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Webex Share – 8 New Things We Know

  • 16 January, 2019

Article, Cisco, Unified Collaboration

Cisco Webex Share

As we get closer to the release of the Cisco Webex Share, more and more details are emerging about the exciting device and its capabilities. Our previous article on the Cisco Webex Share was published shortly after the product was announced.

Since then, Cisco has released more information regarding the device, we’ve gathered some of the most interesting parts for this article. Let’s take a look at why the Webex Share is garnering such a buzz across the collaboration industry.

Here are the eight biggest things we now know about the Cisco Webex Share:

Power saving functionality

One of the most interesting things about the Webex Share that we didn’t expect is the fact it supports Consumer Electronics Control (CEC). This means that the device has control of the televisions power consumption and can automatically wake up the television when it detects someone has entered the room and shut it down when it’s not being used. This has several advantages with the primary benefit of optimising power consumption.

webex share cisco small business collaboration

Audio input through smartphone or desk-phone

Due to the nature of the Webex Share being plugged into the back of a television, it would be impractical for it to feature a built-in microphone as sound quality would be distorted. To combat this, Cisco has implemented two methods to allow for audio in your meetings. The first involves you connecting audio input through the Webex Teams app. This essentially transforms your smartphone into a microphone. The output audio from the meeting participants on the other side will naturally come from the speakers of the television.

The second audio source you can use involves a PTSN call-back. Within the Webex Teams app, there is an option that allows you to “Use Phone For Audio”. Once clicked, another window opens up requesting you to input the number of the desk-phone you would like to use. Webex will call the phone and as soon as the call is answered, the desk-phone will become your audio source.

Cable setup – HDMI & USB-C

As you can see in the picture, the Webex Share device plugs directly into the televisions HDMI port. The HDMI cable is designed to easily support the 62 grams that the device weighs. There are multiple ways to power the device. If you plan on connecting the device to your network using Wi-Fi, the devices USB-C cable would plug into an 18-Watt wall-power adapter. You are also able to power your device using PoE. In this case, the adapter sits between the PoE port in your wall, with an RJ45 cable, and the Webex Share device, through its USB-C cable.

webex share power options

Detailed analytics for better space planning

Built-in to the Cisco Webex Share are integrated occupancy sensors which allow the device to recognise and record whether a space is being used or not. This will happen even if the Webex Share is powered off. The data that is collected provides valuable analytics for your IT staff, allowing them to see the most-used versus the least used spaces of your premises. With this information, they are able to more efficiently and accurately optimise every part of your premises for improved productivity.

Wireless sharing through Webex Teams

As with many of Cisco’s recent collaboration products, the Webex Share features wireless sharing capability. If you have ever used a Cisco device which operates this way you will already understand the huge amount of time this saves at the start of a meeting and throughout depending if there are different presenters on the call.

The ability to control the meeting with just a couple of clicks from a device of your choice through Webex Teams is something really special that Cisco has nailed. Unlike other vendors that require additional dongles or cables to be plugged into your laptop, the Webex Share stands out due for its simplicity. Users of the Webex Share simply walk into the room and are prompted to share their content wirelessly.

cisco webex teams logo

Security focus

As with any Cisco collaboration product, there is a large consideration of security in the Webex Share’s design as it will often be handling information that is very sensitive for businesses.

All media and signalling flow from the Webex Share goes directly to Webex Teams. Video, voice, and desktop share real-time media, are transmitted using SRTP. SRTP is crucial in providing the confidentiality and authenticity protection that allows us to use Cisco Collaboration products and be assured no one can access our information that shouldn’t be doing so.

Useful triangular shape

Although the Webex Share looks great because of its unique triangular design, the reason for this is not purely for aesthetics! Each of the three corners of the device serves a different purpose to enable the device to function.

One corner is obviously where the HDMI cable comes out of, which is plugged into the back of the television or monitor.

The bottom left is where the USB-C cable plugs in. This is how the device is powered and lets you connect to the ethernet port if you would prefer to connect your device this way, instead of using Wi-Fi.

The last corner features an ultrasonic emitter. This is how the device is able to pair itself to your smartphone or laptop via the Webex Teams application.

webex share design

Extremely smooth quality video meetings

The Webex Share is both 1080p and 60fps enabled. No longer will you have to put up with the slow and stuttery video feeds that you often see with collaboration products from other vendors. As long as the device you are connecting to in a meeting is enabled for this level of quality, your meetings will be smoother than ever.

Final note on the Webex Share...

We haven’t yet been told the exact date we can expect the Webex Share will be available to order but we expect it to be within the next few weeks. If you would like to be among the first to get your hands on this exciting piece of kit then give us your email and we’ll notify you as soon as it is available.

Here is a link to the full datasheet.

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