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Work patterns are changing -- people want to work from both the home and the office -- so workplace tools should as well. That's why companies like Cisco are rolling out new hardware and software designed specifically for hybrid work. Cisco on Thursday officially launched the new Webex Room Bar as well as a new Cisco video phone.
The Room Bar is designed for videoconferencing at work -- specifically for small and medium-sized spaces like a "huddle space" or a smaller meeting room. It uses Webex AI capabilities for optimal audio and video videoconferencing, ensuring people in the room are well-framed and automatically removing background noise. It has an ultra-HD camera, built-in mic array, an extra mic extension, speaker tracking and dual-stereo sound. You don't have to use Webex to take your calls with the Room Bar -- it's interoperable with third-party programs like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Cisco is launching the Room Bar after learning how much workers dislike taking video calls at work with just a laptop. The company conducted a study with Dimensional Research, finding that 95% of workers experience video fatigue and are interested in seeing key technologies change at work. Users of Webex collaboration devices reported 30% fewer frustrations than those using solely a laptop.
The Webex Room Bar is available starting at $3,795 Cisco Suggested Resell Price (CSRP).
Meanwhile, the new Cisco Video Phone 8875 is designed to ensure that workers who are "hot desking" at the office have high-quality audio and video experience during calls. Since the device's sole focus is communication, it doesn't contend for battery life or other laptop resources.
When a user sits down at a desk with a video phone, they can use a QR code to log into their Webex account for calls and meetings. The device uses AI to reduce background noise, and it has a 1080p display resolution.
The Cisco Video Phone 8875 will be orderable starting in August.
Cisco is also improving its cloud calling product, Webex Calling so that users don't have to worry about dropped calls even if there arenetwork outages or broadband bandwidth issues. Companies using Webex calling will be able to deploy site survivability via the Webex Control Hub to ensure they can make and receive Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) calls during a network outage.
Webex Calling is also adding AI-powered background noise removal technology to PSTN calls with external callers. That means users will be able to eliminate an external caller's background noise with a click in the Webex App or on supported devices.