Meeting Owl Conference Camera 

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A couple of days before the UK launch I was invited to a breakfast briefing in a swish Kensington hotel to see this conference room camera in action. It is designed for a meeting of between say five and ten people and also remote connections can connect to become part of the meeting. I emphasize part of the meeting as normal conference room cameras do not do this.

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The "Meeting Owl" conference webcam measure 10cm across at the base and slightly less at the top of its 28cm height.

Its camera is a range of cameras around the top under a 1cm dome hence the name ‘Owl’ as it sees all round without moving, whereas with normal conference cameras they take a viewpoint and if someone at the periphery of the view is speaking even if speakers pick up the remarks the camera view cannot change.

With the Owl it can focus on the speaker wherever they are in the room and with microphones in the unit sound is also heard perfectly.

Along with the Owl camera you get two leads a mains lead to power the Owl and a micro USB to USB lead to take sound to your PC or Notebook/Tablet. No installation is required its true plug and play and the Owl automatically becomes the speaker.

Both the leads plug into the base of the Owl and as long as there is power it will continue to see and hear whatever is said.

While those in the room might debate away those remotely can see exactly what is going on the Owl has a panoramic view of the whole room at the top of the screen while the lower majority of the screen can show either one, two. or a maximum of three people. According to how much one person is dominating the proceedings the Owl decides what to concentrate on.

A three point instruction sheet should get you started; having tried this myself in advance of the briefing I was puzzled by the third instruction being to download an App from iOS or Android store before plugging into the PC/Notebook and not using the phone again. It was pointed out at the briefing that the phone does have a possible use but that is outside the scope of this overview.

If you are a company with several offices in various parts of the world you can have Owls in each office and be linked together, a lot of companies sell Conference Room software, however this can work with Skype so there is a no extra cost option.

I even tested it in my own lounge using just the camera option in Windows 10 and then proceeded to walk about and the Owl followed my movements by a combination of knowing what is where in the room and also tracking the sound as I recited a poem I learnt many – many - years ago and the Owl always found me quickly even when I moved quite suddenly.

This is not a cheap piece of kit as far as my tests at home and via Skype are concerned it works perfectly and seeing a larger conference room in operation is also a big plus.

Owl is now available in the UK from Amazon for £799.

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