A home office often seems to pale when compared to the technologies available to those in an office building. Video conferencing, for example, allows for a collaboration between people that is far superior to emails, text or talking on phones. The problem with having this kind of video option outside the office has been the cost of the equipment and the involved setup necessary. Both of which have been obviated with the appearance of the HELLO Communication Device.
At its most basic, HELLO possesses the means for video conferencing — there’s a 4K camera built-in. The camera, however, must be manually adjusted towards its intended subject — it does not possess any form of automated “following” mechanism. As to audio, a microphone array takes care of picking up sound without any issues. Working in tandem with the audio/visual elements is audio digital signal processing and noise suppression. The CPU “brain” is a quad-core fast processor and the hinged stand is adjustable (there’s an accelerometer inside too).
Physical connections are minimal; there’s a plug for power and one for using an Ethernet cable — this being an alternative for using the convenience of the included Wi-Fi. Two USB ports are included — one takes an included dongle to access the remote — and of course connecting HELLO to the TV is done through a HDMI cable for high resolution viewing. There’s also LED lights around the camera which illuminate as a way to visually indicate what HELLO is up to. Setup is done through a “Wizard,” aided by a downloaded app. HELLO talks you through it in a simplified manner and it just takes a few minutes.
From the “home” screen, you can see the various apps that HELLO works with — accessing this via the remote is simple enough. The remote, FYI, has a variety of choices, such as a “home” and “mouse” button (both doing what is self-evident) as well as a “mute” and menu keys. So in use, one of the apps is chosen and it then functions in the expected manner (for those of us now comfortable with using apps on smartphones/tablets). Examples are Skype for Business, WebEx, GoTo Meeting, Zoom, Facebook Messenger among others such as YouTube. Once in operation, HELLO’s audio/visual technologies perform their task, with the television functioning as a (large) monitor/viewing display.
HELLO can perform a number of other functions besides video conferencing: it can be used for wireless screen sharing with a laptop or a smartphone, it has Alexa voice assistance, can do live broadcasting and as a camera “feed” with motion detection that provides alerts to a smartphone. Obviously if used as a security camera, a few things will need to be done. Showing what’s going on in your bedroom when you’re not there doesn’t make much sense, so repositioning the HELLO in the best location during the time you want to access it remotely makes sense — you can put it anywhere that you can access the home network (the TV doesn’t need to be used). This is another time when the app becomes useful.
The HELLO Communication Device also has a tripod socket and so can be positioned on a tripod (for those times when having more control over placement matters). To gain all the functionality just requires purchase — no subscription charges are required (although you do have to register). The cost for either the black or silver model is $299.00 retail.