From the impressive meeting room business has evolved the huddle room.
Work practices and economy have dictated that short, more intimate and focussed meetings are better for collaboration, whilst breaking down larger meeting rooms into smaller ones allows more meetings to be conducted concurrently.
Whilst this has changed the way in which many of us work, it has also led to technological innovation to support the huddle room.
So, what goes in a huddle room?
Typically a huddle room will entertain 3-6 people seated in a small area. As the raison d’être for the huddle room is a small, compact area which allows collaboration it will also require some tech :
In order to enjoy two way dialogue a fully duplex conference machine will be required. Larger models such as the Polycom Soundstation give excellent coverage, but for a huddle room one may wish to save money and space with a less obtrusive model – one more in keeping with the size of the room. There are many smaller conference phones/ speakerphones ( see earlier blog post here ) from the likes of Sennheiser, Jabra, Plantronics and Polycom which have been deisgned with portability/ small huddle room usage in mind. This could be seen as the primary necessity for the huddle room.
With conversation covered with a nice speakerphone you will most likely consider a video link. Video collaboration is extremely popular for remote business meetings. So a good webcam would be desirable. However, not all webcams are created equal. We are particularly interested at the moment in the Jabra Panacast which promises not only top class hardware but innovative software which can cast a 180° eye around the room and stitch all participants into a single frame. It manages all this whilst boasting a 4k resolution. There are alternative options from Polycom, Sony, Konftel and Dolby, but the Jabra Panacast looks to really enhance the huddle room experience.
You are going to want to see the people you are talking to as well. There are many options for this. Some people may use a laptop/ pc for viewing or port a picture from this to a larger screen – a monitor or TV even. It is possible to remote cast to some screens, others will require a HDMI connection. Some huddle rooms take advantage of the additional functionality offered by a smart screen such as listed here. On screen collaboration allows not only the ability to see the participants, but to share documents in real time.