Phenomenal Industries has released the new TalkBox VTC UCC collaboration device for Teams and Zoom Meetings.
We are living in a new normal where virtual meetings have exploded due to the inability of people to gather safely in a single, physical space. The prevalence of these virtual meetings has created a plethora of opportunities for Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) tools as the use of cloud-based meeting software like Zoom and MS Teams has increased exponentially. Companies have maintained productivity, but some have realized there is a gap between the in person meeting experience and the virtual one. To solve these issues, Phenomenal Industries has just released the TalkBox VTC, and rAVe caught up with President and CEO AVPhenom in an exclusive interview about the product.
rAVe: Why did you create the TalkBox VTC?
AVPhenom: Over the last several months I have seen companies effectively use Video Teleconferencing (VTC) for business continuity. However there are two complaints I have heard consistently. First, people still want to find a way to meet safely and physically together in small groups. Second, there is a marked difference between the online and in-person meeting experiences. TalkBox VTC solves BOTH of these issues!
rAVe: Can you tell us a little more about the product and what it does?
Phenom: Sure! TalkBox VTC is a clear acrylic chamber equipped with technology to enable SAFE in person meetings. Meeting participants can gather in the SAME room wearing the TalkBox VTC as it acts as a physical barrier between individuals. They simply place their head through the Cranial Portal.
rAVe: Don’t you think people will be resistant to wearing a clear box on their head? It seems like this would decrease the impact of the in-person meeting experience.
Phenom: Not at all. In fact, the TalkBox VTC levels the playing field between in person and virtual meetings. In virtual meetings, people are represented on screen as a talking head in a box. TalkBox VTC recreates this IN PERSON, rendering the virtual and physical meeting experiences nearly identical.
TalkBox VTC even includes innovative technology to further eliminate the differences. The rear panel is an LCD screen that allows the wearer to select and display a virtual background, just like in Team and Zoom. The front layer is transparent LCD. This layer can be set to display a black image and a circle with your picture or initials inside when you’re not prepared to be seen in the meeting yet. It also displays the name of the meeting participant as well as the mute status.
rAVe: Mute status?
Phenom: Yes! There is a visible mute icon on the TalkBox VTC indicating that you are on mute so others in the meeting can tell you to “Unmute yourself.” The proprietary “Audio Gill Membrane” can open and close to let your voice escape … I mean be heard from inside the TalkBox VTC.
rAVe: This seems like it would decrease the quality of an in-person meeting?
Phenom: We’re living in a (air quotes) New Normal. People are adjusting and really just want all experiences to be the same, so we have leveled the two. Bringing virtual meetings up to the level of in person ones would be super hard. We simply brought the level of in person meetings down. Way easier. Same result. All meetings are now the same!
Phenomenal Industries also shared the TalkBox VTC PLUS also comes with HEPA filters and active fans for proper ventilation. After a vaccine is in circulation, a firmware update for TalkBox VTC will support MS Teams new TOGETHER mode, allowing meeting participants to simply take the TalkBox VTC off and have a regular meeting.