Crestron presented several new products including critical hybrid meeting solutions at this year’s Zoomtopia – Zoom’s ‘annual celebration of our customers, partners, and communities seeking to better understand the changing workplace’. Crestron's partnership with Zoom goes back to 2017, and October 2023 marks another notable step in that association.
The Crestron products that are now Zoom Certified include the new Crestron Videobar 70 all-in-one collaboration bar, a device for larger spaces that is incredibly easy to deploy – even at scale – as well as the AutoTracker presenter tracking camera and AutoFramer group tracking camera. Also on display at Zoom’s annual hybrid gathering was the Crestron Flex Phone that runs the Zoom phone appliance software and a Scheduling Panel with Zoom Rooms software.
The Zoom Certified badge lets customers know they can expect a high-quality, reliable communication experience when they’re connected via Zoom collaboration software. It’s a specific – and stringent – standard for a variety of hardware solutions, including cameras, mics, and speakers among others. Zoom is looking for systems that deliver the highest quality audio and video to reinforce the experience delivered by every Zoom videoconferencing event.
That certification isn’t easy to come by. As we’ve noted before, Zoom has an established certification and testing program that covers specific use cases with unique testing parameters for each area. Each product undergoes a process to ensure it conforms to exact specifications and is tested through third-party labs. Any solution that’s submitted to Zoom must meet those rigid standards to receive the Zoom Certified Hardware badge.
Crestron Videobar 70
Crestron’s first true all-in-one collaboration bar built especially for medium and larger-sized rooms, the Crestron Videobar 70, is now officially certified for Zoom Rooms software. The Videobar 70 has a robust array of features, including four high-quality cameras (one wide-angle supported by three narrow field-of-view lenses) with a 30-foot range that provides a clear view of even those farthest from the cameras. Those cameras are driven by Crestron’s AI-driven camera switching system that delivers a great video experience, including speaker framing, group framing, and picture-in-picture.
As for audio, 24 beamforming microphones are built into the bar, and each one helps accurately and automatically key on a speaker’s distance and direction for precise speaker tracking. Terrific stereo sound, free of distortion, provides unmatched clarity of dialog for in-person attendees in a hybrid work environment, and intuitive controls from the included 10.1-inch tabletop touchscreen round out the experience.
Intelligent video cameras
Crestron’s AutoTracker presenter tracking camera and AutoFramer group tracking camera are now officially certified for the Zoom Rooms video conferencing platform through a partnership with Inogeni. These cameras are perfect for situations that demand PTZ solutions. Zoom is also in the process of certifying the Crestron Hawk dual-camera speaker tracking solution, with 12x optical zoom.
The Crestron AuoTracker presenter tracking camera is ideally suited to classrooms and training spaces. Designed to provide high-quality tracking at distances up to 50 feet, the device’s built-in AI detects facial features and movements to keep a presenter in the frame as they move about a space, all while consistently delivering a 1080p video image. Ideal for conference room environments, the Crestron AutoFramer group tracking camera automatically pans, tilts, and zooms so everyone within 25 feet of the camera stays properly framed in an image for the remote viewer. The camera is also compatible with a broad array of speakers and mics.
Crestron Flex Phones for Zoom Rooms video conferencing
Crestron has also added a Crestron Flex Phone that runs the Zoom phone appliance software to its existing lineup. Since these phones are best for individual desktop use, they’re a great collaboration solution for both in-person and remote work. They’re available in 8- and 10-inch touch screen models with a high-resolution display, 1080p camera, and 360-degree audio pickup. A Crestron Flex Phone is a terrific way for collaborators to stay connected without occupying the display on a laptop or desktop computer.
Scheduling Panel with dedicated Zoom Software
Crestron is also making it a snap to specify its Scheduling Panel with native Zoom Rooms software. Crestron has been a leader in scheduling solutions for decades, offering scheduling solutions for Zoom software, but this dedicated device will streamline the ordering process for customers. Plus, the panel is ready out of the box, providing a consistent user experience both inside and outside of the room for organisations standardised on the Zoom Rooms video conferencing platform.
Crestron will continue to expand its partnership with Zoom, and that’s beneficial for both brands – collaborations such as these are a clear indication that each company has recognised the other as providing best-in-class solutions.