A Review of Cisco's Huddle Room Solution - Webex Room Kit Mini
Cisco recently launched the new Webex Room Kit Mini and Webex Meetings. As part of the company’s “Better Together” philosophy, the two are designed to pair together to improve collaboration with a range of new features. Cisco has provided us with a copy of Room Kit Mini, so we can give you a firsthand look at how well it works. Normally I don’t write reviews like this, but in the case of Webex Room Kit Mini, I’ve decided to make an exception.
Room Kit Mini was an impressive set for huddle rooms
From the start, Room Kit Mini was an impressive set. The packaging alone felt like an Apple product – very concise and clean. It came with absolutely everything I needed to install it, including hardware to mount on a wall or above a display, even an Allen wrench.
Figure 1. Webex Room Kit Mini components
All the cables I needed came included, with several extras at different lengths to suit the needs of the room it’s used in. Overall, the setup was very easy. The manual is easy to read and guides users through every step, so it didn’t take long to do.
The Touch 10 Control Panel is a nice extra as well. This is used to control the Room Kit Mini and start conferences, so it’s a convenient add-on.
After setting up the Room Kit Mini in my “huddle room,” I tested it out to see how well it worked. Both the audio and video were exceptional. The 4k picture quality comes through clean and clear, while the sound on my side was equally excellent.
According to those on the other end, the microphone worked well; they said they could hear me clearly, even as I walked away to pick up something nearby. While it picked my voice up clearly, it also blocked out unwanted noises – the leaf blower outside my window annoyed me greatly, but the others on the call couldn’t hear it.
The USB connection to my PC allows me to use the Room Kit Mini on any video call. For calls with different audio/video requirements, I can use the camera, microphone, and speakers together or individually as needed.
Connecting the Room Kit Mini and setting it up was also notably easy. I was surprised when the first Webex call in my calendar showed up on the Touch 10, but all I had to do was touch a single button on the display, and I was connected. Keep in mind that I didn’t need to do anything for this to happen, so the instantaneous connection is a big deal. It demonstrates the simplicity and quality of the user interface.
AI and co-cognitive collaboration are very useful for large meetings
While this is all from my experience as an individual, there are other features more relevant for teams and organizations. For instance, the central management features help scale deployments and updates, while the analytics can provide useful insights and assist with resource management. Additionally, AI and co-cognitive collaboration are very useful for large meetings, thanks to face recognition, noise suppression, automatic framing, and more.
Cisco has developed an exciting new huddle room product
Figure 2. Huddle Room
Overall, Cisco has developed an exciting new huddle room product and is the first to market with many of its features and capabilities. Having tried out the Room Kit Mini, I feel confident saying they have a leading product today. With that said, the market is very competitive and fast-moving, so it is likely we’ll see a leapfrog match with other vendors as each tries to overtake the other. We may see a competitor move ahead of Cisco, followed by Cisco adding new features to surpass the competition, repeating as far as technology allows them to progress. While what the future holds remains to be seen, we can say for now that Cisco has leapt ahead.