The trend to remote work, remote education and remote family events (my friend held his 19th wedding anniversary on Zoom recently) shows little sign of easing, even as the reopening of many workplaces continues.
Some analysts predict the demand for well-equipped meeting spaces will continue to rise, increasing some 300 per cent over the next few years. Into this growing sector, dubbed Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), comes a new hardware company, Boom Collaboration, and its new distribution agreement inked with Canadian distributor Nine-One-One Communication Supply.
Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Austin, TX, start-up Boom Collaboration develops hardware solutions for today’s meeting environments. Boom Collaboration develops huddle room and work-from-home solutions. Nine-One-One, founded in 1989 and based in Calgary, will distribute the full Boom portfolio of video and audio devices.
For those three decades, Nine-One-One has been providing telephony solutions to interconnects and telcos across Canada, from the early days of rotary dial to current technologies like UC and SIP, and now, Boom’s Ultra HD 4K conferencing camera with multiple video outputs and multi-codec IP streaming capabilities.
With better and better videoconferencing tools at hand, it’s no wonder the sector is set to, well, boom.
According to analysis from Frost & Sullivan and its State of the Global Video Conferencing Devices Market, the global market is estimated to reach $7.7 billion in revenue by 2025, up from $2.7 billion last year; that growth will be the result of long-term, sustainable demand for video-enhanced connectivity among remote workers and geographically dispersed teams. And a Transparency Market Research report says the growth will be even bigger, reaching past $11.5 billion by 2027,
That’s not just large enterprise demand either. Nearly eight in ten mid-size companies and almost 50 per cent of small businesses either now or will soon support work from home. Nor is the demand only from high-tech companies; it’s from businesses in construction, health care, retail, education and more.
In work situations that are most accustomed to face-to-face interactions and where a review of tangible products and real-world goods is crucial, the technology, hardware and gadgetry that are used are more important than ever. Successful collaboration and easy communication needs the best quality audio and video possible. Be it for fully collaborative environments or the emerging hybrid work model, technology and the way it is used will be key to maintaining a productive, engaged and fulfilled workforce.
But we know all tech platforms are not created equal; some cameras are better than others, some installations are easier than others. The options for virtual face-to-face connection are many, and they include solutions like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and Skype.
“The market is seeing an unprecedented pace of innovation with rampant proliferation of device form factors. A few years ago, users had limited choice of video conferencing devices. Today, a growing array of device types and flexible deployment models are allowing end-users greater choice for video conferencing at home, at the office, and on the go,” said Roopam Jain, Senior Director at Frost & Sullivan’s Connected Work Practice.
“Office spaces will be optimized and restructured to build more meeting rooms and collaborative spaces that accommodate frequent, ad-hoc collaboration between on-site and remote workers,” Jain added. “The video conferencing penetration rate is projected to grow five times by 2025, driven by video enablement of small spaces, huddle rooms, and classrooms.”
Whether it’s in a huddle room (usually a smaller meeting area, accommodating three to six people, equipped with basic teleconferencing and collaboration technologies), or a full up corporate conference facility, work-from-anywhere solutions from Boom are made to deliver clear audio and crisp video.
It offers an all-in-one solution with a camera that delivers full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second (fps) from its high quality CMOS sensor, along with fully duplexed audio from a built-in omni-directional microphone. Noise reduction and echo cancellation help clean up the signal, and a multi-codec feature can deliver MJPEG / YUY2 streams, giving conference organizers a choice between lower bandwidth consumption and higher signal quality when needed.
The new Boom Magna system is on the next level of video conference capability, with its Ultra HD 4K (up to 3840 x 2160 pixels) video @ 60 fps coming from a Sony 1/2.8 CMOS sensor. The camera, with its 12x optical zoom, sits atop a remote-controlled PZT (pan/zoom/tilt) mount.
The system offers several video output formats and encoding protocols, so it is compatible with many video conference platforms and collaboration software packages, including Zoom, Teams, Webex, Meet, Bluejeans, GoToMeetings, Skype and more.
As video conferencing becomes more and more a part of our daily lives, it is important to have the technical infrastructure that’s suited to support such an important activity. So a survey that says more than 31 per cent of business people are not equipped with the technology required for decent video meetings means opportunity for new companies like Boom and its partners like Nine-One-One.
“Nine-One-One brings over 30 years of distribution experience and has always had a keen sense of adding complimentary products to their portfolio in the ever-evolving communication landscape,” says Mark Nyffenegger, Canadian Channel Manager of Boom Collaboration. “Boom’s product line continues this vision of Nine-One-One being a market leader and we are excited to partner with them.”