Higher quality sound, a really loud speaker and a handy infrared remote control are a few of the features Polycom touts as giving its new audioconferencing tool the edge.
SoundStation Premier, an audioconferencing tool for use on standard telephone lines, is one of two new generation products from Polycom, the Singapore-based developer and manufacturer of audioconferencing and dataconferencing equipment.
Jeff Hurmuses, general manager of Polycom Asia-Pacific, and Ted Fagenson, product marketing director of audio conferencing, were both in Sydney to launch SoundStation Premier and SoundPoint PC - conferencing for the desktop.
Fagenson said Polycom has invested two and a half years and several million dollars into the new products, advancing the design and technology of its flagship product, SoundStation.
According to Hurmuses, SoundStation Premier's new technology has the extra "oomph" that gives the quality users are demanding.
SoundStation Premier, at $2995 RRP, is positioned at the top end of the market, catering for users who want full duplex technology (simultaneous listen and talk) and a solution to group conferencing - three microphones positioned in a tri-boomerang fashion, giving 360 degree coverage.
Each microphone is individually echo-cancelled, meaning the SoundStation Premier determines where the source of sound is and turns the microphones on and off accordingly to reduce background noise and echo. For $3595 RRP, the SoundStation Premier comes with two additional plug-in microphones. A wireless infrared remote control, which can be used up to three metres away, is included with the Premier which also features an LCD screen (displaying length of call and caller identification), one touch dialling and storage of up to six telephone numbers.
SoundPoint PC is positioned as an entry level ($695 RRP) speaker phone for the PC, bringing full duplex technology and high-quality sound to Internet telephony and desktop videoconferencing (add the software and camera).
Soundpoint PC uses the same speaker and microphone technology as SoundStation Premier, but modified to fit the smaller size.
The products have not been approved by Austel yet, but Jeff Hurmuses says it is near. "We're within two months, probably six weeks of getting approval. We have already been told by Austel that the product has been approved but we don't have the signed documentation as yet."
SoundStation and SoundPoint will both be sold through Polycom's reseller base, while there are plans to have Sound-Point also sold through retail outlets in Australia.
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