Since 2012 Logitech's business unit has released two well-received high-definition videoconferencing endpoints aimed at small businesses and enterprise departments: the £229.99 (inc. VAT) BCC950 ConferenceCam for small meeting rooms or around-PC huddles, and the £799.99 (inc. VAT) ConferenceCam CC3000e for large meeting rooms. Now, to bridge the gap between these products, the company has unveiled the £449 (inc. VAT) ConferenceCam Connect, which it describes as "a portable all-in-one solution with a breakthrough design for small and medium-sized rooms".
That "breakthrough design" describes a 766g cylindrical device that's almost exactly the size and shape of the containers used for packaging expensive single-malt whisky. The top section contains the full-HD camera, two omnidirectional full-duplex microphones (with echo and noise cancelling technology) and controls, while the bottom section houses speakers that deliver 360-degree sound within a 12-foot diameter and a circular status LED. The unit can be powered either via an AC adapter or used in portable mode thanks to an internal battery that's good for three hours -- plenty long enough for any meeting, in our opinion.
The 1080p camera, sitting towards the top of the device, has a 90-degree field of view with mechanical tilt functionality, digital pan and tilt, plus 4x digital zoom. The lens is a glass Zeiss unit with autofocus. There's a remote control that slots neatly into the recess housing the lens and audio-video controls when the endpoint is not in use. Usefully, for such a portable device, there's a Kensington lock slot.
PCs, Macs and Chromebooks can connect to the ConferenceCam Connect via USB or wirelessly over Bluetooth (NFC is also supported for easy pairing with mobile devices). There's an HMDI video-out port on the device, which also supports wireless connection via Miracast: this allows Android (4.3 or later) and Windows (8.1 or later) devices to wirelessly mirror content such as presentations, spreadsheets, videos or websites to the large screen during a videoconferencing session (Apple devices support the rival AirPlay standard).
The ConferenceCam Connect is officially optimised for Microsoft Lync 2013 and Cisco Jabber, and is WebEx compatible and Skype certified. However, it will work with "virtually any videoconferencing software", according to Logitech, including Citrix GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts, Lifesize (a Logitech company), Vidyo and Zoom.
Logitech expects the ConferenceCam Connect to be available in March 2015 at a suggested price of £449 (inc. VAT).