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Logitech announces the SmartDock, aiming to revolutionize Skype for Business meetings [Update]

While many may know that Logitech is #1 in the webcam market, some might not realize that the company is also heavily invested in conference cams. It's ahead of companies like Cisco - which provides a full-stack solution, whereas Logitech produces only hardware, and then partners with software companies.

In the case of the SmartDock, that partner was Microsoft. The device not only integrates with Office 365 and Skype for Business, but it holds a Surface Pro 4. Note that we asked if it would work with a Surface Pro 3 as well, and the answer was no.

Logitech says that 60% of companies that do video conferencing have a "bring your own PC" policy. While that can feel familiar to the user, it can create confusion for both the user and the local IT pro. In other words, it's just not good for meeting solutions.

In fact, the company says that just 2.5% of firms have video equipment set up, and it's aiming the SmartDock at the other 97.5%. According to Logitech, many companies that have their own PC set up for that - such as an Intel NUC - end up getting it stolen.

This is one of the problems that the SmartDock aims to solve. It's mounted to a table so no one can walk away with it. The device sports two HDMI ports for displays (Skype only supports one screen, but support for a second is coming), one for sharing via a local PC, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, gigabit Ethernet, and just in case you need it, a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The device will be sold in bundles, which will range in price from $2000-$3000. They'll include the Surface Pro 4 and the conference cam, but the more expensive package will come with a camera that's designed for larger groups. The package for larger organizations also includes expansion microphones and a five-meter cable, both of which are optional for the package that's designed for smaller organizations.

The company says that it will begin shipping the SmartDock in five or six weeks, but it didn't provide a specific release date.

Update: Updated to reflect that while there is an MSRP for the SmartDock, it will only be sold in bundles.

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