Next-Generation Video Conferencing Uses AI to Create Data Lake and Deliver Crucial Insights for Optimizing Productivity

New camera systems integrate AI, facial recognition, automatic zooming and 180-degree fields-of-view to gather data lakes that can be used to improve employee productivity and space utilization.

Video conferencing is taking the world by storm, fueled in no small part by the emergence of a new generation of work-anywhere-anytime professionals who center their communication and collaboration around video.

Now, according to Jabra Senior Vice President of Intelligent Vision Systems Aurangzeb Khan, newer technological advances are leading to a new generation of video conferencing solutions offering unprecedented capabilities such as real-time data analytics, facial recognition and occupancy sensing.

What’s more, as collaboration systems increasingly integrate state-of-the-art cameras, high-quality audio and artificial intelligence, they will be able to provide room usage metrics, enable automation of lighting and peripherals based on occupancy, and perform a host of other functions that make them indispensable components of countless offices and companies.

“Smart investments in technology can now deliver compounding returns on investment,” Khan said today. “In addition to offering 180-degree video capabilities through multi-camera arrays and advanced video stitching software, the latest collaboration solutions enable companies to continuously improve productivity and space utilization through data collection and analysis. By using data analytics to automate workflows such as room reservation and release, or automatic shutdown of power-consuming equipment when a room is not in use, video conferencing technology is becoming far more valuable and useful than a simple communications platform.”

The confluence of big data, automation technology and next-generation video conferencing equipment offers a wide range of benefits that can directly affect employee productivity, real estate utilization, and a company’s profitability. With the ability to aggregate data over weeks, months or years, companies can gather large data lake that allow them to analyze the seasonality and patterns of room usage, empowering them to optimize schedules and floorplans.

“Real estate costs continue to rise for businesses of all kinds, making space-utilization one of the most important factors in optimizing a company’s bottom line,” Khan added. “While open floor plans exploded in popularity over the last two decades, hindsight has shown us that conference rooms are truly the most effective means to encourage and enable collaboration between multiple locations or departments. If a company uses data to automate room release for mis-booked meetings or to determine whether meetings run faster in the morning or afternoon, they can gain major time savings and efficiencies that result in improved business outcomes and boosts in productivity.”

These new technologies also allow businesses to utilize smaller and smaller rooms for video collaboration. Traditional video conferencing cameras that would deliver a roughly 70-degree field of view required several feet of open space between the camera and the closest participant, often requiring an extra 40 square feet of space to guarantee everyone is captured on screen. The newest 180-degree models have eliminated the need for open space, because they can be placed right at the edge of a table and still capture every seat in the room. With Manhattan and San Francisco real estate renting for up to $80 a square foot, the potential for savings is clear.

“The newest technologies are a boon for every type of office environment, too,” Khan explained, “with office space rentals or leasing companies now gaining the ability to collect data on their room usage. In bigger spaces or hot-desking environments, video sensor AI can track if people are within a defined range of coordinates, helping office operators to determine load factors for each day, week or season, and then use that data to maximize the utility of their space.”

Khan noted that this is not an intrusive form of data collection – it is anonymized numerical data being stored and analyzed, not videos or photos. This is possible because the AI integrated into cutting-edge video systems can, for instance, detect how many people are sitting at a table or if participants show up late or early, then record that as data for analysis and future planning. Additional possibilities include mood detection that measures the engagement and happiness of meeting participants and automatic zooming that focuses on whoever is currently speaking with no human intervention required.

“Whether your company is a giant multinational or a small or medium-sized enterprise, and regardless of whether you want to develop collaboration spaces for employees or just gather data lakes and business intelligence, the capabilities of video-collaboration solutions are only increasing,” Khan said. “As edge AI advances in tandem with cloud AI, collaboration solutions that increase productivity and deliver business intelligence are only going to grow. The insights gathered from these devices—combined with cloud AI and increasingly better connectivity—will come to change the landscape of tomorrow’s office layouts, even as they connect the world today.”

Jabra PanaCast is the world’s first AI-enabled intelligent panoramic video collaboration device with built-in people detection technologies. The device’s three 13-megapixel cameras work together as one via core technology embedded in the built-in Jabra PanaCast Vision Processor. The multi-camera array solution offers a full 180-degree panoramic field of view delivering a naturally immersive experience – a key element in building trust, driving higher engagement and ultimately achieving better business outcomes faster. The panoramic video gives everyone in the room equal participation, fostering healthy discussion and true collaboration – despite not being in the same room.

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