Polycom CMA Desktop at the ISTE 2010 SIG IVC Playground

Background: The SIG IVC Playground at ISTE 2010 featured six videoconferencing islands. Participants tried out two HD units and four desktop videoconferencing solutions. We used a pirate theme to make the learning and exploration fun. At each island, attendees had to talk to people in mystery locations to figure out where they were and which content provider they were.

In this blog post, I share what we learned at the Polycom CMA Desktop island.

Polycom CMA Desktop Setup

In this picture Marci Powell of Polycom answers questions, while Sue Porter assists another attendee.

Polycom supplied the laptop and webcam for the playground. I didn’t catch which webcam they used, but it looks like it might be the Logitech 9000. The speaker / microphone is the Polycom Communicator. You can see a better view here:

At this island, participants dialed out to:

  1. Kigluait Adventures
  2. The Mariners’ Museum
  3. Columbus Zoo

I Learned

I had played with CMA quite a bit before (see previous post). But I did learn two new things.

  • Zoom Sharing. When you’re sharing your computer (H.239), you don’t have to share your whole screen. You can use the zoom feature to choose just a small part of your screen to share. (It reminds me of the Jing recording screen selections.) Pretty sweet. This allows you to have your slideshow smaller, a chat window, and the far site in different areas of your desktop.
  • Multiple USB Cameras. Version 5 of CMA allows you to change cameras on the fly during the connection. So this way you can switch to, say, a USB document camera during your call. I am very interested this option because my schools interested in desktop VC have been asking me about using a document camera with it. However, I was so busy at the playground I didn’t get to see it in action yet. Have any of you? Please comment!

What about you?

Did you make it to the ISTE IVC Playground? Or have you played with Polycom CMA Desktop before? What features did I miss? Please comment!

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