Thursday, June 13, 2024

You’ve never seen a webcam as cute as the Owl 4+


The Owl Labs Meeting Owl 4+ webcam, with glowing rings around the speakers.Owl Labs

The camera in the center of the conference room table doesn’t have to look dull or ordinary, and the Owl Labs Meeting Owl 4+ proves it. Instead, it can look surprisingly cute.

Underneath the clearly owl-inspired design hide Wi-Fi connectivity, a cool 360-degree camera and microphone system, and enough AI smarts to make meetings with both in-person and virtual attendees more inclusive and natural than ever before.

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The Owl Labs Meeting Owl 4+ uses a 64-megapixel camera to capture a 360-degree view of a meeting room in 1080p, while the speakers and microphones capture and replay audio from the room. Compared to previous Meeting Owl products, the Meeting Owl 4+ has better video quality, wider audio capture, and silent switching between different Owl video and audio devices when they are paired together.

Owl Labs

By using a 360-degree camera, virtual attendees get a full, panoramic view of the room so they better understand who is in attendance and where they’re sitting in the room. But unlike fixed, single-view webcam systems we’re used to seeing in virtual meetings, the Meeting Owl 4+ adds a second view that intelligently focuses its camera on who is speaking or silently presenting. In a similar way to Apple’s Center Stage feature, the view for virtual attendees shifts, pans, and zooms to ensure the person speaking is always on-screen using a feature Owl Labs calls Front + Center.

The video below relates to Owl Labs products in general, but it gives a good idea of how the Meeting Owl works and how the unusual video feed looks. It’s designed to help virtual attendees feel like they are part of the meeting, rather than an observer, which encourages participation and collaboration.

How Andela Uses the Meeting Owl to Keep Globally Distributed Software Engineers Connected

Despite the panoramic view and Front + Center feature, the Meeting Owl 4+ and Owl Labs’ other products work with the most common video conferencing platforms — including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack. It’s easy to set up, too, as it simply plugs into a computer using a USB-C cable and is then controlled by Owl’s software or an app on your phone. Owl Labs claims it takes less than six minutes to get the Meeting Owl 4+ up and running. This simplicity also means the Meeting Owl 4+ isn’t fixed to a single location and can be moved around offices or your home.

You can buy Owl Labs’ clever and cute Meeting Owl 4+ now for $1,999 through the company’s own online store or Amazon. It is available in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

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