Microsoft has developed an audio and video teleconference system known as RoundTable that will begin shipping mid-2007.
RoundTable works with Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Live Meeting, allowing companies to integrate virtual presentations, shared whiteboards and file sharing into audio and video conferences.
The table-top camera device about the size of a traditional speaker phone connects to a standard PC. The camera creates a 360-degree panoramic view displaying side-by-side digital images of each conference participant.
The images are captured in high-resolution from around the room and fed through a PC. The software tracks the flow of conversation, so image and audio of the person speaking are seen. People across many locations can attend the virtual meetings.
Along with virtual face-to-face meetings, RoundTable sessions are recordable for viewing at a later time.
Microsoft say RoundTable should retail for less than $3,000.