Recommended Hardware for Beam Pilots

ImageCreating remote presence is not only a technical problem. It also requires some presentation. This is very important, since people will be looking at you, and speaking with you, on a daily basis. Forcing them to squint at a dark, low-contrast image, or blinding them with sunlight, are going to distract from your communication. In many ways, it’s similar to setting up for a video shoot -- lighting, acoustic environment, and proper frame composition are all important aspects of the experience. We’ll get into this topic more deeply in an upcoming post.

You also need good hardware. In addition to having a good computer and network connection (see detailed requirements on our website) you need the right camera, microphone, and speakers. The ones built into most laptops, tablets, or phones are simply not good enough.

We recommend the following:

Logitech C910 HD Webcam Logitech now sells the C920 as well, but we haven’t tested it enough yet to formally switch our recommendation. Generally speaking, though, Logitech HD webcams deliver a high-quality image for the price.

ClearOne Chat 60 Desktop Speakerphone The Chat 60 provides good audio quality with built-in echo cancellation, which is helpful for consistent use without a headset. Beam software has echo cancellation as well, but the Chat 60 provides an extra level of assurance.

There are plenty of other options, and we haven’t had a chance to test them all yet. Let us know if you have a favorite @suitabletech!