Design of an out-put sound solution for the meeting room within video conferencing
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- Institutt for design 
Sound without picture is quite normal. Picture without sound stays in the olden days. Video conference is both sound and picture, and they are of equal importance. By developing the audible quality of the video conference, the participants are likely to let themselves immerse into a close to natural face to face conversation. It is well known that distraction of technique make us focus more on the tool than the task, and thereby hindering flow. Quick Set is the video conference equipment for the beginner, and it is mostly part of small to medium sized installations. The Quick set of today comes with a coder - decoder (codec), a camera, a microphone and a remote control. The customers mostly provide themselves with screens. This implies that most users of the Quick Set experience their conversation partner through a pair of poor TV speakers, and that Cisco has no quality assurance of the video conference experience as a whole. This is obviously not how it should be. But why should the customer buy Cisco speakers? They will probably be more expensive than regular consumer speakers. Is delivering superior sound quality enough to convince the customer? AV partners I have been in contact with tell me that customers in general are not preoccupied with sound quality. What they are concerned about is the resolution of the screen. So who are we to please and how? The user analysis shows that there is one person that is highly important to think of when designing video conference equipment, namely the decision maker who also tends to be the installer and operator of the system. The conclusion of the research phase is that if Cisco is going to offer a sound solution, ti should provide the customer with added value and preferable pleasing these company gatekeepers. Another influential finding from the research carried out is that AV partners most commonly install a configuration consisting of two 55 inches screens with a camera placed in the middle and with two speakers placed on each side of the screen set-up to improve eye contact. According to the sound engineers at Cisco, mono sound should not be played one more than one speaker, otherwise the sound quality decreases. This finding drew me towards developing a solution that also could work in a between screens-configuration making it easier for Cisco to control both placement of camera and speaker, hindering mono sound on several speakers or sound coming from elsewhere than the screen. Could work with several Cisco systems and possibly be placed between the screens. Either placed above the screen as preferred by the Cisco sound engineers, or placed between the screens in an AV set-up, the audio module operates in close relation to the camera. Integration of camera in the sound module has been a recurrent issue through the whole project. The BAR audio module integrates a new concept camera module and is truly adaptable being able to be used in several different configurations: • Together with Quick SetThe audio module is placed above the screen in a horizontal configuration. • Between screensA shorter version of the audio module in its vertical configuration, rotating the camera module 90° • Without the camera moduleIn any configuration where the customer need an audio solution. With its clean cut front face Bar is in line with both the current and the future product portfolio. The integration of the camera and the vertical configuration are both current contributions that possibly will have an impact on the further direction of the Quick Set design.