Cisco today announced an expanded partnership with NVIDIA to bring advanced AI capabilities to its portfolio of collaboration devices. The goal is to provide seamless, equitable meeting experiences for hybrid workers regardless of location.
The centerpiece of this announcement is the launch of the Room Kit EQX, an integrated video conferencing system designed specifically for medium to large meeting rooms. Powered by NVIDIA's Jetson edge AI platform, the Room Kit EQX aims to simplify the deployment of high-end collaboration spaces.
According to Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM of Cisco's Security and Collaboration unit, "Our collaboration with NVIDIA helps make [reimagining workspaces] possible as we expand our portfolio of AI-powered solutions that unlock the potential of hybrid workers."
The Room Kit EQX consolidates the audio, video, and compute components into a single integrated unit. This eliminates the complexity of stitching together disparate products. Flexible mounting options allow wall mounting or free-standing placement.
Importantly, the Room Kit EQX does not require extensive field engineering to install and configure. Customers can deploy the system consistently across locations without relying on AV specialists for each room integration.
Leveraging NVIDIA's edge AI capabilities, the Room Kit EQX delivers immersive audio and video features. This includes intelligent framing and switching between camera views to spotlight active speakers. Audio features such as noise removal and automatic gain control enhance meeting equity.
These experiences are powered by RoomOS, Cisco's smart conferencing software. RoomOS combines with the AI engine on the NVIDIA Jetson platform to enable next-generation meeting room capabilities driven by machine learning. According to Deepu Talla, VP at NVIDIA, "Edge AI is playing a vital role in bringing autonomy and improving productivity across many industries. Cisco and NVIDIA have been pioneering the use of AI to enhance collaboration in the workplace."
In tandem with the Room Kit EQX, Cisco announced new Cinematic Meeting capabilities designed to reduce the feeling of distance for remote participants. Immersive new room layouts, enhanced viewing modes, and presenter tracking expand the Cinematic Meeting experience to more workspace types.
Dubbed "Distance Zero", the new Cinematic Meeting experiences, powered by AI, aims to make remote participants feel like they are physically present. This allows organizations to provide equitable meeting experiences while supporting hybrid work policies.
Cisco showcased a novel, campfire-like boardroom experience. A central quad camera-screen combination at eye-level, arranged in a circular pattern, provides a complete view of both content and remote participants. This ensures parity between remote and onsite participants, fostering face-to-face interactions.
Additionally, Cisco devices can fluidly switch between camera angles during hybrid presentations. This gives remote participants front-row views of speakers, content, and even intimate audience reactions for an immersive experience.
Cisco's collaboration with NVIDIA started in 2015 with the goal of infusing AI capabilities into meeting devices. With advanced products like the Room Kit EQX and Cinematic Meetings features, the partnership continues to bear fruit.
As organizations rethink and redesign the workplace of the future, hybrid and remote work models are becoming standard. In this new paradigm, advanced collaboration technologies will be essential for providing engaging and productive meeting experiences. AI-enhanced solutions like the Room Kit EQX and Cinematic Meetings capabilities may be the key to delivering equitable virtual interactions. With their continued partnership, Cisco and NVIDIA seem well-positioned to shape the future of high-end, intelligent meeting experiences.