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Automatic Framing by Polycom Studio

Polycom Studio is a brand-new USB video bar for huddle rooms with integrated 4k video camera and a six-element beamforming microphone array. With Studio, you get professional video conferencing in one device. And all you need to do to connect it is plug the USB cable in.

USB connectivity makes Studio compatible with an enormous range of cloud-based video conferencing and unified communications platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting.

Studio sets itself apart from the competition with a pair of technologies that you’d think would only be available in enterprise-class video conferencing systems:

  • Automatic Group Framing
  • Automatic Speaker Tracking

In this blog, we’re going to dig into these two related technologies to explain why they help your business communications. We’ll clearly explain how to enable and customize automatic tracking on Polycom Studio.

Polycom Studio, Left with Remote

Polycom Studio Group Framing & Speaker Tracking

Automatic group framing, well, automatically frames all the people in the meeting. This is a dynamic technology, so if someone enters or leaves, the camera automatically frames the new group.

Using the six-microphone array, Studio can track who is actively speaking. It then zooms in on that person, so you can better see their body language.

Polycom Studio is the only USB video bar currently on the market that can perform speaker tracking.

Why Use Automatic Tracking?

Video conferencing is the most natural remote communications technology we currently have. Body language is a huge part of how we understand what people say, which is why video conferencing feels so much more natural than just a phone call.

But there are two serious sources of friction when video conferencing.

  1. It can be tedious to set up the camera so everyone is in frame. It can take valuable minutes away from working as you nudge the camera up and down and zoom a bit in, a bit out.
  2. It can be difficult to follow who’s speaking when you’re presented with a group of people. When the camera is focused on a whole group of people, everyone is presented smaller than if it were focused on a single person. Thus, you don’t see as much of their body language..

Studio solves these two problems:

  1. Automatic framing eliminates the need for manual framing.
  2. Speaker tracking allows you to follow who’s speaking and see more of their body language.

Polycom Studio, Front

How Do Group Framing and Speaker Tracking Work?

You can have group framing on with or without speaker tracking.

If you only have group framing on, the Studio uses intelligence to sense the faces in the room and frame them appropriately. You can choose whether you want to frame people tight, wide, or normal.

If you have both on, the Studio will initially frame the entire group. When someone starts speaking, it will frame the active speakers. It switches between active speakers as different team members speak. If everyone stops speaking, it will return to framing the entire group.

Polycom Studio has a 120° field of view, which is very wide. And it has a 4k camera sensor, which enables 5x digital zoom while retaining excellent detail.

The microphones have a 12-foot pickup range, which means speaker tracking will work for huddle rooms and smaller conference rooms.

The remote control has a dedicated button to turn on automatic framing:

Polycom Studio Remote

How to Enable Automatic Framing with Polycom Studio

Polycom makes it very easy to enable automatic framing. It requires the free Polycom Companion application for Windows or Mac.

Once your Studio is connected to your network, do the following steps to enable automatic framing:

  1. Open Polycom Companion
  2. Choose the Polycom Studio you want to enable framing on
  3. Go to User Settings > Camera Tracking

You are then presented with 3 dropdown menus: Tracking Mode, Tracking Speed, and Framing Size .

Tracking Mode

Tracking Mode lets you choose between Frame Group, Frame Speaker, and Off. If you want the group to be automatically framed but you don’t want speaker tracking, choose Frame Group. If you want speaker tracking, choose Frame Speaker. (Speaker tracking automatically enables group framing.) If you want neither, choose Off.

Tracking Speed

You can adjust how fast you want the Studio to switch between modes: Normal, Fast, or Slow. We recommend that you try all three modes in a test conference to determine your group’s preferences. Then you can set it and forget it!

Framing Size

Choose how tightly you want the Studio to frame the group or speaker: Tight, Medium, or Wide. As with Tracking Speed, we recommend that you try all three sizes in a test conference. There’s no right or wrong option: it’s just what you prefer!