Prudence Pitch

16:12 07/11/2019 |

Total post : 1,355

Owl Labs is gearing up for the launch of its successor Meeting Owl Pro

(Tech) It was the first product to emerge from Owl Labs, a startup founded in 2014 by iRobot veterans Max Makeev and Mark Schnittman, who sought to develop a platform-agnostic autonomous alternative to conventional meeting room cameras. Their brainchild was a 2.6-pound, fabric-clad cylinder with USB ports for monitors and PCs and a pair of LEDs meant to mimic the eyes of its namesake.



Owl Labs is pitching as a faster and higher fidelity experience. Unlike software-based solutions that switch among meeting attendees, the fabric-clad Owl Pro provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings courtesy a camera with a fisheye lens. Its eight-microphone array and algorithms isolate speech and identify, locate, and magnify active speakers, and the Owl Pro automatically creates split views when more than one person is participating.

Improvements over the original Meeting Owl abound. For one, the Meeting Owl Pro’s camera is two times sharper, with a 1080p resolution (up from 720p). And its three-speaker, 360-degree sound system is twice as loud, suitable for conference tables up to 18 feet in length. As was true of its predecessor, the Owl Pro plays nicely with most videoconferencing platforms and it respond to commands issued remotely from a companion smartphone app.

The Meeting Owl Pro competes against hardware from the likes of Logitech, ConferenceCam, Aver, Vaddio, Polycom, and HuddleCamHD. But fortunately for Owl Labs, the global videoconferencing equipment market is enormous. Research firm Future Market Insights pegs it at $1.6 billion by 2027, driven by the ever-growing percentage of employees who regularly dial into work remotely. And in a recently published Wainhouse Research survey, a whopping two-thirds of respondents reported that their organization plans to install more hardware in small meeting rooms and huddle rooms.


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