Established peripheral maker Logitech recently announced the local launch of the Rally Bar Huddle and Sight, devices designed to make corporate meetings in a hybrid work environment more “equitable”. It’s been over a year and a half since South Africa ended its national state of disaster in response to the pandemic. For the most part, everyone went back to the office wearing pants, whether they liked it or not.
However, Logitech clearly believes that the hybrid work model that emerged from the pandemic is sticking around. There might not be as many people missing from the office now, but the problems from not having everyone in the same room for a meeting still exist. Those problems, like not being able to see or hear those who are present, are what Logitech aims to solve with the Sight and Rally Bar Huddle.
You can’t hide from Logitech Sight
“We’re no longer all at home in equal-sized video boxes like we were during the height of the pandemic. In a hybrid work world, a mix of in-office and remote workers increases the challenge of delivering equitable experiences to everyone,“ said Charis Nicholas, head of high touch and end-user video collaboration in Southern Africa.
The Logitech Sight is a silo-looking AI-powered (of course it is) companion tabletop camera that’s meant to work with the Rally Bar or Rally Bar Mini for medium-to-large meeting rooms.
In large rooms with long tables, it can be challenging to get everyone in the same frame with their faces clearly visible. Especially if some of them like to get up and pace when they talk. The Sight is designed to provide supplementary views of a meeting’s participants alongside a front view of the room at large from the front-facing Rally Bar or Rally Bar Mini it’s paired with.
The dual 4K cameras offer 315 degrees of meeting room vision and can focus on up to four participants at a time whether they’re stationary or enthusiastically expressing their opinion. It will intelligently decide the right person to focus on using its seven omnidirectional beamforming microphones and some AI smarts. Those same AI smarts will be used to filter out room echo and other disruptive noises.
For conference rooms with excessively long tables, Logitech allows for two separate Sights to be daisy-chained together so that up to eight people can feel
surveilled included. Although, we’re told this feature will only be available in December.
Huddle up, team
For small meeting rooms, sometimes called ‘huddle rooms’ by people who peaked in high school, Logitech reckons the Rally Bar Huddle is all you’ll need. It’s the company’s newest soundbar-looking device in the Rally Bar family and is meant to make those ‘huddle sessions’ feel more inclusive for the digital huddlers.
The Huddle’s integrated 4K PTZ camera sits front and centre behind an automatic privacy shutter. Audio playback is handled by the single 2.2in driver while the Sight’s six beamforming mics and AI-based noise suppression captures and filters you and your team’s dulcet tones as you discuss numbers and other important business things.
Both the Sight and the Rally Bar Huddle are compatible with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace and should integrate fairly easily with existing conference room setups.
For the financially well-endowed
As fantastic as both the Sight and Rally Bar Huddle might seem, they’re not really meant for you. Unless you’re the person who gets to decide what to put in your company’s newly renovated conference room. In that case, you’ll probably also want to know that the Sight and Rally Bar Huddle run on Logitech Collab OS and can be managed with Logitech Sync. Like the other Rally Bars, the Huddle integrates with Tap IP for ease of use and content sharing.
If you don’t have that kind of power, send this article to the person in your company who does and maybe they’ll promote you for relieving them of the burden of having to choose what tech to get.
Logitech couldn’t confirm local pricing at launch and said it would depend on the Rand-Dollar exchange rate and other determining factors. If you’re interested in either of these for your company’s meeting room, you’ll probably already know roughly how much they’ll cost and who to contact.
If you think you want one for your home office, the Sight and Huddle’s $2,000 (R37,480) and $1,700 (R31,860) US price should give you a better perspective.