During a recent demo of the Lync Room System (LRS), we had a request from a customer to test the system with a Polycom CX5000. The LRS typically has a fixed camera mounted either at the top or bottom between the two screens, this gives a great view of the meeting room but does mean the presenter goes out of camera shot when they are presenting content.

The idea was that by plugging the CX5000 roundtable into the LRS and placing the device on the meeting room table, it would give remote participants the familiar 360 degree view of attendees around the table but would also track the presenter and keep them in shot whilst working with content at the screen.

This customer has a large investment in CX5000’s and see the coupling of the roundtable and LRS as an ideal solution for their use.

So what happened when we unplugged the standard USB camera and plugged in the CX5000? In short, it simply appeared to work. As seen in the shots below, panoramic video was displayed on the LRS video screen, the system accurately tracked and displayed the active speaker and a new button appeared on the LRS control tablet enabling panoramic video to be turned on and off. The system was used throughout the demo and worked flawlessly. At the end we simply unplugged the CX5000, plugged the standard camera in and returned to the standard configuration.

We’ve been expecting to see this functionality in the Polycom Lync Room System release but interesting to know it works with systems already shipping. Currently we’re not clear what the official line is from the LRS suppliers and Microsoft in terms of support but given the appearance of the Panoramic control, it would appear LRS’s have been designed to support the use of these cameras.