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Story and images by Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.
Two-thirds of Iowans think the state should not allow doctors to use a telemedicine system to prescribe and distribute abortion pills, a new Iowa Poll shows.
Just 27 percent of Iowans support allowing such a system.
Story and images by Simon Parkin / MIT Technology Review
It's been almost 30 years since the computer scientist Jaron Lanier formed VPL Research, the first company to sell the high-tech goggles and gloves that once defined humanity's concept of where technology might soon take our species. In the late-1980s, a person could pull on a $100,000 head-mounted display and electronic gauntlet and fool their brain into thinking they had stepped inside the simulated space rendered on the screen.
At the time, Lanier's intoxicating inventions were featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, coverage that popularized the term "virtual reality" as well as a fresh vision of the future in which humans would flit between the real and virtual worlds. The well-worn narrative is that the VR pipe dream quickly faded, largely due to the exorbitant costs involved or the motion sickness that many users complained of when playing early consumer examples of the technology--such as Nintendo's ambitious and experimental Virtual Boy games console controller.
Story and images by Kristin Bent / CRN
Polycom in 2014 is making it a priority to drive new recurring revenue opportunities for partners, a goal the San Jose, Calif.-based company hopes to achieve through a new suite of cloud-based and virtual videoconferencing solutions.
"We traditionally have been heavily focused on hardware-based appliances," said Mike Conlon, vice president of Worldwide Channels at Polycom, in a recent interview with CRN. "Now we are making a shift toward software."
Rajiv Rao / New Tech for Old India
India seems to be churning out a torrent of SaaS startups and the latest one to hit the news is a cloud-based video conferencing solution that, according to this article, promises to excite many thanks to its one convenient facility: No software to download or a pesky login into an account in order to start a video conference.
All one needs to do to activate a call is to send the person an invite by email. Clicking on it will directly launch the browser as well as the call. This sounds nifty, but is it enough to get excited about? Apparently, one of the greatest strengths of the service is that it sits on a video bridge, and while doing so optimizes bandwidth for calls. "With video conferencing, latency is the biggest problem I've seen. We've managed to solve that to an extent," 1click founder Hrishikesh was quoted as saying in the piece.
The days of telephone conference calls may become a thing of the past. Recent breakthroughs in videoconferencing technology have not only made meetings more exciting and interactive, but they have also proven to increase the productivity of employees in the workplace.
In this article, we will review an infographic provided by our friends at Fuzebox on employee engagement during meetings. Fuzebox did a survey of typical workers and found that only 13% are fully engaged at work. The poll also exposed how the proper use of visual collaboration tools can increase engagement and productivity. Let's take a closer look...
Story and images by Anthony Clark / The Gainesville Sun
ClearOne has acquired Alachua-based audio equipment manufacturer Sabine in a $9 million cash and stock deal, the company announced Wednesday.
Sabine has been supplying wireless microphone products sold under the ClearOne brand since late 2012.
Story and images by David F Carr / InformationWeek Healthcare
Time Warner Cable Business Services is teaming with Tely Labs and Cleveland Clinic to conduct a "virtual visits" trial of a videoconferencing product as a way to lower hospital readmissions.
Time Warner's contribution: the cable guy. Because Time Warner already has technicians who install its equipment and services in customers' homes, it can use that workforce to install a TelyHD Pro videoconferencing unit in the home of a recently discharged patient. Teleconferencing lets the patient check in with a doctor by video rather than driving in for an office visit.
If you've ever wanted to explore one of the most iconic sets in television history, now you can with Jerry's Place VR, a fan-made mod that details the home base from Seinfeld.
The project was developed by Seinfeld superfan Greg Miller, who developed Jerry's Place VR as a way to become familiar with Unity. "I've been a fan of Seinfeld for a long time. After purchasing the Oculus rift I started imagining what my first project might be. I decided to pick a project that would gradually introduce me to Unity without being overly complex," Miller explained on Jerry's Place VR's official site.
Story and images by AppleInsider
With the latest Google Hangouts, the Internet search giant's messaging service hits version 2.0 and gets a fresh coat of iOS 7-style paint with all-new features designed specifically for the iPad.
Perhaps one of the most significant additions is the ability to record and share ten-second video messages with friends and groups. Both recording and viewing is accomplished in-app.
Story and images by Tarsus Group / The Age
A new online video interview software platform, Shortlister.com, has been unveiled which uses unique life-like avatars to pose questions in the place of the recruiter whilst providing an engaging experience for the candidate.
The sophisticated web based software is believed to be the first in the world to use avatars to conduct interviews and has been developed to enable hiring companies to save money and money as well as improving the candidate's recruitment experience.
Story and images by Irwin Lazar / NoJitter
One of the more interesting drafts to come out of the recent work of the IETF's RTCWEB working group is the "Web Real-Time Communication Use-cases and Reguirements" document, which was authored by several working group members, and released on February 12. This Internet-Draft (ID) is a bit different from most in that it doesn't define methods or approaches for WebRTC sessions, but instead, it captures the likely use cases that WebRTC standards developers must support.
Story and images by Channel Partners
CHANNEL PARTNERS -- Arkadin (Booth 5040 and a show sponsor) is launching ArkadinVideo Managed Services at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.
The new managed-services capability extends the company's current online ArkadinVideo hosted desktop and room solutions to offer a complete set of end-to-end video services, incorporating top-tier hybrid and traditional on-premises video rooms. Experienced technicians provide management and bridging services to simplify deployments so businesses can derive greater value and ROI from video conferencing, the company said.
Story and images Brian Jackson / CDN
Video conferencing can be an awkward experience.
The equipment is hard to set up. It's confusing as to how to connect to the right room. You often need specific and expensive technology to make it work.
Story and images by Andrew W. Davis / Wainhouse Research
WR: It's been awhile since we last spoke. In the interim, it seems like everyone in the industry has you in their gun sights. So, let's start with "What's Blue Jeans up to these days" and then get into some of the tough ones
KR: We've been continuing on our mission to enable high-quality, face-to-face interactions through the cloud. We are capitalizing on a market transition from expensive, on-premise hardware / software video conferencing products to cloud-based services, mostly at the expense of industry incumbents
Story and images by Alan D. Greenberg / Wainhouse Research
Last week WR attended the 2014 Microsoft Lync Conference and presented, as well as heard about Microsoft's and its partners' announcements, visited a busy show floor, and ingeneral rubbed elbows with a vast number of members of the Lync / Skype ecosystem. So first the news, then what we heard from others, and our quick take. We'll be publishing some upcoming profiles and notes and a much more extended analysis of the Lync Conference in our premium subscription services.
First and foremost, he's baaaack....Gurdeep Singh Pall took the stage after a two-year leave of absence from the collaboration group (focusing on artificial intelligence for Microsoft) and lightly touched on his new role as Corporate Vice President for Skype and Lync. Many will recall that as GM he helped develop the strategy that led to the formation of the Real-Time Collaboration division and the acquisition of PlaceWare. Derek Burney, Corporate VP for Microsoft Lync & Skype Strategic Relations and Solutions within Microsoft's Applications and Services group, conducted most of the keynote demo, which included a great riff on the band Kiss bobble heads connected via endpoints, various demos of Lync to Skype video, a swipe at traditional video conferencing room systems (complete with a call to a cobweb-encrusted TANDBERG system) -- well, you get the picture. There was a fair amount of jockeying taking place against the "vendor who shall not be named" -- namely, Cisco.
The Visual Communications Industry Group (VCI-Group), the largest independent group of videoconferencing and visual communications users, will host industry experts and analysts as they discuss new products, services, and trends expect to impact the videoconferencing and Unified Communications space. VCI-Group recently opened up their Live Webinar series to non-members, so be sure to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to join a premium informative series at no cost.
Date: Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 - 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Topic: VCIG Year of Interop: Calling Outside My Organization
Description: In an age where many of our visual collaboration solutions are interoperable, there are still a lot that of aspects which are not. This session's interop focus is about the hoops we have to jump through to make a visual collaboration call outside of our own company or organization. Whether it is Lync, H.323, SIP or some other scheme, there is still a lot of room to stumble. Will we settle on one dialing scheme? Will there we need services to translate from one scheme to another? Who will lose out? Who will win?
This VCIG Live! event is
sponsored and hosted by:
VCIG Live! virtual sessions are designed to educate our community on a variety of topics related to visual communications strategy, operations, technology, and more. Some of our sessions are also geared toward topics of interest to our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for education, health care, and others.
The Visual Communications Industry Group (VCI-Group)
VCI-Group is a community comprised of 500+ end-user members, along with an alliance of vendors, focused on videoconferencing, telepresence, Unified Communications and/or collaboration technology. User membership consists of individuals from organizations that make visual communications purchasing decisions or recommendations and create implementation strategies, and/or support the technology. The members represent Fortune 1000 companies, colleges and universities, and government agencies.
VCI-Group was originally created in 2001 as a vendor specific user group (the Polycom User Group, commonly known as PUG). In 2010, the organization's members voted to become vender agnostic and evolve into the VCI-Group. Now, as an independent nonprofit organization, VCI-Group is working to influence the development of Industry-based standards for multimedia collaboration technologies and applications, to improve industry products and services, and to facilitate the exchange of information among its members. VCI-Group President, Toni Alonso explains the group's mission as follows...
"In 2013, VCI-Group will continue moving forward and transitioning to better serve all our members. The industry has made it very clear that there is a growing and compelling need for an independent End User organization and the Visual Communications Industry Group (VCI-Group) continues to function as that organization. And in the coming year, while we will continue to deliver training, communication and support for end users, manufacturers, CSPs and vendors, we will also be offering extraordinary support for our vendors enrolled in our Circle of Leadership program. In 2013 you will see a transformation and a revitalization of the organization through a number of initiatives. The first is the development of the Circle of Leadership program offered to Alliance/Vendor Members that will help introduce and present our vendors to our user members, while also educating our user members about industry changing developments like WebRTC."
Story and images by Mary Branscombe / Cite World
When Telefonica adopted first Office 365 and Lync 2013, the IT team wanted to save money and improve efficiency by standardizing on the same technology for all 150,000 employees across 24 countries and moving to the cloud for Exchange and SharePoint. But that's not what they concentrated on when talking to the employees who'd be using it -- or even when picking Lync from the different alternatives.
What mattered most to Telefonica enterprise mobility lead Andrew Dacombe was the experience he could give users.
Story and images by Derrik J. Lang / Salon
Oscar-nominated documentarian Danfung Dennis believes the next evolution in filmmaking will be to surround viewers with images in 360 degrees -- directly on their noggins.
Dennis, whose gripping 2012 film "Hell and Back Again" told of a soldier's battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, is creating his next film project especially for the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset still in development. The device provides wearers with an immersive, wrap-around view that doesn't make them queasy.
Story and images by Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge
Google has built a prototype Android smartphone that can learn and map the world around it. The device comes from a new initiative called Project Tango, and it's ready to get the phone into developers' hands to see what the technology is capable of. Google says that the phone will learn the dimension of rooms and spaces just by being moved around inside of them -- walking around your bedroom, for example, would help the phone learn the shape of your home. The hope is that by creating a robust map of the world, Google's phone could eventually give precise directions to any given point that needs to be reached.
UPDATE! Our friends at Willow have reached out to us directly to help correct the article originally shared here, by providing the following quotes.
"Willow Garage, Inc. continues to do business with no intention of closing. While Research activities ended when most staff joined Suitable Technologies last August, nothing occurred in January to change the availability of PR2 sales and service. In fact a January announcement solidified ongoing support for PR2 by a company whose focus and experience has been for robotics R&D products. Far from Scott Hassan's commitment to Suitable Technologies changing in January, he has always been full-time CEO since it spun out of Willow Garage 3 years ago."
"Willow Garage is very much in the business of supporting the PR2 community by growing it through sales of the remaining mobile manipulation platforms and insuring service continues at least through 2016. We are actively engaged in getting more PR2s into the world, especially in developing countries, so we don't want there to be misunderstandings - the researchers REALLY REALLY still want to join the growing PR2 community."