The Studio P is not exclusively a Work From Home product, although that trend accelerated its development, but it is Poly’s first commercial entry for this part of the market.
Today, Poly is announcing its entry into the personal video conferencing space with the Poly Studio P Series, which is targeted primarily at remote workers. Its core hardware components are the Poly Studio P5 Webcam, the Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar, and the Poly Studio P21 Personal Conferencing Display. Poly Studio P5 Kits provide bundles with headsets and the Poly Sync intelligent speakerphone at what the company says are extremely competitive prices. The Poly Lens Desktop App and Poly+ paid subscription service complement the product parts of the series.
“We haven’t jumped into the personal video space until now, but we think we are uniquely positioned to succeed in it,” said Brian Phillips, Director of Product Marketing, Group Solutions, at Poly. “We think people will be excited about what we can do in this space.”
Gartner has forecast that by 2024, 30% of the entire global workforce will work remotely at least one day a week. That’s the whole workforce, not just office workers. They say 30% of those will be full-time remote.
“We are set up to succeed in this way of working,” Phillips said. “We have been strong in all aspects of collaboration for decades – headsets, IP phones, group voice, personal voice, group video, and now personal video. We took the technology from our meeting rooms and reoriented it to Work From Home or Work From Anywhere. That isn’t necessarily just for home environments. It can also mean a cubicle. Personal means individual use, not a larger number of people in the same space.”
Phillips said that the P series had been percolating at Poly before COVID, but that COVID put it on the front burner.
“It’s something we had been thinking about, but not working on in earnest until COVID,” he stated. “We knew that COVID would have short term changes, but decided that it also bring about long term changes to how video is used. We knew this would work if we had the right technology. We made a bet that a lot of organizations will be looking for more flexibility, and that this will create increased demand for a high-quality personal video solution.”
The P Series is not exclusively a commercial product. Phillips said they also see strong demand from parts of the consumer market.
“We see it as a hybrid,” he said. “We use the term prosumer internally to define this consumer demand. Whether they pay for it themselves, or have a stipend from work, or bill it back, we think we will have traction with these types of buyers.”
So what’s in it? Phillips emphasized that the P series isn’t simply a scaled-down version of the X series.
“We borrowed some elements from some of the others, but these are all different products from the X series,” he said.
The Poly Studio P5 is a brand new webcam, with 1080p resolution and 4x digital zoom.
“We also borrowed best-in-class capabilities from competitors, and added things users wanted,” Phillips said. “These have exceptional quality optics. So many video devices are designed for bright offices, not home offices which often have weaker lighting, and the P5 will adjust for that.
The webcam has an integrated privacy shutter, which Phillips said is a differentiation in this market.
“Most business grade webcams don’t have a privacy shutter built in,” he pointed out.
The webcam has a built-in high quality directional microphone.
“A 360 degree microphone is not a benefit in a personal use case,” Phillips stressed. “You want it attuned to your one voice.” There is some background suppression built in as well, to deal with household noise.
The webcam also has a dedicated USB port.
“That’s helpful for setup and saving space, but also makes it easy to take with you,” Phillips said.
The P5 Webcam is also available with four bundles, with different combinations of corded or wireless headset options from the Voyager and Poly Blackwire families, as well as a kit that includes the Poly Sync portable speakerphone.
“These are some really aggressively priced bundles,” Phillips stated. “The idea is to get people looking for a webcam to upgrade to a full suite with audio.”
The Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar has a familiar form factor, but Phillips said that’s misleading.
“It looks like the X30 and X50, but it’s a different kind of device, which is fully USB connected,” he indicated. “There’s no Zoom or Teams built in. It has NoiseBlock AI technology and acoustic fence technology, with an extra layer of filtering for blocking noise around a home office sound. All the sound suppression layers on top of each other.”
Phillips emphasized that the Studio P15 is a top of the line high-performance device.
“That’s the market that the Studio P15 is designed for,” he said.
Another interface option is the Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display, a video conferencing display that includes a 21” display, camera, and audio all-in-one.
“While the P15 uses an existing display, this one provides its own display in a USB connected device,” Phillips said. “If you have a need for dual monitors, the P21 isn’t the best fit.”
Phillips emphasized that the P series is about more than the hardware, however.
“It’s not just devices, but software, cloud management and services,” he said. “It is wrapped around a simplicity story, with an enhancement to our Poly Lens service to allow management at scale through the new Lens Desktop App. It will be our new app moving forward for USB devices. This goes hand in hand with our Lens Cloud management service, which we launched a year ago. Now it’s expanding to these personal devices. It’s a way to manage all of these devices remotely, and is super-scalable, to hundreds of thousands of devices.”
The final new element within the package is the Poly+ personal device support service. It provides enhanced 24/7 tech-support around the world, an extended
3-year product replacement and overnight device replacement, and single-app support across compatible Poly personal conferencing solutions.
“These subscriptions can be for individuals or the company,” Phillips said. “It also helps IT managers get extra insights and provides troubleshooting assistance.”
Phillips noted that the P Series will work with commonly used Internet collaboration platforms.
“We partner closely with Zoom and Microsoft, because they have a formal certification program,” he said. “All of these devices will be Zoom and Teams certified at, or shortly after shipping. Because they use standard Windows and Mac drivers, they will work with any platform. We don’t expect any issues.”
The Studio P15 is the first product from the suite that will hit the market, this month, at $USD $599. The Studio P5 webcam will be available in March for $USD 129. The Blackwire 3210 bundle ($149), Blackwire 3325 ($179), Voyager 4220 UC ($269) and Sync 20 ($239) bundles will be available at the same time. The Studio P21 display will be the last out of the gate, early next quarter, at a list of $USD 815.