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Meeting the Needs of the Dynamic Meeting Room

The numbers are impossible to ignore.

As the number of remote workers rapidly expands, so does the need for remote collaboration. Business is no longer confined to a single location. The people we work and collaborate with don't always share the same space as us. And meetings no longer mean sitting around a table and passively listening to somebody talking. Yet, despite the changes to the ways we work, audio conferencing technology has remained relatively the same.

However, as Phil Edholm of PKE Consulting and David Martin of Nureva discussed during a recent webinar, "Meeting the Needs of the Dynamic Meeting Room," that is changing. The latest in audio conferencing technology lets you be heard from anywhere in the room for a more natural remote collaboration experience.

Here are just a few of the takeaways from that discussion.

Voice Is Foundational

Imagine a video conference call with no audio.

Despite all the innovations in communications technology, voice remains the primary way we all communicate. During the webinar, Edholm pointed to an experiment conducted by Alphonse Chapanis, the grandfather of human/machine interaction.

The John Hopkins experiment (named after the university at which Chapanis conducted his test) asked two subjects, sitting in separate rooms, to solve problem-oriented tasks. They used a variety of communication channels including voice, typewriting, and face-to-face communication via a window that connected the rooms. The time to complete a task dropped 70% with the introduction of voice, and adding another mode of communication on top of voice only marginally increased efficiency, Chapanis discovered.

The Evolution of the Meeting Room

The initial meeting rooms were designed with one purpose -- bringing together people into a single physical space. Everybody sat around a boardroom table and verbally exchanged information. For a while, that was sufficient. But then communications technology expanded the way we could work. Now, people could work remotely. Meetings became more than just a means to exchange information; they become opportunities for collaboration. People could brainstorm and incorporate displays and whiteboards in the room to explore their ideas.

However, as Edholm pointed out, communications technology remained fixated on the table even as collaboration became more active and dynamic. Moving away from the table meant you couldn't be heard by remote participants. A process that should feel natural and organic stumbles due to constant interruptions to check if you've been heard or requests to bring the microphone closer to the speaker. This not only leads to a terrible experience in the room, but also negatively impacts the remote participant. This is how collaboration falls apart.

Next-generation Audio Conferencing for Better Remote Collaboration

The modern meeting room must take into account the importance of voice and the rise of remote collaboration. From an audio conferencing perspective, using thousands of virtual microphones rather than the standard physical microphone placed here or there can provide the total room coverage needed to bring remote participants fully into the conversation.

With a location-based audio approach using virtual microphones, no matter where you are in the room, you will be heard.

To learn more on the state of the art in audio conferencing for remote collaboration, tune in to the Nureva-sponsored webinar, "Meeting the Needs of the Dynamic Remote Meeting Room." Listen now!