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Cisco updates Webex and RoomOS for better video views

The digital communications vendor injects virtual conferencing tech with higher-resolution video, enhanced user detection and AI-backed chat summary features.

Cisco this week unveiled updates for video user detection in its video conferencing platform, Webex, and conference space operating system, Cisco RoomOS. Cisco also revealed new AI-backed improvements for its contact center, Webex Connect.

The digital communications vendor shared the new capabilities Tuesday at the Enterprise Connect communications and collaboration conference in Orlando, Fla. The event runs through Thursday.

Cisco's improvements to Cisco RoomOS aim to focus on video participants by enhancing human detection sensitivity and resolution quality, the vendor said.

Getting a clearer picture

The cinematic Meetings feature on Cisco Collaboration devices enables the camera to track meeting participants using facial recognition, audio and voice. Another feature Cisco refers to as meeting zones lets IT personnel define camera view boundaries to exclude peripheral passersby from the frame. Cinematic Meetings and meeting zones will be available sometime this summer, according to Cisco.

The cinematic meetings feature is a nice way to bring all their technology into the most difficult rooms.
Craig DurrAnalyst, Wainhouse Research

"The cinematic meetings feature is a nice way to bring all their technology into the most difficult rooms," said Craig Durr, an analyst at Wainhouse Research. "Large rooms traditionally needed white-glove services to have professional camera experiences -- their cinematic meetings can make this much easier for the IT person responsible."

Improvements to Cisco's Webex Suite include an automatic "be right back" feature, which stops audio and video for participants when they leave the camera frame during a virtual meeting. The screen will also show "BRB." The function will resolve once the user returns to the frame.

Cisco also added a Super Resolution feature to bring high-definition video quality even in low-bandwidth scenarios or when lower-quality cameras are in use. The Super Resolution feature will also be available in the summer, Cisco said.

"Cisco is focusing these announcements on two areas: devices in the room and intelligence and their software," Durr said.

Cisco's meeting room devices include intelligent cameras and audio.

Screenshot of 'be right back' capability, which stops audio and video for users when they leave the frame.
The automatic 'be right back' update in Cisco Webex stops a user's camera and sound detection when the camera senses that the user in a video conference has left the frame.

Introducing a self-learning contact center

Cisco also unveiled its roadmap for Webex Connect as a new self-learning contact center that harnesses AI-driven technology to attract customers with improved personalization. All AI-backed Webex Connect tools will be available in fall 2023, according to Cisco.

One new tool in Webex Connect will be Evaluate Node, which uses natural language understanding to interpret customer sentiment to generate the necessary code for a more personalized customer experience. Another new tool will be Contextual Chat Summary, which harnesses AI large language models to automatically create overviews of customer interactions for agents.

Finally, the new Topic Analysis tool pinpoints reasons why customers call the contact center and reports these insights to business analysts, keeping them informed as the calls are entering the system.

"Regarding AI, Cisco has had a long tenure with AI and its Webex product," Durr said. "They are well positioned to bring a mature approach to AI that is thoughtful about security management, and other important aspects, to an IT administrator."

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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