At a young age I was always fascinated by stereo equipment and in fact starting working at TMC at age nine putting stamps on envelopes in the summer and on holiday so I could save up enough money to buy a stereo system. I spent somewhere north of $2,000 in 1979/1980 to buy a Vector Research receiver, a pair of Bose 901 speakers and a cassette deck and turntable whose brands I cannot recall. I purchased the Vector Research receiver because I couldn’t afford one by Yamaha but Vector Research was said to be founded by a team that left Yamaha so it would have to do. The receiver still works although Vector Research went belly up shortly after I made the purchase.
This came back to me today when I read Zippy write that Yamaha is going to be distributing their conference calling products through cyLogistics. I stopped by the booth and saw some innovative products such as the 1.5 lb PJP-25UR, a compact conference call companion which consists of a triangular device with pivoting arms which open to a 180 degree angle allowing it to be used for communications between one to four participants. Besides the USB port, there is even a jack for a cell phone allowing the nine microphones and two speakers to aid in communications when the cell phone rings and you are at a hotel or some other stationary location. The device does not require an external power source by the way.
The flexible, triangular and ever-cool PJP-25UR has amazing echo cancellation technology built-in
This triangle is super-slick looking and when a company has such a device I think it is smart to dispense with model numbers like PJP-25UR and come up with a cooler sounding name like iCall, Call Companion, Pocket Conference, etc. BTW, I didn’t do trademark or web searches on these names so if your company owns one of these names — perhaps you can call Yamaha and make a deal.
Donn Witt President & CEO of cyLogistics always seems to have the great new products
Yamaha has massive roots in the stereo/music business (their pianos are very well-respected as well) and in the home theatre space, their Digital Sound Projector line of products has received good reviews.
Much of this same technology has been integrated into the PJP-300V which contains three cameras, 16 arrayed microphones and 14 arrayed speakers. Much the same way DiamondWare/Nortel technology reproduces the sound of callers on a conference call so one caller could seem to be on the left, while the other is on the right — Yamaha has technology which allows people on the left side of one room to sound like they are on the same side of the other room in the remote location. They call this the “Talker detection” function.
I also saw the PJP-50R which is a round speakerphone which looks a bit futuristic and consists of connections for the PSTN as well as IP. The device also has bridging capability and also has the same talker position reproduction technology.
Bart Greenberg National Sales Manager at Yamaha shows off the front and back of the PJP-50R
If you know anything about telecom you know Polycom more or less dominates the conference device markets hands down. While Yamaha is obviously bringing its stereo knowledge and innovation to the table, Polycom has such strong distribution relationships, it will take time for Yamaha to be successful competing head to head. But perhaps this competition between the two companies won’t be so bad. After all, with all this excitement in the telepresence market, I believe the communications space is ready for conferencing solutions which sound much better than they used to. This means room for Yamaha to grow and room for Polycom to continue to roll out great sounding products which use HD Voice and a plethora of other leading-edge technologies to reproduce the human voice with better quality. I just wonder if Yamaha does grow its conferencing business, will Bose follow? This whole thought process takes me back to my teens. Hopefully I will see you at ITEXPO tonight or tomorrow where we can discuss this further.