For businesses and employees around the world, remote work is more than just a trend. The Work From Anywhere movement is steadily growing as more people are working remotely year over year. For distributed teams to be successful, organizations need tools and resources that enable their employees to work productively in the office, remotely, or in a distributed satellite office.

Innovative technology is changing the way people meet and smart video conference cameras, software, and collaboration tools are making it easier for people to work from anywhere. This technology comes together to create a new, future-focused meeting space: the smart meeting room.

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A smart meeting room is an intelligent space that integrates hardware and software in the meeting room itself to create an incredibly productive meeting experience for participants, whether they're joining the meeting from the office or remotely.

Business leaders, office managers, and IT professionals can analyze the way meeting tools and spaces are used to ensure the smart meeting rooms are effective for all employees. In this post, we'll cover the things you need to know about smart meeting rooms and the elements that make them smart.

IT leaders can analyze aspects of the meeting space (e.g., how the tools are used, how often meetings are held, which rooms are used most frequently) to ensure the smart meeting room is as effective as can be. Smart meeting rooms allow employees to get together, collaborate synchronously, and work together productively no matter where they're located.

So, what does it take to make a smart meeting room, smart? Here are a few key elements that make a smart meeting room ecosystem work.

Smart Meeting Room Features

1. Video Conferencing Software

Video conferencing software is an essential aspect of any meeting room, especially a smart meeting room. It allows for seamless communication with your distributed workforce and makes it easy to schedule, invite others, and start a video conference with your team.

Below are some popular video conferencing software options, many of which offer free versions of their software.

Smart Meeting Room Video Conferencing Software:

2. Smart Video Conference Camera

Many meeting spaces and conference rooms are outfitted with a video conference camera that allows distributed teams to meet together in real-time. These cameras connect to computers, monitors, and in-room devices to display a live video feed of the meeting.

The best video conference cameras provide a 360° view of the room so your remote team members can see everything that's going on and keep up with the conversation. This promotes a collaborative environment where everyone can participate and share their ideas. Smart video conference cameras provide high-quality video and audio, just like standard video conference cameras, plus, their intelligent technology learns more over time to adapt to the needs of meeting participants.

Smart Meeting Room Video Conference Camera

The Meeting Owl Pro is a smart video conference camera that provides a 360° view of the meeting room with 1080p video quality, so remote participants feel like they're attending the meeting in person. It's an all-in-one camera, microphone, and speaker which makes for easy setup. What makes the Meeting Owl Pro unique is that it's enabled for Smart Meeting Room capabilities.

When you add the Meeting Owl Pro to a conference room your meeting space will become increasingly intelligent over time with new smart integrations and capabilities. The first Smart Meeting Room functionality is Smart Zooming, which identifies, locates, and magnifies the person speaking to create a fully immersive experience for those who can’t attend the meeting on-site. In the future, your Smart Meeting Room will be equipped with IT analytics, fleet management, and productivity apps to ensure meetings are as effective as possible.

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Smart Meeting Rooms with the Meeting Owl Pro and Owl Labs

3. Whiteboard Tools

Whiteboards are a handy productivity tool for in-office and remote workers alike. They can be used to share ideas and visualize a thought process or workflow for people they're meeting with. Many offices are outfitted with a standard wall-mounted whiteboard or rolling whiteboard that can be moved from room to room.

Smart meeting rooms often use a smart whiteboard that can be viewed and shared more easily by remote meeting participants. They connect with productivity and collaboration apps so content that's written on the whiteboard during a meeting can be distributed to meeting participants once the meeting is over. This ensures everyone knows what was discussed during the meeting, even if they couldn't attend.

Smart Meeting Room Whiteboard Tools:

  • SMART Board 6065 Pro: This whiteboard's interactive display provides a digital writing tool and access to all of your favorite productivity apps. Plus, it allows for wireless screen sharing.
  • Kaptivo: The Kaptivo whiteboards integrate with your meeting room systems and give you the ability to save snapshots or a timeline of your whiteboard session so it can be easily distributed to your team.
  • Meeting Owl: The Meeting Owl's Camera Lock feature allows you to focus the camera on a specific part of the conference room so remote participants can see a standard whiteboard as they follow along with the rest of the meeting.

4. Smart Analytics and Productivity Tools

Smart meeting rooms are integrated with analytics tools that help IT leaders and facilities management see how meeting spaces are being used so they can provide the best experience for employees who use the rooms. These tools help them understand which spaces are used most and least frequently or which rooms are booked but left empty.

Some analytics tools even provide information about which meeting rooms are used for different types of meetings. This gives leaders insight into the spaces people prefer to hold different meetings in, so they can plan any adjustments to the office layout if need be.

Smart Meeting Room Analytics Tools

  • Teem: Teem offers tools like space booking, visitor management, space utilization analytics, and wayfinding solutions to ensure your team can meet productively.
  • AskCody: This meeting management software provides a meeting room activity view, meeting room management tools, and insights into how meeting rooms are used.
  • Robin: Robin gives you usage analytics for your meeting rooms and helps employees discover which space is the best match for their different activities throughout the day.
  • Meeting Owl Pro: The Meeting Owl Pro is built with technology that allows it to grow smarter over time and provide your meeting space with new analytics and fleet management tools.

Smart meeting rooms make it easier for distributed and global teams to work from anywhere, be productive, and stay connected during meetings. To learn more about enabling the Smart Meeting Room ecosystem with the Meeting Owl Pro, download our product comparison guide to see how it stacks up against other options on the market.

Which video conference camera is right for you?