Polycom Launches CX7000, Microsoft Lync Telepresence Solution

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Polycom Launches CX7000, Microsoft Lync Telepresence Solution

Polycom today announced the Polycom CX7000 Unified Collaboration System, what they claim is the "first room video telepresence solution custom-built for full integration with Microsoft Lync." It's an interesting solution that combines a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, omni-directional full-duplex speakerphone, a high-end camera, and a small footprint PC, which I'm guessing is running some flavor of Windows in order to run the Microsoft Lync client.
polycom-cx7000-rear-ports.jpgAccording to Polycom, the Polycom CX7000 solution (codenamed “Rally”) features an especially tight integration between the Polycom and Microsoft solutions, with an intuitive interface, simplified UC experience, and more seamless telepresence. The solution offers all the typical Lync features you need: presence, IM, online meetings, content collaboration, etc.

“The power of UC is to eliminate barriers to teamwork and bring people face-to-face. Polycom and Microsoft share a passion for delivering easy-to-use UC solutions that transform businesses into highly collaborative environments,” said Andrew Miller, president and CEO, Polycom. “The new Polycom CX7000 room telepresence solution, custom-built to integrate with Microsoft Lync, takes the seamless, highly intuitive experience to a new level by enabling customers to connect and collaborate how, when, and where they want. Expect more of the same as Polycom continues to work with Microsoft to accelerate UC adoption.”
The CX7000 solution is part of a comprehensive line of CX devices from Polycom that are optimized for use with Microsoft Lync. You could of course build your own similar solution: buy a PC, install Microsoft Lync, purchase a HD USB webcam, wireless keyboard and mouse. But you'd still need a decent omni-directional high-quality full-duplex microphone/speakerphone. Polycom is renowned for higher quality speakerphones that work well in boardroom/conference room environments. It's a nice approach to offer this as an "all-in-one" package. I'm told it will feature up to 720p/30fps, for Lync point-to-point calls and up to VGA/30fps, for Lync AVMCU (multipoint or shared content) calls. You can use the Polycom EagleEye View camera with built-in microphones for audio input or if you go high-end the CX7000 HD system includes the EagleEye III camera and the Polycom HDX Microphone Array, which is better designed for larger rooms.

Video Input
• 1 x EagleEye HDCI camera input
• 1 x HDMI 3.1 (for future use; disabled at present)
• 1 x VGA Content In

Video Out
• 1 HDMI video out
• 1 x DVI-I HD video out

Output Resolution for Monitors
• 1920 x 1200
• 1920 x 1080
• 1680 x 1050
• 1280 x 1024
• 1280 x 720

Content In Video Resolution
• Resolutions supported:
- 1280 x 768
- 1280 x 1024 (SXGA)
- 1024 x 768 (XGA)
- 800 x 600 (SVGA)
• Content Frame Rate: 5 – 30 fps

• Polycom EagleEye III camera
- 1920 x 1080 CMOS imager
- 12X optical zoom
- Auto focus
- 72° FOV

• Compact Wireless Keyboard
- Localized versions
- Integrated camera control for pan-tiltzoom
• Wireless mouse with scroll wheel

• Polycom EagleEye View camera
- 1920 x 1080 CMOS imager
- 4X digital zoom
- Manual focus
- 55° FOV

Audio Input
• 1 Clink2 for HDX microphone array
• 1 x 3.5mm stereo mini (PC Audio)

Audio Output
• Audio supported on HDMI output
• 1 x 3.5mm stereo mini line out

Audio Codec Support
• 7 kHz bandwidth RTAudio
• 3.4 kHz bandwidth with G.711

Audio Enhancement
• Acoustic Echo Cancellation
• Automatic gain control
• Noise suppression

Network & Connectivity
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ45)
• 2 x USB 3.0 ports
• 5 x USB 2.0 ports
- 2 ports always powered when system is connected to power

User Interface
• Lync client interface
- Click-to-join Online Meetings
- Receive Lync call (IM, Voice, Video)
- Initiate Lync call (IM, Voice, Video)
- Share uploaded content
- View or actively collaborate on any content shared by other participants
- Push VGA content
- Directory search
• System configuration
• Remote administrator access

I'm still waiting to hear back from my Polycom contact what the underlying operating system of the CX7000 is, if the unit has a hard drive or uses Flash/firmware for quicker boot times. No specific details on pricing are being given, however Polycom told me it will be in the $10k price-range, which is comparable to other telepresence solutions.

Update: 2:27pm
The underlying operating system is Windows Embedded 7 Standard running on a solid state drive.  According to a Polycom representative, "[It has a] 30 second boot time (less than a minute) - it's not a desktop PC so very fast. One of the advantages is that it boots directly into Lync so makes it fast."

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