An all-new kind of video conferencing camera has been making waves recently – not a replacement for a convenient USB conferencing camera, but rather a new technology that complements them. I’m talking about content cameras, a new style of camera that can easily share analogue content, such as that appearing on whiteboards, digitally with ease.

This new technology has already been embraced by Microsoft in its Microsoft Teams app, with all-new Content Camera certifications and features available provided for certified cameras. These innovations didn’t come from nowhere, however, with frustrations and difficulties with simultaneous holding meetings and presenting real-time content piling up and features such as on-screen whiteboard drawing and editing just not being the same experience as a real whiteboard, electronic or not.

Traditional video conferencing cameras, despite often having high quality features and premium components, are focused on just that: video conferencing. This means that video conferencing cameras and setups are excellent for sharing communications such as faces and voices, a professional content sharing experience requires a professional content sharing camera. While in a pinch, you could just point your video conferencing camera at a whiteboard at the expense of sharing participant’s faces, the ideal setup is to use a content camera together with a video conferencing camera.

While whiteboards for presentations are the most obvious and maybe the most common example of an application for a content camera, content in meetings can appear in a variety of mediums and a variety of situations. Another common situation is in meetings using IFPs, or electronic whiteboards, to create and share content in a meeting. In many cases, content cannot be directly connected from an IFP/electronic whiteboard to a virtual meeting room (and even if it can, it can be an arduous process) – content cameras can also be used to directly share content from an IFP to a meeting, and new technology in specially designed content cameras can reduce annoying flickers that often come out when using a camera to record a screen.

Conference rooms are turning virtual, and offices are turning hybrid across the world as part of the new normal trend of new workplaces and new styles of work. While video conferencing and clearly sharing everyone’s faces and voices has unprecedentedly high-quality offerings, content cameras are taking the next part of the traditional meeting room to the virtual world.

Hardware innovations like small form factors and high-quality cameras make for a premium content sharing experience, but that’s not all content cameras have to offer with software providers such as Microsoft offering their own functionality within Teams with its certified content camera program. This functionality includes content sharpening, and an all-new feature that makes presenters and other people see-through when blocking content on a whiteboard or IFP. Up-close high-quality virtual content also solves the issue of some participants getting stuck too far away from the whiteboard or at the wrong end of the meeting table, as everyone can see content equally clearly.

With all new features and innovations, virtual meeting rooms no longer need to compete to be ‘as good as real life’, but in 2021 are offering real advantages over in-person meetings. There has never been a better time to create a truly virtual meeting room.