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Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
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IVCi Changes the AV Business Again, This Time with Apps

October 22, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Kirsten Nelson / AV Network

In a quiet corner of the Hauppauge Industrial Park, which with its more than 1,300 companies is the largest such center of innovation on Long Island, and by some metrics, is the second most sizable nationwide, there is a company those in the AV industry may have heard of, called IVCi. Most probably think of it as "that videoconferencing company," and that would be accurate, since when it was founded by Robert Swing nearly 20 years ago, it was one of the first AV enterprises to place at its foundation a business framed around those services.

Having thus built a managed conferencing business that represents 15% of its business, with a 99.99% meeting success rate , IVCi was naturally ahead of the curve on the collaboration trend, rebranding with the tagline "Collaborate Anywhere" last year. IVCi has the hardware chops to support that notion, running a national operation from its New York headquarters, with Full Functionality Testing enabling AV setups to ship from its loading docks and arrive onsite as close to "plug and play" as is technologically possible.

Mitel Networks makes $540 mln offer for Shoretel

October 21, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Reuters

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Mitel Networks Corp , a provider of internet phone and video-conferencing services, said it offered to buy smaller peer Shoretel Inc for about $540 million.

The company said Shoretel had rejected an earlier proposal and refused to engage with Mitel.

LifeSize Offers Dashboard for Cloud-Based Video Conferencing

October 21, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Jeffrey Burt / eWeek

LifeSize Communications in May launched its cloud-based video conferencing offering. Now, the company is giving users a dashboard monitoring system that gives them greater insights into how the software-as-a-service solution is being used and by whom.

LifeSize Cloud was introduced three months after Craig Malloy returned as CEO after two years away from the company, which is a division of Logitech. The solution is designed to offer business-class video collaboration to organizations that is scalable, simple to use and affordable, and will let people participate in conferences wherever they are and on any device.

Rest in Peace, Google Glass: 2012-2014

October 20, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by John C. Dvorak / PCMag

Whatever happened to all those people wearing Google Glass all over town? Many were all-in on the greatness of the product, wearing Google Glass to video podcasts, TV shows, and events.

Wearers were gung ho and constantly extolled the virtues of Google Glass. I wrote at the time that the entire product was a hoax. Although ridiculed for the column, one year later, in April 2014, articles began to appear about how all the early adopters stopped wearing the glasses because they were useless and led to personal ridicule. But there was more to it than that.

Quadriplegic Stuart Turner speaks at WIRED2014 via drones and robots

October 17, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Stuart Turner / Wired

Computer scientist and founder of Robots and Cake Stuart Turner took to WIRED2014's London stage to talk about open access systems. He did so from just outside Manchester, using a telepresence Beam robot, while flying a Parrot AR drone. And he achieved all of that using only his right index finger and his head.

"I can't move my body, I can't get out of this wheelchair -- but I can totally fly," he said. "Robots are awesome."

Video Voicemail Aims for Productivity Niche

October 16, 2014 | Telepresence Options

Story and images by Kachina Shaw / IT Business Edge

Does an unfilled niche exist in the workplace between voicemail, instant messaging, videoconferencing and video chat, and social messaging in its various forms?

The creators of Movy believe they can fill that niche with their mobile video voicemail/messaging app, currently available on Google Play for Android and soon to be available on iTunes for Apple devices.

Highfive Launches and Seeks the Road Not Taken

October 16, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Andrew Davis / No Jitter

Highfive came out of stealth mode earlier this month with one of the slickest room video conferencing systems we've seen in a long time. The product photo above gives you some sense of its industrial design, but the real story is how the company has integrated product + price + positioning + GoToMarket in a way unlike others who have been in this market.

Skype Revives Qik as a Video Chatting App

October 15, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Fox Van Allen / Techlicious

Now that my whole family has started using smartphones, we're sending a lot more sound files, photos and videos to each other than ever before. Texting is still ideal in plenty of situations, but we've learned that multimedia tends to be a more efficient and fun way to send information. Getting a short video clip of the dog is a lot more enjoyable than getting a short text about him, right?

If video messaging really is going to be a future trend, then the video conferencing experts at Skype want a piece of that pie. Today, the company is re-introducing Skype Qik, a video-messaging app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. It allows you to communicate with friends - or groups of friends - through the use of recorded clips up to 40 seconds in length.

Samsung Boosts WiFi to Five Times Current Speed

October 15, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Joshua Sophy / Small Business Trends

Forget about how fast your smartphone's WiFi data transmission is today. You haven't seen anything yet. Samsung says it has developed WiFi data transmission at speeds five times faster than the best devices on the market today. The company expects to start releasing devices with this enhanced data transmission speed as early as next year.

The company says its 60GHz WiFi technology will increase data transfer speeds from 108MB per second today to up around 575MB per second on the new devices expected next year.

Am I Sick? Google Has a Doctor Waiting on Video

October 14, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Conor Dougherty / The New York Times

The Internet can be a dangerous place to get medical advice. Stomachaches turn into cancer, stress becomes an endocrine tumor. Crack remedies and strange diets abound. Now Google is playing with a new technology that it hopes will help people find more reliable medical information. It's called a doctor.

Google's "Helpouts" product -- a service where people can search for experts and talk to them over video -- is running a trial program in which people who are searching for symptoms like pink eye and the common cold can video-chat with a doctor. The company is working with medical groups including Scripps and One Medical, which are "making their doctors available and have verified their credentials," according to a spokeswoman.

Microsoft continues its quest for the perfect meeting-room bundle

October 10, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet

Buried in Vanity Fair's thorough recap of how Steve Ballmer was replaced by Satya Nadella as Microsoft CEO is an interesting product tidbit.

PCWorld's Mark Hachman zeroed in on it: Microsoft is continuing its pursuit of the ultimate meeting-room app.

HTC's handheld camera poses challenge to GoPro

October 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Leo Kelion / BBC

The RE's cylindrical design includes a sensor that automatically turns the device on when it is picked up and only two button controls.

An app lets wirelessly connected smartphones and tablets stream the footage live and play it back later.

Bill Gates: Microsoft is developing a killer meeting-room app

October 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Mark Hachman / The Fiscal Times

Microsoft is actively developing a meeting-room application designed to streamline the entire process, including sharing data and recognizing participants, according to company co-founder Bill Gates.

The disclosure is buried inside a lengthy personality profile of Microsoft executives Satya Nadella, Steve Ballmer, and Gates, describing the relationships tying together--and pushing apart--each of the three. But the article by Vanity Fair also touches tangentially on what Microsoft is actually doing these days--especially Gates, who's dedicating exactly 30 percent of his time to the company.

Cisco Kills Off Web, Audio and Video Conferencing Businesses and Enters Conferencing Market

October 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Zeus Kerravala / No Jitter

This week, Cisco's GM of collaboration, Rowan Trollope, issued a blog announcing a major update to the company's popular WebEx product. Given the market leading position that WebEx holds, one may wonder, why fix something that isn't broken? WebEx currently hosts over 15 million meetings per month, which consumes over 3 billion minutes per month. With that kind of usage, why upset the apple cart?

The reason is that despite the success of WebEx, the product is fundamentally flawed. It's not just a WebEx issue, but something the whole industry deals with. Enterprise Web, audio and video conferencing platforms have been developed in silos and the technology has remained that way since its inception. These silos of communications have prevented us from having true unified communications.

Cisco, Polycom Face Huawei In Videoconferencing

October 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Pete Barlas / Investors

Leading videoconferencing and telepresence gear makers Cisco Systems and Polycom are facing increased competition from China's Huawei Technologies even as revenue growth in the market flattens.

In 2018, global sales of videoconference and telepresence gear will reach $1.997 billion, barely up from $1.987 billion this year, says market research firm IDC.

Rackspace to sell and manage Google Apps for Work for customers

October 8, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Barb Darrow / Gigoam

Rackspace will now sell and support Google for Work applications to business customers, just as it already resells and supports hosted Exchange and Sharepoint for business customers.

Google, which is pushing its apps into business accounts many of which run Microsoft Office. Rackspace will bill the customer, and provide phone support for those times when that button you always use suddenly disappears without notice. (Hey it happens with Google Apps -- it actually happens with Microsoft apps too for that matter.) Having someone to call in that event is pretty helpful.

This week in Apple rumors: The next-generation of the iPad and the future of the Mac

October 8, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Hayley Tsukayama / The Washington Post

The iPhone release may be out of the way, but the tech giant still has a trick or two up its sleeve ahead of the big holiday buying season. As usual, Apple isn't saying what's coming. But that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from spitting out a bunch of information leaked from unnamed sources "familiar with Apple's plans." So grab your salt shaker: here's a rundown of what we think we know about what's next for Apple.

One thing we do know is that Apple tends to hold two major release events every fall; for the past few years, that's meant an iPhone event followed closely by an iPad launch. This year should be no different, and Re/Code's John Paczkowski has pegged Oct. 16 as the day for Apple's next big debut.

Cisco's Rowan Trollope says videoconferencing is a pain

October 7, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Scott M. Fulton, III / Fierce Enterprise Communications

In a devastating indictment of the entire videoconferencing industry, without making an exception of his own company's products, Cisco senior vice president for collaboration Rowan Trollope acknowledged the substandard state of the user experience for vcon technologies. Trollope's comments came by way of announcing a complete overhaul to his company's WebEx online conferencing platform replacing it with a concept that will give customers their own persistent URLs for entering and exiting cloud-based meeting rooms.

"We have to ask, where are they going to conference? Are they going to be joining from somewhere they have access? Are they going to have mobile? Are they remote? What kinds of devices are they going to use? What do you have? Do you have a videoconferencing system, or are you maybe in an office using WebEx? Are you going to be at home, on the Web? Do you need to share screens are not? Do you need content to be shared, or is this going to be a chat? How do I connect these people together?

Microsoft starts rolling out its new Office 365 small and mid-size business plans

October 3, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet

Microsoft has made three new Office 365 plans aimed at small and mid-size business generally available as of October 2.

Microsoft announced back in July that it would make the new plans -- Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium -- available for purchase starting October 1.

HEVC patent prices are out. Look who's NOT at the codec party: Microsoft and Google

October 3, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by The Register

Analysis The MPEG Licensing Authority (MPEG LA) has released pricing for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) that is almost certainly low enough to claim the market overnight.

HEVC is the successor to the tech used to encode video stored on Blu-ray Discs and streamed in high-definition digital TV transmissions the world over. The previous standard was called H.264 - aka MPEG 4, aka Advanced Video Coding (AVC) - and the current one is now H.265.

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

TelePresence @ Home

February 4, 2009 | Chris Payatagool

FOXSexpert: Hooking Up to Internet Sex Toys

November 25, 2008 | John Serrao

Holobama: 'Holograms' greet Election 2008

November 6, 2008 | John Serrao

Home again

September 15, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

War Is Halo

July 28, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

WAN refresh

April 2, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

Just shoot me

February 24, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

Immersed in Work

February 14, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

Presence of mind

January 15, 2008 | Howard Lichtman

Liberate your avatar

December 20, 2007 | Chris Payatagool

Samsung: Next HDTV to Offer 8x Better Resolution

December 18, 2007 | John Serrao

Endless Self-Reinvention in Virtual Worlds

November 28, 2007 | John Serrao

It's Telepresence

November 14, 2007 | Chris Payatagool

Polycom Steps on the High Definition Gas

October 17, 2007 | John Serrao
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