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Fostering Connection: An Interview with HP Personal Video

Soundskrit spoke with two of HP's webcams experts to get their perspective on the webcams market and how webcams help today's remote worker.

Fostering Connection: An Interview with HP Personal Video

By Bradley Diamond

Connection through technology

How do you stay connected with the people in your life who become so important, then move so far away? In the age of online connections, this question feels like it should be redundant. Why not just call your friend and talk to them through Zoom, or Teams, or Facetime? It can be remarkably easy to talk with someone half the world away through webcams, provided people can find the free time.

But something working doesn’t mean that it is fulfilling. With poor audio quality and disruptive background noise, it can feel like you are fighting to communicate. Unfortunately, video calls often suffer from low quality audio, taking the humanity out of the call and making it feel like you are talking to a screen. It becomes obvious that you are both just talking to screens, and not each other. Video calling ends up feeling hollow, lacking that real human connection that we all strive for.

Andie Mace and Ryan Conlon

To enable human connection, today’s webcams need to give the most real-life experience possible. That starts with bringing humanity to the screen. Webcams need to focus on good video and audio quality, which foster connection and make a thousand miles into a foot.

Luckily, this sort of technology is already being created: today’s webcams focus on creating the most immersive online experience possible. Soundskrit sat down with Andie Mace, HP’s Product Marketing Lead for Personal Video, and Ryan Conlon, HP’s Product Manager and Strategy for Personal Video, to get their insights on how webcams can positively affect consumers and foster connection.

HP's quality webcams enable connection by improving audio and video.

The Webcams Market

With Covid-19 came revitalization for the webcams market. Over the course of about a month as the world shut down, the webcam became a necessary and important tool for business; people base their initial evaluations on how a person looks and sounds so poor video and audio quality made webcams an extremely important product for the newly working-from-home. With the market truly opening, the time is ripe for innovation.

Ryan, as an expert on the webcams market, gave us his insights on what he expects is coming. Since the pandemic, the webcams market has grown roughly 2.5 times what it was. With expected product life cycles, consumers will likely be looking for an improvement to their old webcam, as newer models offer more than their old model can deliver. In effect, the webcams market can be expected to continue in its profitability.

It is important for today’s forward thinkers to use a good webcam. People try not to be judgmental, but research has shown that how a person looks and sounds influences their credibility. This study, published in Sage Journals, shows that people given identical talks gave poorer evaluations for the talk with lower audio quality. Whether or not they mean to, people will naturally think higher of someone with good audio and video quality. To truly be doing your best, you need to have the equipment that makes you look and sound best.

There has never been a better time for innovation. The webcam of the future needs to embrace three things: adaptability, flexibility, and connection. A webcam that can excel at those three things will dominate the market.

Most important of these three is connection. Webcams should help people unite, no matter the distance. A good webcam will turn any online experience into a connective experience, by bringing the people in and taking the screens out. That starts with perfecting the audio capabilities of webcams.

Bringing People Together

HP aims to transform our online experience with one simple practice: flexibility. Andie and Ryan predict a world where a webcam can be more than just a stationary electronics device. They see webcams as something mobile and adaptable, allowing people to move about their space while showing off their lives.

Webcams are at their best when they are flexible. It needs to adapt between extremes: cancelling out the echo of a spacious room versus ignoring the background chatter of a busy café. Our lives do not exist in a vacuum, and our technology needs to be able to adapt to suit us.

That is where directional audio pickup comes in, as its adaptability transforms any space into a perfect audio zone. With some rooms, such as spacious offices, sound can bounce off a wall and distort how the speaker sounds. Directional audio pickup ignores the echo and listens directly to the speaker. Webcams become more portable with directional audio pickup.

Because of a webcam’s portability, this adaptability and flexibility transforms the webcam into the perfect personal video solution. No matter where you are, you can trust in your webcam to deliver top quality audio.

For Andie and Ryan, webcams bring people closer together, by making online calling more human. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, the screen between us is all we can see. As Andie explains in the following video, in breaking down the distance between us we have lost some of the elements of humanity that connect us.

The key to stopping that loss of connection is trust. People need to be able to trust in their equipment, that they are being reliably and affectively transmitted to their audience. That trust begins with a good webcam, a webcam that delivers its highest quality audio no matter your surroundings.

HP and Poly, together, build a webcam that can be trusted. With their combined experience in comprehensive testing and scalability and their brand of audio excellence, HP and Poly make the best webcams available for every need.

Highlighting the Humanity

Online calling, from business to pleasure, is never going away. That is a good thing, as it is easier than ever to connect with the important people in your life. It is, therefore, more important than ever to make sure that online calling is the best experience it can be. Webcams are an important and necessary step into that journey.

Communication will always have some issues. It is simply impossible to take away all those things that stop us from connecting with each other. A good webcam will mitigate the distractions by highlighting the humanity on the other side of the screen.

Put your best foot forwards and invest in building important connections by giving your audio the attention it deserves. Focus on connection with a webcam that can deliver the audio quality you deserve.

Find your perfect webcam here!

Interested in learning about how audio works? Check out this article!