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My Top 10 CEDIA 2016 Standouts

September 22, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by John Sciacca / Residential Systems

Story and images by John Sciacca / Residential Systems

Another CEDIA is in the books, and I hope that you got a chance to attend! Once again the CEDIA staff did a terrific job putting on the show, making sure everything ran smoothly. I pass along special thanks to Olivia Sellke and Holly Keller who ran the press room with aplomb and answered all of my questions (even those of the non-CEDIA related variety).

The show floor seemed well attended though not packed, and I felt like there was a great vibe and energy on the floor, with a lot of big news from a variety of manufacturers. Whether you came to Dallas looking to be educated, wanting to find out the latest in networking, explore advances in home theater, stay on the cutting edge of automation, or see what was new in audio distribution, CEDIA had plenty to offer everyone.

Court video links feared to reduce prisoners to 'just a face on the screen', Sydney University study finds

September 19, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Gavin Coote / ABC News

The University of Sydney found the use of video links in NSW courts rose by more than 400 per cent between 2002 and 2014.

More than 60 per cent of court appearances in the state now happen via video link, the study showed.

Nextcloud Box: A cloud for your office or living room

September 19, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols / ZDNet

Is it paranoia when the hackers really are out to get you and your cloud-based data? I don't think so. And, neither does Nextcloud, the new open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud company. So, Nextcloud, in partnership with Canonical and WDLabs, a division of Western Digital, has released the Nextcloud Box.

The Nextcloud Box is a secure, private, self-hosted cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) platform. It makes hosting a personal cloud simple and cost effective whilst maintaining a secure private environment that can be expanded with additional features via apps.

BlueJeans Network offers first many-to-many video conferencing at scale for Facebook Live

September 16, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Marketing Land

Brands can use the new high-res service, supporting up to 100 simultaneous video feeds, for fan events, Q&A sessions or product launches.

Video communications provider BlueJeans Network is out with a service that it says is the first to turn Facebook Live's one-way video broadcasting into a many-to-many video platform at scale for brands and other businesses.

Cisco/Apple bolster WiFi, business apps and voice collaboration with iOS 10 release

September 16, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Michael Cooney / Network World

The Cisco and Apple partnership has yielded a ton of new business features that include improved Wi-Fi connectivity, business app prioritization capabilities and the tighter integration of voice for collaboration - all via the today's release of iOS 10 for Apple's iPhone and iPad

Today's announcement is a reflection of how important and integral mobile smartphones have become to businesses. For example Cisco earlier this year stated that smartphone traffic would exceed PC traffic by 2020. In 2015, PCs accounted for 53% of total IP traffic, but by 2020 PCs will account for only 29% of traffic. Smartphones will account for 30% of total IP traffic in 2020, up from 8% in 2015, Cisco wrote in its 11th annual Visual Networking Index in June.

Dual-camera smartphones will help bring augmented reality into the mainstream

September 13, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Business Insider

Smartphones boasting "dual cameras" are becoming more common, and news that they will feature on the just-announced iPhone 7 Plus indicates the arrival into the mainstream.

But while dual cameras may stem from efforts to improve picture quality, it has the potential to lead us down much more interesting paths: the real story may be that Apple is using dual cameras to position itself for the augmented reality world ushered in by the Pokemon Go phenomenon.

Cisco's Guido Jouret joins ABB as Chief Digital Officer

September 7, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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ABB, a leading global technology company in power and automation, has appointed Guido Jouret, a pioneer of the Internet of Things, as its chief digital officer.

In his new role, Jouret will lead the next level of development and deployment of ABB's digital solutions for customers globally and across all businesses, said a statement from the company.

Simon Dudley Joins Logitech as Director of Product Strategy

August 30, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Simon_Dudley_logitech.jpgToday, Monday August 29th 2016 is my first day at Logitech, and honestly I couldn't be more excited. I've been involved in the Video Conferencing industry for a long long time now and finally it feels like it's going to really start to take off in a meaningfully big way, and after 18 months of doing my own thing with Excession Events I decided it was time to get out of the commentary box and back out onto the field.

Microsoft Has Broken Millions Of Webcams With Windows 10 Anniversary Update

August 19, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Brad Sams / Thurrott

On August 2nd, Microsoft released the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 and when the bits arrived on computers around the globe, it brought with it new features and also broke webcams for millions of consumers. If your webcam has stopped functioning since the release of the Anniversary update, you are not alone but the good news is a fix is coming, hopefully in September.

Microsoft made a significant change with the release of Windows 10 and support for webcams that is causing serious problems for not only consumers but also the enterprise. The problem is that after installing the update, Windows no longer allows USB webcams to use MJPEG or H264 encoded streams and is only allowing YUY2 encoding.

Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

August 18, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by The Register

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called on Microsoft to offer a "single unified screen" on which Windows 10 users can control how Windows 10 deals with their personal information and monitors their use of the OS.

The organization has listed the long list of nasty nagware tactics Microsoft used to get people running Windows 10, labelling some "questionable tactics to cause users to download a piece of software that many didn't want."

Evaluate cloud vs. on-premises video conferencing tools before you buy

August 18, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Simon Dudley / TechTarget

Story and images by Simon Dudley / TechTarget

The video conferencing world is in a time of enormous change. The technology has become streamlined enough that it's easy to use for average users, and the costs have fallen dramatically, as new business models have taken off.

There are two basic business models for buying video conferencing tools. One model is for organizations to buy and own everything; the other is to deploy a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and use a third-party service provider for the video conferencing infrastructure.

Google Duo Is Great, But Video Chat Is Still Super Awkward

August 16, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Wired

MY PHONE BUZZES as a call comes in. I don't recognize the number, but that's normal. What's weird is it's a video call, from someone using Duo, Google's video chat app available today for iOS and Android. I probably know this person, because they'd need my number to make the call. So it's almost definitely not a nude stranger.

I take a sec to check my hair, ensure I don't have food in my teeth, and position the camera to avoid filling the frame with chins. By the time I'm ready to take the call, I've missed it by a long shot.

Cisco Bridges Gap With Microsoft in Collaboration

August 15, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Jeffrey Burt / eWeek

Cisco Systems and Microsoft have for a while been the dominant players in the competitive and rapidly evolving enterprise collaboration space. Now, Cisco officials are offering new technology that will make it easier for Microsoft's Skype for Business to interoperate with other platforms.

The giant networking vendor on Aug. 15 unveiled the Cisco Meeting Server, a product that enables Skype for Business users to connect with others who are using systems from other vendors--not only Cisco, but also those like Polycom and Avaya--mobile clients or WebRTC-enabled browsers, all by simply clicking a link.

Nvidia's Eye-Tracking Tech Could Revolutionize Virtual Reality

August 8, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Simon Parkin / Technology Review

Look at a clock on a nearby wall. The focal point of your gaze should be in focus, while the scene around the clock is blurred, as if your brain is sketching your surroundings, or, in computer graphics terms, rendering a low-resolution version of the scene.

Nvidia is applying the same trick to rendering virtual reality, and it could help improve the realism of virtual worlds significantly. By focusing graphics rendering power on a smaller area, it is possible to sharpen the image a person sees significantly.

Microsoft Readies HoloLens for Augmented-Reality App Development

August 4, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Pedro Hernandez / eWeek

Microsoft is getting HoloLens ready for work. This week the company released the HoloLens Commercial Suite, a bundle that includes the Development Edition of the hardware along with new capabilities aimed at helping administrators securely incorporate the augmented-reality wearable into their IT environments.

While it was overshadowed by the release of the hotly-anticipated Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the announcement marks a major milestone in the company's efforts to get HoloLens into offices, labs, application development shops and media design studios.

VR headset that relays facial expressions to the virtual world

August 1, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Gizmag

VR hardware is already capable of tracking your head, your hands, your eyes and in some cases, your feet, but Veeso is claimed to be the first VR headset to capture your face and transmit your expressions - and as a result, your emotions - onto a virtual avatar in real time. With it, the company is emphasizing emotional connections through chat apps and social games like poker.

Like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, Veeso is a smartphone-based VR headset, which the company claims is compatible with Android and iOS devices. Unlike those aforementioned headsets, however, Veeso has two infrared cameras mounted on it to capture the wearer's facial expressions.

Dealing with Governance and Security of UC

July 30, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Dale Bottcher / AVI-SPL

At AVI-SPL, we pride ourselves on staying a step ahead of the industry. We do that by facing challenges head-on and finding solutions that will proactively meet the communication needs of our clients both now and in the increasingly digital future. There's something important between those lines that I think is worth pointing out--our approach is rooted in addressing challenges, not perpetuating the status quo. All industries--even (and sometimes especially) those growing the fastest--have unique sets of challenges. Take Unified Communications (UC), for example--it has been advantageous for businesses all across the world, allowing people to connect with each other and collaborate without having to travel. UC has also expanded the candidate pools for recruiting and improved productivity, yet security and governance still remain a top concern for enterprise CIOs. Why is that? The fact of the matter is that in today's digital landscape, traditional security policies may not work with emerging cloud practices. So where do we go from here? How can CIOs approach dealing with governance and security of UC? Let's explore.

Forbes Interview with Polycom's Michael Frendo on How to Make Videoconferencing Work for You

July 26, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Forbes

Recently, I had the chance to chat with Michael Frendo, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Engineering for Polycom, about a subject important to both of us: the future of communications in a virtual world. Polycom makes the phones that inhabit conference rooms around the world, as well as video and other "voice and content solutions," for organizations worldwide, so they're in the virtual communications trenches everyday. Michael has thought a lot, accordingly, about how we humans can best adapt to the new world of mixed virtual and face-to-face communications we live in. Our conversation follows.

Nick Morgan: What's the best thing about the virtual communication world we live in now? What's the worst thing?

Eye tracking software knows when you're bored in VR

July 26, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by InAVate

The latest advancement in VR is perhaps one of the most one significant ones yet as it combats the biggest issue facing VR content producers - boredom. New software from optics-based company Eyefluence uses the relationship between the eye and the brain to keep users compelled in virtual storytelling.

Eyefluence has developed software that allows a user's eye movement alone to communicate with a virtual environment. By measuring what their eyes are and are not interested in (i.e. a particular scenario or character), or simply if you're fed up of your latest VR session, Eyefluence hopes to improve virtual storytelling becoming commonplace in arenas such as visitor attractions. There are obviously also clear benefits for improving productivity through VR.

Embrace Video

September 2, 2014 | Telepresence Options

Shaping a new SMART

September 17, 2013 | Telepresence Options

Focus on the Future

March 2, 2012 | Hogan Keyser

First Look: Cisco Cius

February 13, 2012 | Hogan Keyser

Eye Ball

January 2, 2012 | Hogan Keyser

iPad face, robot body

December 5, 2011 | Hogan Keyser

3D Research and Application

September 30, 2011 | Hogan Keyser

Polycom Acquires Accordent

March 24, 2011 | 

Low-cost Video Chat Robot

February 11, 2011 | Kendal Kirby

New BlackBerry PlayBook

September 29, 2010 | Chris Payatagool

DiData UK Buys Mvision

September 17, 2010 | Howard Lichtman

In The Picture

April 12, 2010 | Howard Lichtman