Sunday, April 25, 2021

Franklin TV: "Owl-cam Sees All! Necessity is the mother of invention."

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 04/25/2021

We have all been reprogrammed by ‘Le Virus’. What was is no more, and we are headed toward our new normal, whatever that might be. The term ‘new normal’ has become part of our viral lexicon. We say it, but what is it? No one can fully know. That said, we are already living some part of it in our day-to-day. Specifically, we have changed the way we connect and communicate, and IMHO, some of that change is here to stay. I’ve opined in past scribblings on this page that Zoom is here to stay. I still believe that.

Before: Me? On a video? OMG! No way! My hair! My house! I’m a mess.
After: Zoom?  Yeh, fine.  Let’s hang out. Casual athleisure attire is de rigueur.

While laptop cams are pretty good for one-on-ones, they fall short for whole family shots and groups. Enter Owl-cam. It’s a smart camera. It’s wikkid soopa-smaht!

Owl-cam Sees All!
Owl-cam Sees All!

The Meeting Owl is a webcam. Like a webcam, it sees you; it also hears your voice. It has a built-in speaker system. Camera-microphone-speaker, all-in-one, and all connect to your computer with one standard USB cable. No fuss. No muss.

Owl-cam knows who is speaking in a group and shows only that person or persons to the other participants at the far end of the Zoom meeting. What is Owl-cam, and how does it work this magic? It has not 1, but 8 built-in directional microphones arranged in a circle inside its vaguely owl-like casing. Hence, its round shape.

The dome camera is actually at the top, but looks sideways for a 360-degree panorama view. The microphones inform the camera where the person speaking is seated. The camera pulls that person from the panorama image.  When two people speak, it does a side-by-side split-screen image of both.

You’ll see Owl-cams in action in the days ahead. We’re installing some in Town Hall, the Senior Center, our own community room, and wherever future groups gather to conduct hybrid Zoom meets in our new normal.

And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching.


Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online  or for archive purposes

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