ISE 2016: Be wary of "the Internet of Stupid Things"

All the latest from the ISE show in Amsterdam: Logitech and InFocus make video conferencing affordable, IP to unify AV with IT


Demand for employees to work together more is leading to an explosion in the need for "collaboration spaces" and cheaper video conference products, according to Logitech.

Its new group video conferencing product, Logitech GROUP, unveiled at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2016 yesterday, is aimed at businesses looking for an inexpensive means to collaborate with colleagues and partners.

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Anne Marie Ginn, senior category manager of video collaboration at Logitech, said that organisations in every industry were seeing the demand for "huddle" rooms "explode". These are smaller spaces where workers can meet with each other and remote colleagues "on-the-fly".

"Enterprises want seamless communication experiences with employees, partners, suppliers and customers," she said.

Scott Wharton, general manager of the Logitech video collaboration group, added: "Until now, people looking to collaborate over video were faced with a choice between installing high priced, purpose-built systems or crowding around a laptop that's placed at the end of a table.

"This resulted in a poor experience with co-workers packed together like sardines or falling out of the frame."

Logitech GROUP, the successot to the company's ConferenceCam range, can support meetings of up to 14 people and 20 with additional microphones, and will retail for under 1,000.

InFocus also debuted its new enterprise collaboration products. Its ConX Wall and ConX Exec is a video wall and integrated video conferencing multipoint control unit (MCU) server.

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The server enables users to instantly configure and change each input image to any number of the displays. The system allows users to focus in on content from a remote participant, such as data or a video stream. The system is aimed at enterprise management, public services, education and training.

"With ConX, people can video conference and collaborate in boardrooms, in huddle rooms, at the desk and on the go more powerfully, more easily, and more affordably than ever before," said Brady Bruce, CMO at InFocus.

In a panel discussion at the show, IP was talked up as being the "great unifier" between AV (audio/video) and IT. Speaking at the discussion, David Rowan, editor-in-chief of Wired, said that IP was "bringing together many diverse industries onto the network".

He said that the world of "storytelling tools" of AV was colliding with the "sensorised connected" world, and that this would lead to the "potential growth of people's businesses".

He warned that the industry should not create the "internet of stupid things", saying: "Just because you can put sensors in things doesn't mean you should."

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