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Dolby aims to bolster audio, video conferencing in huddle rooms

Dolby Voice Room is an effort to improve the acoustics on conference calls, with noise canceling and other features to create a more natural flow of conversation.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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Dolby Laboratories is planning on making audio, noise reduction, and stereo a part of your video and audio conferencing in the enterprise.

The company said that it is launching Dolby Voice Room for huddle and small conference rooms. In addition, Dolby Voice is being built into video conferencing systems from Blue Jeans and High Five.

Audio quality has often been overlooked in the video conferencing mix. What Dolby is trying to do is make audio a more natural experience and eliminate the need for someone to lean down to talk into a conferencing system.

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Andrew Border, vice president of Dolby's communications business unit, said that audio immersion can improve both traditional and video conference calls. "We're looking to make calls more like what you hear in every day life in stereo without having to ride the mute key and have a natural flowing meeting," said Border.

Dolby's focus on huddle rooms -- smaller conference areas -- is also notable, given that it's an area where collaboration systems haven't played. Multiple vendors are targeting the smart office space and Dolby is looking at the market with an audio twist.

According to the company its Dolby Conference Phone is the centerpiece of its stack to manage audio and video conferencing.

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The conference call phone rides shotgun with Dolby Voice Camera and Voice Hub. Dolby Voice Room includes:

  • A interface that allows participants to join with fewer clicks.
  • A simplified setup and deployment via automation and IT tools.
  • Remote device management for troubleshooting.
  • Voice features such as dynamic leveling that can map rooms to distinguish between speakers and noise and cancels out distractions.
  • High dynamic range video mapping to adjust images to different lighting situations.
  • Intelligent scene framing.
  • And a whiteboard view that provides visibility to remote participants by ghosting out people walking in front of the board.

The model for Dolby Laboratories is to make Dolby Voice Room available later in the spring to BlueJeans and Highfive customers. Highfive has a device as a service model and BlueJeans revolves around subscriptions. Dolby will also sell Voice Room via a network of 50 to 60 hardware resellers with an MSRP of $4,500.

Dolby also has partnerships with BT and InterCall to name a few. When Dolby Voice Room is integrated with a partner the user interface is controlled by that partner. For instance, Dolby Voice Room will have an interface controlled by Blue Jeans.

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