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Telepresence Options Magazine

Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
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Broadview Networks Revamps Conferencing Service

November 30, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Channel Partners

Broadview Networks, the cloud UC provider, is bringing multiple enhancements to its conferencing solution and revising its user interface

Broadview said it has updated OfficeSuiteHD, the company's meeting service, in an effort to increase employee productivity. Updates include the ability to use two cameras at the same time, remote support sessions, break out sessions within a conference call, and the ability to pause and resume recording.

Enabling wireless virtual reality

November 15, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by MIT News

One of the limits of today's virtual reality (VR) headsets is that they have to be tethered to computers in order to process data well enough to deliver high-resolution visuals. But wearing an HDMI cable reduces mobility and can even lead to users tripping over cords.

Fortunately, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have recently unveiled a prototype system called "MoVR" that allows gamers to use any VR headset wirelessly.

Microsoft, Slack et al will 'laugh their asses off' at IBM's biz messaging tool

November 15, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by The Register

IBM is testing out a group chat collaboration tool branded Project Toscana, but judging by the reaction from channel partners involved in the beta, it's not going to worry Microsoft, Slack or anyone else for a while yet.

Toscana, which will run on a browser or as an app, includes IBM's tools in the Collaboration Platform - Sametime Chat and Advanced, Connections Files, Activities - and features include note-taking and integration of consumer type social media.

WhatsApp unveils video calls, Skype pops open guest accounts

November 15, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Ars Technica

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has announced that video calls will--at last--be rolling out imminently, a move that came on the same day Microsoft revealed that Skype can now be used online without registration.

WhatsApp video chats will be available across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Sound waves that mimic the touch of a button? That's the future

November 10, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by WIRED

From smartphones to satellite navigation, televisions to tax-return websites, the visual interface dominates our society. "A smartphone screen can represent anything because it's pixels," suggests Hiroshi Ishii, director of the Tangible Media Group at MIT's Media Lab. "You can even make a pixel dance."

But, according to Ishii, our obsession with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is damaging, removing us from millennia of human-object interaction. Worse, it stops us thinking: "Because GUIs are so well done and are so pervasive, people can't think of a better way to present interfaces," Ishii explains.

Microsoft Teams: Redmond Drops Its PCS Shoe

November 4, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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On Wednesday November 2, Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams, the company's first real entry into what WR classifies as a "Persistent Collaboration Space" offering - as currently typified by Slack, HipChat, and Cisco Spark. Teams is built on the Office365 platform and thus shares a common employee directory, defined groups, file sharing, toolkits / APIs (including connectivity with Exchange), and compliance with the rest of the O365 suite. Teams is yet-another-application that is included in most O365 subscriptions. A Teams "Preview" edition is available now and includes a Windows client and iOS / Android mobile apps. General availability is slated for Q1 2017.

What does Teams do?

Categorized by Microsoft as a "chat-based workplace," Teams brings together project-organized text chat (each project or topic is a "channel" - how Slack-like), real-time video meetings, desktop sharing, shared files, and optional, integrated services to "help teams get work done." Text chat is persistent with history retained, is synchronized across devices, and is threaded within channels by what are called "conversations." Chat messages can contain rich text, a title (useful to identify threads), "@" mentions of people (can pull them into the conversation), images, notes, files, and gifs / emoji. Any text interaction can be escalated to a video meeting with one click; with meeting taking place within the Teams client itself. Team Meetings can be scheduled within the client, and are populated on the user's Exchange calendar.

Supreme Court to weigh in on video conferencing hearing for mentally ill patients

November 4, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Florida Record

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in on whether judges should use video conferencing for hearings involving mentally ill patients who were involuntarily committed.

The request comes out of a dispute in Lee County after a judge and magistrate sent an email advising "that they would no longer be commuting to the receiving facilities to hold the statutorily required hearing in person. Instead, the judicial officers would preside remotely from the courthouse via video conference equipment while the patients, witnesses and attorneys would continue to be physically present at the receiving facility evidentiary hearings regarding the involuntary commitment of patients," court documents state.

Imago SA launches new identity

November 3, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by IT-Online

Video conferencing supplier Imago South Africa is launching a new corporate identity and name-change to underline its independent status and commitment to its market.

Its new name - SkyGroup Communications and positioning statement "Completely Connected" - is a signal to customers that sustained growth is on the horizon, says Johannesburg-based sales and marketing director, Dirk Schreuder.

Have A Camera On Your Wrist, Thanks To This Apple Watch Band

November 3, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by VAlueWalk

The Apple Watch is one high-end smart device on the market, but its users feel the need of having a camera that would allow them to click pictures, take selfies and record videos. The likely reason the company refrained from endowing it with a camera is that it would affect the battery life, but now, the Israel- and Bay-based startup Glide has come up with a solution.

No need of iPhone to take pictures

Glide has created the CMRA, which is essentially a smartwatch strap that will enable users to click pictures and selfies and record videos. Glide's CMRA adds a 2-megapixel selfie camera and 8-megapixel watch-front camera.

ISDN's days are numbered: What should you do?

November 3, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Last year, BT boldly announced its intention to switch off its PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025. This was a smart move. In a world that is fast embracing IP as the standard protocol for all communications services, it was important for BT to declare its intentions to remove the legacy from its network, while giving customers a whole decade to make the switch (if they haven't done so already). .

What does this announcement really mean?

Always-on group video chat arrives

October 25, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Computerworld

Question: Why not launch video sessions with family, friends or co-workers and leave them running all the time?

Answer: Because it feels weird to be on camera all day.

Russian Paratroops Equipped With Impregnable Video Messenger

October 25, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Sputnik International

The "paratroop messenger" is more than just an online cinema, it is a means of troop control, that's why it is accessible to the Russian military alone, is 100-percent hack-proof and functions separately from civilian networks.

"The new video communications program, which is part of the Andromeda-D automatic control system, is currently being introduced in the Russian Paratroop Forces" a Defense Ministry representative told the newspaper.

5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality in the Enterprise

October 25, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Enterprise Apps Today

Virtual reality (VR) is going increasingly mainstream. The NBA just announced it will broadcast weekly games with virtual reality features to subscribers of its NBA League Pass, according to a USA Today report.

According to the NBA's VP of global media distribution, games aired in virtual reality will "be the next best thing to that in-person experience."

Fuze Goes After a Single UX - and More

October 13, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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In November 2015, we sat down with Fuze and then Thinking Phone Networks (TPN) management to discuss the pending acquisition of the former by the latter. Much of the conversation focused on synergies between offers - TPN, at the time, had a UC experience supporting IM, presence, and voice and video, but lacked a native collaboration experience. Fuze, of course, had a user-friendly, video-centric, collaboration experience. TPN had built one of the few proprietary UCaaS platforms serving mid-to-large enterprise clients, leveraging their founders' MIT education and leaning heavily on a forward-looking foundation of data-centric analytics and API-based integration to leading CRM and line of business (LOB) platforms.

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On paper, the synergy was obvious - mash Fuze's chocolaty UX-pertise into TPN's big-little-data peanut butter and, wala - Reese's Peanut Butter UCups. Of course, we've seen the obvious UC synergy story play out before - many big and successful companies regularly acquire smart solutions under the synergy umbrella, but fail to capitalize. But this one felt different. And it was.

LifeSize launches the Icon 450 - a self-framing HD camera for videoconferencing

October 12, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by BetaNews

With increasingly distributed workforces, video conferencing is more than ever an essential business tool. But in conference rooms the size and shape of the space can make it difficult for conventional camera to include everyone.

SIPCOM moves into cloud video conferencing space

October 12, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Computer Weekly

This time last year SCC made an investment in SIPCOM as it looked to bulk out its expertise in the comms area and that decision continues to bear fruit.

The CSP specialised in SaaS services but had a particular emphasis on communications and slotted into the SCC ambitions to build up its portfolio on the voice and UC side.

Join Legacy Video Gear to Skype for Business Online Meetings, Now!

October 10, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Microsoft wants enterprises to build next-generation meeting rooms that rely on Skype for Business Online services even as they take advantage of legacy video endpoints. This we learned last week at Ignite, with the preview of Polycom RealConnect Service for Office365, a cloud service that, like its preexisting premises-based counterpart, will provide a one-click approach for supporting non-native video conferencing systems from other vendors in a Skype for Business meeting (see related No Jitter post, "Showtime for Skype for Business Online").

This week, another Microsoft Skype for Business partner, West Unified Communications Services, is hoping to help Microsoft achieve that goal, too -- vying for a first-mover advantage with a video transcoding gateway service now available globally. The new service, called Video Meeting Gateway (VMG), drops the barriers to integrating legacy video assets into Skype for Business Online meetings by providing seamless connectivity for H.323/SIP endpoints.

Video Is Going Viral, Especially In Healthcare!

October 10, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Introduction

Many of us have been "waiting" for video to go really mainstream for several decades now. Videoconferencing systems have become a common occurrence for most enterprises, especially in larger conference room areas. But a movement is now taking place in the world of video conferencing and video is now going mainstream and even viral. There are several drivers taking place in the midst of us that is creating a perfect storm for video.

Oculus shows off Facebook Messenger video calls in virtual reality

October 10, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by by Lucas Matney / TechCrunch

Onstage at the Oculus Connect 3 conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered a Facebook Messenger video call from his wife while in the new social VR environment.

It appears that Facebook is finally confident enough with its VR arm that it's willing to promote cross-network compatibility. The Messenger video call which came from his wife Priscilla Chan while she was at work, popped up on a virtual wrist-worn device. After he physically (virtually?) tapped on the notification, the video call opened in a separate window and Zuck was able to chat while engaging with the virtual environment while the call stayed in his field-of-view. Zuckerberg also teased direct posting to Facebook after taking a VR selfie mid-call.

Polycom Shares Cease Trading on Nasdaq; Closes Going-Private Deal with Siris Capital (NASDAQ:PLCM)

September 28, 2016 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Frisco Fastball

Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM) shares have ceased trading on the Nasdaq exchange on Tuesday after Siris Capital completed the takeover of the company in a transaction valued at approximately $2 billion. Under the deal, Polycom stockholders received $12.50 per share in cash. The company will continue to operate as Polycom as a wholly owned subsidiary of affiliates of Siris Capital.

The stock closed at $12.47 during the last session. It is down 23.10% since February 24, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 11.17% the S&P500.

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