Today, LifeSize has announced the release of their new Unity Series of products. This currently includes the Unity 50 (above left) and the Unity 500 (above right). LifeSize plans to add additional products to thisline later this year. With these systems, LifeSize is offeringplug-and-play videoconferencing. In the past, installing a VCsystem could involve separately purchasing customized furniture,integrating the technology with the furniture, running cableseverywhere, supplying power to each element, etc.
With the Unitysystems you just run two cords (power and IP) and you are up andrunning. Not only does this make the initial setup a snap, itcreates flexibility as it is a simple matter to unplug the systemand move it to a different location. The Unity 50 is designed to be wall mounted, or used on a desktop.The dual purpose monitor can function in lieu of your PC’s monitorwhen not hosting a videocall. The Unity 50 supports 720p30videoconferencing, and the 24″ display can provide 1080p for otheruses. The Unity 500 can be put together in under 10 minutes , without the use of any tools.
Not only is it easy to set up, theend result looks a lot nicer than the standard meeting roomcart-based design. The Unity 500 has a 40″ display which supports1080p30 resolution, and the more compelling (in my opinion) 720p60resolution. For a better look at these solutions, check out the YouTube video below. There has been a lot of recent discussion within the industry about the future of videoconferencing hardware. PBL Tube
There is no real consensus about the overall future; but everyoneagrees that the hardware vendors will have to adjust one way oranother to stay in the game. If hardware is going to survive, itwill have to be easier to set up, easier to use, and more flexible.For the typical meeting room in particular (as opposed to the highprofile boardroom) a hardware solution must provide higher qualitythan commercial video solutions, without requiring a massive6-figure complete room makeover. LifeSize appears to be saying,”Hey, we get it!” with this latest round of solutions. Check outyesterday’s blog entry from Micheal Helmbrecht (VP & GM Video Solutions), to see how LifeSize really feelsabout 6-figure solutions. China Flat Oval Tube
We asked LifeSize what this means for existing integrators ofLifeSize codecs and peripherals. We learned that the Unitysolutions are not intended to be a replacement for existingLifeSize products. LifeSize has always catered to the fact thatthere are endless ways to configure a videoconferencing solution,depending upon client needs, room shape and sizes, and otherfactors. The Unity 500 will be a perfect fit for many (or evenmost) environments, but others will appreciate the ability tocustomize using other LifeSize solutions. LifeSize believes the simplicity of the Unity series will result incost savings for users, while creating new opportunities forchannel partners. China ABL Laminated Tube
As Micheal Helmbrecht explains, “The Unitysystems were designed to be installed by anyone, which will providea little relief to today’s typically overburdened IT staff. Additionally, the fact that anyone can set up a Unity system allowsVARs to service a global market, without the need for a globaldeployment of IT support staff.” Both Unity solutions are available today. The Unity 50 is priced atapproximately $3,999 while the Unity 500 goes for approximately$19,999. If your organization is budgeting for standard roomsystems, but is looking for something with more flexibility, easeof use, and telepresence quality, then the Unity offerings shouldbe high on your list of options.