By Max Makeev, CEO and Cofounder of Owl Labs
On June 21, the Owl Labs team had the honor of launching the Meeting Owl, the first intelligent 360° all-in-one video conferencing device. Just one week before, we had the opportunity to attend InfoComm to meet with some awesome people, learn more about what’s happening in the space, and demo the Meeting Owl behind the scenes. The experience exceeded my expectations, and I’m humbled by the reaction the product earned. Here’s my InfoComm experience.
I boarded my flight at 7:30AM on Tuesday morning out of Boston and all I could think about was how exciting this trip would be and that I couldn’t wait to introduce the Meeting Owl to a handful of key industry insiders. Of course at the time, I was also nervous and curious what their reaction would be. We spent so much time designing a product with a consumer look and feel for the enterprise space. How would it be received?
When I got to InfoComm, our VP of Sales Dan Marchetto was on the floor setting up our private conference room for the following day’s demos. Our space was a 10’x10’ patch of floor in the back of the InfoComm show room not far from the hot dog stands — exactly what we wanted! We had a small round table, four chairs, an LCD monitor, a power strip and two Meeting Owls.
The first day of InfoComm started slow. I have to admit that sitting in an empty room with your sales guy and nobody knocking on the door was a bit unnerving. All of the action was on the floor and we were removed from it by choice… it certainly did not feel like things were going to go well for us.
However, everything changed in the second half of the day.
The action started after we met with a key reseller that loved the product. They later brought in several of their end users who also had great things to say — they loved the automation, simplicity, the consumer-centered design and the possibilities of analytics. They especially loved the free wireless software updates. Nothing is more humbling than working for years to create a new product and getting such great feedback.
On Thursday, word about the Meeting Owl spread across the InfoComm showroom floor, and the private booth was teaming with activity from resellers and end-users stopping in to get a glimpse of the product. We humbly met with executives from very large multinational corporations. They wanted to know everything about the Meeting Owl: “Yes, the speaker switching is automatic.”; “No, there’s nothing to install.”; “Yes, software updates are free.”; “Absolutely, we do capture meeting room usage analytics.” These were good questions that led to great conversations. The people we talked to understood our mission and the impact we hoped to have as an IOT video conferencing company.
Friday was just as busy as Thursday, bringing more awareness and demo opportunities. Each demo went smoothly and Meeting Owl performed admirably. We had an extremely successful InfoComm showing followed by some amazing press coverage that went live on June 21st. Overall, the experience exceeded my expectations.
Thank you to everyone we met at InfoComm and for your incredible support. This is an exciting year for Owl Labs, and I can’t wait for the Meeting Owl to help transform our new customers’ remote meetings.
Max Makeev is the CEO and cofounder of Owl Labs, the creator of the Meeting Owl. Max has extensive experience in electrical engineering and robotics after his 10 year tenure at iRobot. For fun Max likes to fish and play with his dog Olive.