high quality yet affordable solutions compared with our competitors.”
Jain claimed that high-end video conferencing solutions can cost up to anywhere between US$20,000 and US$50,000. By comparison, Logitech MeetUp is a fraction of the cost per unit, he said, noting that the starting unit price is less than RM5,000 (US$1,119).
“Besides the big video conference players, whom we are disrupting, we believe we are also disrupting the travel industry,” he claimed, alluding to the fact that with such solutions, fewer people will need to travel in order to meet.
Jain also said that with the Logitech MeetUp, companies will be able to reduce operational costs while promoting better collaboration because people can interact with one another as if they are in the SAME room.
“The biggest advantage we see is that we can help build this trust between people attending meetings,” he said.
Designed with small in mind
According to Bryan Lee, Logitech video conference sales team lead for South-East Asia, the Logitech MeetUp is a culmination of the ideas and work done by Logitech’s video conferencing group, which was set up about four years ago.
Lee said Logitech surveyed its customers, listened to what the market wanted and realised that new trends such as open workspaces as well as new cloud-based video software conferencing solutions were disrupting the market.
“The market is now ripe for open workspaces, which consist of smaller rooms for meetings amongst three or four people, also known as huddle rooms,” he explained.
“These rooms are often small and need compact video conferencing gear. They need minimal IT support, ease of use, low maintenance costs and they also need to be affordable. The Logitech MeetUp can fit these requirements.”
Lee also revealed that the Logitech MeetUp is specially designed with a large 120-degree field of view – as compared to the competition whose equipment ranges between 78 degrees and 90 degrees – to ensure that everyone that is up close to the camera can be seen.
Lee explained that the Logitech MeetUp is also equipped with beam-forming microphones to cut down background noise; it can pan an additional 25 degrees to the left and right; supports 4K video; has a very small footprint to fit, which can be either placed on a desk or wall-mounted; is USB plug-and-play enabled and works right out of the box.
Lee said the Logitech MeetUp only has a power port, a USB-C port for connectivity and can be easily connected by non-technical people. The price point also allows a company to easily scale up to as many as are needed, he added.
Asked who Logitech competes with at this price point in the market, Lee claimed that there are some small US-based companies that make competing products but was quick to add there aren’t any that have the global footprint and support like Logitech has with such a product.
On whether Logitech has any software conferencing solution to complement the Logitech MeetUp, Lee said the company only makes end-point hardware equipment and will not be getting into software.
Lee said Logitech MeetUp is designed to work with virtually any video conferencing software application and cloud service, including Skype for Business, Cisco collaboration applications, and all Logitech Collaboration Program partners such as BlueJeans, BroadSoft, Vidyo and Zoom.
Quizzed as to which segment of the market Logitech is targeting, Lee said the equipment can be used by both small and big companies.
Logitech MeetUp will be available end of July 2017. Business customers may purchase MeetUp through the Logitech Video Collaboration reseller network at a suggested retail price of RM4,799.00 (US$1,119), inclusive of GST. Logitech Expansion Mic for MeetUp will also be available at a suggested retail price of RM1,169.00 (inclusive of GST). For more information, please visit this link.