Yamaha Design “Synapses” CS-800/CS-500



A collaboration system that makes creative teleconferencing possible.


Although they give the impression of high-performance camera, the sleek, lean design poses no distraction in a meeting, and stems from a detailed design policy governing the caps, remote controls, UI, and other peripherals.


To temper the rigid impression of the CS-800 as an electronic device, we wrapped the user-facing surfaces in a single piece of fabric, creating textures and ridgelines where the surfaces plunge into the frame that give the product a softer feel overall. The CS-800 delivers high-quality audio while blending into meeting rooms.


Like the CS-800, the CS-500 is unobtrusive despite its large camera lens and multiple microphones, allowing users to concentrate on meetings. The design blends perfectly with the edge of a monitor.


The design of each camera, microphone, and speaker is optimized to match the spaces in which they are intended to be used. Each model is functional yet distinct, packed with all the necessary elements for teleconferences.


The stand of the CS-800 allows angle adjustment while doubling as a wiring cover, while a part of the CS-500 acts as a leg securing the main unit to the monitor. The design is consistent from all angles.

Ryo Suzuki
Ryo Suzuki
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Toshihide Suzuki
Toshihide Suzuki
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Stimulating the senses behind the scenes, yet in plain view.

Introducing the CS-800 for huddle rooms and the CS-500 for huddle spaces—systems that connect to monitors and provide clear audio and video for online meetings. These are the first products designed to make teleconferences more comfortable and less awkward by linking the camera and microphones (in addition to the speaker on the CS-800) and having them identify and focus on whoever is speaking. Our discreet yet stimulating design is the result of our quest to achieve just the right amount of presence in terms of facilitating creative meetings.

The CS-800 has a large frame with a built-in camera, microphones, and speaker, and we designed the outer surfaces to blend in with the meeting room, while hinting at the high-quality audio to come. The CS-500 is designed to be placed on top of the monitor, so we took steps to eliminate overhang to the extent possible. The camera and microphones are optimally positioned, and the corners of the housing are heavily tapered to reduce the forward projecting area.

The lens caps of both products are the result of a clever innovation. The lens of the CS-800 is surrounded by fabric; the cap cannot be snapped into place, so we developed an elastomer cap with a built-in magnet. To block the camera, the user simply covers the lens with the cap, and the magnet allows the user to attach the cap to the stand when it is not covering the camera. For the CS-500, we opted for a lens cap attached to the main unit. The cap features a small tab and rotating construction so that it is easy to open and close even when the unit is perched atop a monitor. As this was our first time designing devices with cameras, we arrived at the final products through a trial-and-error process of new structures and presentations.

The CS-500 and CS-800 also contain features that impact the user experience. The most frequently used operation in meetings is Mic Mute, so a large Mic Mute button takes up one entire side of our boldly configured remote control, while the buttons for the other settings are on the opposite side. The UI design is consistent with the aim of the product in that it appears in a place that does not interfere with the meeting. We opted for semi-transparent layers so that users can intuit what will happen after selecting an option from the current menu. To avoid overcomplicating the remote control, we took steps to limit operations to up, down, left, and right to the extent possible. We also insisted on a natural unfolding of the UX, for example having the screen automatically rise when users enter the meeting room and then lead them through how to connect to other devices and master the operations.

Though designed to function as behind-the-scenes support, CS series devices are always visible during teleconferences. Our aim was to design their appearance to stimulate users’ senses and subconsciously enhance their creativity. We can say that we have achieved our aim if users feel that the UI, peripherals, and other elements of the CS-800 and CS-500 have made teleconferences more creative.

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