Video conferencing is here to stay

Video conferencing has become the ‘go-to’ form of communication for businesses and families alike. The pandemic has changed the way we communicate and do business, with phrases such as ‘let’s Zoom’ and ‘I’ll schedule a Teams’ becoming familiar to us all.

Ryan Williams, James Tobias Head of Innovation & Product Design, has kept a close eye on this new marketplace and has developed a smart, adaptable product that may well change the face (and sound) of video conferencing.

video conferencing home solution

Product harmony

We’ve probably all seen and used video conferencing enough to understand its strengths. Even if we hope to become less dependent on it when “normal” returns, the reality is the technology will continue to be part of our daily lives and routines.

I wanted to design a product that would work in harmony with video conferencing technology and compliment the way we work, whether that’s in the home or the office. In a previous article I explained the thinking behind the Quedesk home workstation, which was adapted using James Tobias Quebix. Straightforward and smart, the workstation ticks all the boxes that I need from a home workstation. But I wanted to go a step further and incorporate the Quedesk system with a product that would innovate the video conferencing experience.

The challenges of video conferencing

The challenges of good video conferencing stem from creating the right environment. It’s safe to say that a messy, noisy space does not help a video conference call, the view in shot needs to be both presentable and have the correct acoustic dynamic.

Video conferencing calls can typically feature cluttered and distracting backgrounds

So, my brief was set. I needed a screen big enough to cover the wide format lens of a webcam, combined with a material that would control the acoustic experience. As I started designing prototypes, I turned to James Tobias Zonix framework for the base foundation. Zonix is a hugely popular zonal display product, which is perfect for segmenting and defining space without creating obtrusive walls and barriers. We manufacture Zonix framework from lightweight aluminium, making it the ideal choice for my video screen which needed to be both portable and easy to carry.

Sound performance

When it came to the acoustic element, I wanted to contain sound, control the reverberation and minimise noise traveling through the screen. A combination of Valchromat and acoustic foam, gave me the level of performance I was hoping to achieve.

I’ve been using my prototype screen for some time and the results are great. When it’s set up, it gives the reassurance that should your dog jump up on the sofa behind you (it happens), nobody will see. However, it’s not just a screen to obscure an untidy background. It’s a technical screen designed to aid the acoustic experience of video conference for you and everyone on the call.

Good design doesn’t stand still, it evolves. I’ve already developed additional options, configurations and features which I’ll share very soon. If you’d like to find out about our innovations as they happen, why not sign up to the James Tobias newsletter?

Talk to us about bespoke design and manufacture

James Tobias have a 30 year legacy of design, manufacturing and installation. They prove time and again that the best design solutions don’t need weeks or months of complicated (over) engineering and Ryan and his team are happy to discuss the best way to create your next bespoke built interior, so contact James Tobias today. 

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