The art of sound and striking design are just as important as pristine picture performance for pioneering conferencing manufacturer Konftel.
With more professionals returning to offices over the coming months, Konftel is keen to stress the vital role of alluring aesthetics and crystal-clear audio, wherever people are communicating – from huddle rooms and boardrooms to home working.
Konftel created the first conference phone in the 1980’s. Whilst styles have changed, the power of form as well as functionality remain more compelling than ever, inspired by consumer driven technology trends, says Konftel Product Manager, Torbjörn Karlsson.
“The look and style of a product is hugely important to its user. Great design is part of our DNA.”
He emphasized: “A demand for style and aesthetic appeal has its roots in the consumer market, but people want that experience in the workplace and at home as well too.
“Of course, the functionality and the quality is where any product starts but, for us, the design is not a second thought. The conception, the innovation, the manufacture: the process has a critical design imperative running right through it from beginning to end.
“For us, it is always about the combination of cutting-edge technological performance and understated elegance. Both are given equal focus. It’s simple: our products have to be beautiful as well as functional.”
Konftel’s multiple Red Dot award-winning range of devices bear testimony to striking visual appeal and usability. The latest innovation – the Konftel 70 speakerphone – was codenamed internally ‘Stingray’ by virtue of its striking sleek lines. The company’s acclaimed OmniSound technology inside all of its carbon neutral devices play another crucial role – matched by dynamic design.
“When we design, we are always thinking of the environments our products will occupy and the emotional impact they will have on the user,” says Karlsson.
“Organizations are investing significantly in high-quality, high-design new office spaces to take account of the new post-pandemic hybrid model of increased remote working and video conferencing.
“We believe it is hugely important for our products to look good in those crisp, contemporary new environments; to complement the space and help create a certain mood. Our products make a statement. They say this is an organisation which values quality and sophistication. It helps send a message to employees that they are valued.
“It’s no longer just very senior people who take part in video conferencing. Today, everyone is in and out of conference calls and using conferencing equipment.”
As video conferencing continues to redefine the way the world does business, it’s high-quality audio on which people rely – in many ways even more so than exceptional picture quality.
Karlsson highlighted: “For whilst cameras can be turned on or off, a video call is nothing without good sound, without which the meeting cannot continue. And that means quality really matters. Mobility, audio sharpness, reduction of background noise – these are all factors which greatly influence the overall quality of any call, whether voice or video.”
He added: “In the beginning, most people just used whatever kit they were given. Now, people want choice. They want top quality audio and video in every online meeting they attend. We can cope with video going fuzzy by just turning off our cameras. Without audio, nothing works. The act of communication has changed beyond recognition; hastened this past 18 months due to the pandemic. Call environments are now hugely varied.
“Users are far more discerning and will continue to be so going forward. They are also much more aware as to what the options are and the differentiators that exist.
“Those with the best audio and video on a call stand out. Their contribution to the call is accentuated as a result of the way they sound. It’s the way we make the best impression nowadays. Of course, the sound and video quality is paramount, but significant added value is also derived from the equipment being beautiful.”
Touch, too, is part of the mix, as Karlsson concluded. “Our designers are encouraged to be free and to express themselves. They understand that their contribution to the success of any product is huge. In today’s evolving and demanding world, products have to look as good as they perform.”
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