CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Microsoft Ignite — Altia Systems® – a Gartner® Inc. 2015 Cool Vendor in Unified Communications – today launched the PanaCast® 2 video camera, the industry’s first Panoramic-4K Plug-and-Play USB video camera. With its 180° wide, 54° tall field of view and Panoramic-4K resolution, PanaCast 2 delivers exceptionally clear video with a human visual perspective. It helps people collaborate more effectively, improving productivity. The new product simply plugs into a computer’s USB port and works with popular web collaboration apps, like Skype and WebEx.
“PanaCast 2 can help transform how people see and connect electronically, by providing a natural human perspective that enhances popular collaboration services with industry-leading resolution, clarity and speed, in a small, personal, go-anywhere, Plug-and-Play device,” said Aurangzeb Khan, President and CEO of Altia Systems. “And with the optional PanaCast Experience service, we give each participant personal control over how they engage and participate, extending the natural human experience to electronic meetings and gatherings.”
Every day, millions of people collaborate via web and video conferencing, at work and at home, for business and personal use. The narrow field of view and limited video quality of today’s video cameras prevent remote participants from seeing and engaging in a natural human way, limiting team collaboration and productivity.
PanaCast 2 breaks new ground in visual clarity with the Panoramic-4K resolution of 3840 x 1080 pixels, delivering higher quality video even at lower resolutions, such as 1080p, 720p, etc. This can enable users to see more clearly than is possible with standard HD cameras. For instance, details on a white board that are fuzzy in HD may be more clear with Panoramic-4K resolution. The camera’s 180° wide, 54° tall field of view makes it possible to see an entire meeting space without the use of electro-mechanical PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras. The combination of higher resolution and wider field of view results in a more immersive experience that gives remote participants a “being there” experience, improving collaboration and productivity.
By miniaturizing three video cameras and placing them in a small footprint, PanaCast 2 achieves high quality panoramic video at close proximity, making it ideal for huddle rooms and collaboration spaces where people do everyday work, including ad-hoc meetings.
New computer vision algorithms running in the PanaCast video processor enable PanaCast 2 to deliver industry-leading video quality, field of view and ultra-low latency of less than 15 ms from photons to USB data output. The 3840 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall video frame is rendered onto a mathematically-correct cylindrical surface, creating a natural looking perspective without the image distortion common in single imager ultra-wide-angle cameras.
Using the PanaCast 2 Camera
PanaCast 2 is compact - it fits in a shirt pocket - and is easy to use. Just plug it into any USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 compatible current generation PC or Mac. The Plug-and-Play camera enhances popular collaboration applications like Microsoft® Skype® for Business, Skype®, Cisco® WebEx®, Google Hangouts®, Citrix® GoToMeeting®, Vidyo®, Zoom®, etc., without requiring any driver or software installs.
When PanaCast 2 is used with Altia Systems’ PanaCast® Experience service, each participant has full and individual control of camera selection, pan and zoom. It enables them to look around as they like, much as they do in live discussions. PanaCast Experience works stand-alone or integrated at the experience level with Microsoft® Skype® for Business.
“I participated in a Zoom conference call using the new PanaCast 2 camera,” said Ira M. Weinstein, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. “The panoramic view allowed me to see all five remote participants at the same time, and the 4k resolution provided great visual detail – allowing me to feel ‘connected’ to everyone in the meeting.”
Jay Kirkland, vice president and general manager of the Reference Systems and Technologies Group within Intel’s Client Computing Group, noted that Intel is engaged in an engineering pilot with Altia Systems’ first-generation PanaCast Cameras. “The new PanaCast 2 camera, combined with Intel® Core™ processor-based PCs, brings visual collaboration experience to a new level of clarity for users,” he said. Kirkland noted that the two companies’ combined technologies make remote participants in Microsoft Lync meetings “more engaged and more productive.”
“With PanaCast, students feel like its one classroom,” said Stuart Evans, Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “They can glance at the panoramic video and see their classmates, no matter how far away they really are.”
“VideoConferenceGear.com telemedicine carts use the PanaCast 2 camera because it gives the remote attending physician or caregiver a view of the whole room, not just the patient,” said Ryan Pinke, President, VideoConferenceGear.com. “The ability to see the complete patient environment leads to better consultations and diagnoses.”
Availability and pricing
The PanaCast 2 camera will be available early in the third quarter at $995 each. PanaCast Experience service user licenses start at $19.99 per active user per month. User licenses are shareable within the Enterprise. PanaCast® Apps can be downloaded free of charge from altiasystems.com, Google Play and the Apple App Store. PanaCast® Video Server software is available for on-premises installation on customer-provided servers.
About Altia Systems®, Inc.
Altia Systems® (altiasystems.com) is a venture-backed company based in Cupertino, California, and creator of the PanaCast® cameras and PanaCast® Experience service. The award-winning PanaCast® solution is the first and only video and desktop collaboration system that enables anyone with a desktop or mobile device to communicate interactively, in real-time, through a panoramic field-of-view video which replicates the natural human visual perspective.
For more information, visit altiasystems.com or see a demonstration video at getpanacast.com/solutions
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PanaCast® and Altia Systems® are trademarks of Altia Systems®, Inc. All other trademarks, trade names, brand names, company names and/or logos appearing in this news announcement are the property of their respective owners.