While Canon has been making its webcam software available for a few years (and recently added a paid “pro” tier to it), that still requires video conferencing software or a streaming platform in order to work. Canon itself had yet to go further than that and actually create teleconferencing software of its own — until now.
The company spent the last several months demonstrating the software and working with groups to test its viability, including with actor and producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a production of a short film at CES earlier this year. AMLOS was originally slated to release widely this past summer.
AMLOS, which stands for Activate My Line of Sight, is the company’s name for its entire conferencing system. The idea of AMLOS is that it is an additional layer on top of a company’s existing conference solutions and allows both in-person and remote users to work together in meetings.
The pitch behind AMLOS is that it makes virtual meetings more engaging by integrating the ability to use several simple gestures to perform tasks like ending calls, adjusting and focusing the view of the meeting, and taking snapshots of important visuals that are digitally enhanced and shared immediately with the attendees.
Canon says that the image quality — which can be transmitted in up to 4K — combined with the pan, tilt, and zoom movement capability, and autofocus enhance the quality of online meetings and makes them significantly more useful than standard webcams.
The company likely envisions the main PTZ camera to be set up in a conference room where a group of users will collaborate in person, while others will be able to attend digitally. The system doesn’t seem to be designed to work if all users are working remotely, as it doesn’t add much to the experience over typical webcams or even a Canon mirrorless camera attached to its webcam software.
AMLOS requires the one-time purchase of a Canon CR-N300 (which costs $2,400) or CR-N500 (which costs $5,100) Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera (PTZ) as well as a monthly subscription to the software, which costs $150 per month per room.