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Microsoft RoundTable Video Review

TMCNet has a review of Microsoft RoundTable, Microsoft’s immensly cool business videoconferencing system, and even posted a video taken with the device. RoundTable is powered by a RingCam, a Microsoft Research-designed device that sits in the center of the room and takes video of the entire room around it, all 360-degrees around, and tracks who is talking and where they are.

As his video shows, the RoundTable software doesn’t just show video of the whole conference room, it also acts as a single webcam, showing the person in the room who is currently talking. That means you set up RoundTable in the center of a room, where 20 people could be sitting all around a conference table, and whenever someone talks, the camera switches to show them automatically, uses the microphone and video movement to track that person.

In TMC’s video, the reviewer walks in a circle around the camera, and the software switches camera angles throughout to continue tracking him. It’s immensely cool (though the software needs to be tweaked to make for a smoother pan around a single subject) and has to be seen to be believed.

If anyone at Microsoft is listening, I’m extremely excited about RoundTable, and really want to get my hands on it for testing.

Previous posts on RoundTable:
Microsoft RingCam / Microsoft RoundTable - May 2006
Microsoft Roundtable Becomes A Reality - October 2006

June 26th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Applications, General | no comments