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Telepresence Options Magazine

Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
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What's Driving Mitel's $2B Polycom Acquisition?

April 26, 2016 | Howard Lichtman


Scale, partnerships and innovation are three main motivations for Mitel's recently announced $1.96 billion acquisition of Polycom. But it won't be easy making the combined operation successful.

The two companies earlier this month announced plans to combine to create a business with combined expected annual revenue of about $2.5 billion, specializing in cloud and on-premises video, calling and collaboration. Mitel Networks Corp. sells cloud-based on-premises PBX and hybrid voice and unified communications systems to enterprises and communications service providers.

Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is a video-conferencing systems vendor, which will retain its brand. The combined company will be based in Ottawa, Canada, where Mitel is currently headquartered, and have about 7,700 staff, run by Mitel CEO Rich McBee. (See Mitel to Buy Polycom for $1.96B.)

Mitel's 2015 revenue was $1.16 billion with an operating loss of $10.2 million, while Polycom reported $1.27 billion revenue and an operating profit of $86.1 million.

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Exertis targets SME market with Yealink's video conferencing solutions

April 25, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Yealink_VC400.jpgExertis has announced the distribution of Yealink's video conferencing (VC) series, designed specifically for the SME market.

The Yealink VC range of products are an exciting opportunity for resellers to offer a truly cost effective, enterprise-grade video conferencing solution without high costs or advanced technical expertise, said the distie.

Yealink offers ease-of-use, plug and play video solutions that are affordable and profitable for the channel.

"Yealink delivers a friendly UI with easy-to-use buttons allowing almost all operations to be carried out in just three simple steps," said Michael Thompson, Exertis UC business manager.

Imago ScanSource Launches i-Kandy Video Conferencing System

April 19, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Immersive telepresence at a video conferencing price

Imago's i-Kandy Bundle Combines Polycom's Group 500 Series

and the Array Telepresence Equal-i Imaging System

London, 19 April 2016. Imago ScanSource, Europe's largest video solutions company, is launching a brand new video conferencing system, i-Kandy, bringing together two powerful products from the industry's leading players Polycom and Array Telepresence.

i-Kandy combines the Array Equal-i image processor and DX dual-headed camera with the Polycom Group 500 video, voice and collaboration system. This unique new offering will provide customers with a cutting edge immersive telepresence experience that maximises all the power of the Polycom engine with the transformative impact of the Array image technology.

Imago ScanSource is offering its reseller channel the opportunity to become authorised partners for i-Kandy, which will enable them to take advantage of the available training programmes, secure improved margins and deliver installation services to customers. Imago ScanSource is also currently providing a 2-for-1 offer on i-Kandy for a limited period.

Wainhouse Research News in Brief - April 12th 2016

April 13, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Alan D. Greenberg / Wainhouse Research

Fuze and Yealink have teamed to certify the Yealink VC120 video conferencing room system as compatible with Fuze conferencing and collaboration solutions. Though it offers its own Fuze Room, this will enable any organization seeking the VC120 capabilities (1080P HD video, dual-screen support, and content sharing) to allow their Mac or PC users to access Fuze's video service, leveraging the Yealink VC120 from the organization's meeting room.

Sonic Foundry has joined the Riverbed-Ready Technology Alliance program to bring new capabilities to both Sonic Foundry and Riverbed customers. The program framework enables partners to extend the Riverbed Application Performance Platform, a platform that provides CIOs visibility into all IT resources across a hybrid enterprise. Though not the first vendor in our space to partner with Riverbed, this should help SoFo tackle the challenges of delivering behind-the-firewall, well-scaled and secure video.

The past and future of the videoconference room, Part 3: The User Interface

April 12, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Network World

In the first of this series of blogs, I discussed the history and future of videoconferencing cameras, in the second I discussed the hierarchy of rooms/spaces/environments for visual collaboration. This - part three - is about how to use the darned things.

From the earliest days of technology in enterprise conference rooms the user interface (UI) has been a contentious, problematic and difficult part of users' satisfaction with that technology. All UIs have to achieve a balance between simplicity and power. The more that they can do, the harder they are to operate. So because videoconferencing has traditionally been hard, the UI has needed to do a lot to meet the needs.

Logicalis Launches Managed Video Conferencing Service

March 30, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Aldrin Brown / MSPmentor

Logicalis announced today the launch of a managed unified communications and video collaboration service, aimed at providing reliable conferencing for enterprises.

The international solutions and managed services provider said the new offering includes monitoring, management and maintenance, to ensure optimal performance and free in-house IT resources for more strategic tasks.

Microsoft wants to 'holoport' you into a conversation elsewhere

March 28, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Blair Hanley Frank / Computerworld

Microsoft wants to bring HoloLens users into a conversation with other folks who aren't in the room, using a technology developed by its research division that enables "holoportation."

It's a product of Microsoft Research's Interactive 3D Technologies group, which released a YouTube video showing different people appearing in a room alongside Shahram Izadi, a partner research manager. While Izadi was being recorded in person, the other people who joined him (including his daughter) were displayed as digital renderings while being recorded in another room.

Why Video Collaboration Lags in the Workplace

March 22, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Enterprises are not taking advantage of video collaboration and conferencing even though workers welcome the technology, according to a survey.

Although enterprise-ready video is available, it is not being widely used in the workplace, according to a new survey. The survey found that of the 41 percent of those who use video as a collaboration tool in the workplace, 57 percent rely on it less than once a month. The survey of 554 U.S.-employed Internet users 18 years old and over was conducted by ConnectSolutions, a Microsoft partner, in February. "Unfortunately for many, video is something you respond to rather than initiate," said Christopher Martini, vice president of Microsoft Skype for Business. "But while workers have been slow in unlocking video's potential, the tech is there and workers are ready to use it." The problem may be related to old habits, according to the survey; while consumers are constantly finding new uses for video on mobile devices, video's role in the enterprise has traditionally been limited to formal video conferences and training sessions. Here are some highlights of the survey.

Optoma launches ultra-wide short throw laser projector

March 17, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Thumbnail image for OptomaZH300UW.jpg

Story and images by ET Now

Optoma has announced the latest addition to its ultra-short throw product range - the. Based on laser-phosphor technology, the ZH300UW is designed for business, education and specialist AV applications.

Featuring a solid-state laser-phosphor light engine instead of a traditional projector lamp, the ZH300UW produces a brightness of 3,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Apart from delivering great colours, the laser engine eliminates the cost of replacement projector lamps, and has a life expectancy of up to 20,000 hours.

Lumens introduces HD PTZ USB Camera

March 17, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Thumbnail image for lumens-hd-ptz-usb-camera.png

Story and images by InAVate

Lumens has announced a camera offering non-compressed and no latency 1080p/60pfs video and USB 3.0 support.

The VC-B20U is suited to videoconferencing and event recording environments, and works with Windows, Mac OS X and Android operating systems.

Microsoft Grooms Skype for Business for Rooms

March 17, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Microsoft's Zig Serafin addresses the crowd during his Enterprise Connect keynote.

Story and images by Dave Michels / No Jitter

Apparently taking the old saying "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" to heart, Microsoft once again touted solutions for video-enabling conference rooms from the keynote stage at Enterprise Connect, which took place last week. This time its approach applies to a wider range of rooms, and involves new solutions from Logitech and Polycom.

We live in digital times, but too many of our meeting facilities remain analog, with basic whiteboards, speakerphones, and simple displays and projectors. Many vendors have introduced "huddle room" solutions that are meant to make video conferencing more accessible to and cost-effective for small and medium corporate meeting spaces.

Exclusive: Mitel and Polycom in merger talks amid pressure from Elliott - sources

March 16, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Thumbnail image for Polycom_and_Mitel.jpg

Story and images by Michael Flaherty / Reuters

Canada's Mitel Networks Corp (MNW.TO) is in talks to merge with U.S. peer Polycom Inc (PLCM.O), in a deal that would combine the voice and telephony equipment providers and heed the demands of hedge fund Elliott Management, sources said on Tuesday.

Mitel, the smaller of the two companies with a $1.11 billion market value, made the initial approach to buy Polycom, according to sources familiar with the matter, but the talks remain fluid and the final structure is still being worked out.

Droidcam Allows Android Phone to Double as Webcam for your PC

March 14, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Tehran Chronicle

It is obvious that you could just download Hangouts or Skype on Android phone and perform the video call on your phone itself. But if your phone is quite small or if the video conferencing calls for a scenario where you need to broadcast a wider view of you, that's when this post can come in handy.

You could also need this in the event you don't have an actual webcam with you.

PetChatz HD: Videoconference with your pet for $379

March 14, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Jessica Van Sac / Boston Herald

You can now "Skype" with your dog -- in high-definition video.

The just-released PetChatz HD is a two-way video and audio terminal that even allows you to remotely dispense treats to your furry friends.

Ten Rules of Etiquette for Videoconferencing

March 14, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Sally French / WSJ

It's the big day. You have a videoconference with the chief executive of your company to pitch your ideas. You're on time, and you couldn't be more prepared for your presentation.

But are you up-to-date with your online--and on-camera--etiquette?

Pentagon Research Could Make 'Brain Modem' a Reality

February 29, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by The Daily Beast

The Pentagon is attempting what was, until recently, an impossible technological feat--developing a high-bandwidth neural interface that would allow people to beam data from their minds to external devices and back.

That's right--a brain modem. One that could allow a soldier to, for example, control a drone with his mind.

Google Unveils Neural Network with "Superhuman" Ability to Determine the Location of Almost Any Image

February 26, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by MIT Technology Review

Here's a tricky task. Pick a photograph from the Web at random. Now try to work out where it was taken using only the image itself. If the image shows a famous building or landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower or Niagara Falls, the task is straightforward. But the job becomes significantly harder when the image lacks specific location cues or is taken indoors or shows a pet or food or some other detail.

Nevertheless, humans are surprisingly good at this task. To help, they bring to bear all kinds of knowledge about the world such as the type and language of signs on display, the types of vegetation, architectural styles, the direction of traffic, and so on. Humans spend a lifetime picking up these kinds of geolocation cues.

Why the Windows PC is Finally the Future of the Video Conferencing Industry

February 25, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Simon Dudley / UCStrategies

The last 20 years in the Video Conferencing space have been dominated by specialist devices, whether behemoths like the PictureTel Concorde, the Polycom Viewstation, a Tandberg or Cisco device. The last PC-based room solution of any note was the VTEL Galaxy back in the mid 1990's and that was clobbered by PictureTel Concorde's and then murdered by the ViewStation.

There have been very good reasons for this, all of which made sense at the time. But the world is changing, and now I believe it is the time for the renaissance of the PC in the meeting room.

ZTE has turned its smart projector into a full-fledged tablet

February 22, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images Dan Seifert / The Verge

ZTE's Spro line of mini smart projectors have always been curiosities. Combining the functions of a smartphone, projector, mobile hotspot, and USB battery into one chunky device, the Spro (pronounced "ess-pro") units have always seemed like an interesting idea, but with really niche use cases. Still, ZTE has had success with two generations of the Spro, and its latest model, the Spro Plus, takes its crazy combination device ideas further than ever.

The Spro Plus is bigger and more powerful than its predecessors, with an 8.4-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel Super AMOLED display, making it more of a tablet-sized device than the earlier versions. It's powered by a Snapdragon 801 or 625 processor, comes in both Wi-Fi and LTE variants with support for VoLTE, and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Its projector is a 500 lumens, WXGA resolution laser unit, which is more than twice as bright as the projector in the Spro 2. The Spro Plus also has video conferencing capability with an external camera and two four watt JBL speakers. All of this is housed in a frame that's significantly thinner than the Spro 2 and is powered by an enormous 12,100mAh battery. ZTE says that's good enough for at least four hours of streaming video projected on a wall.

Hands on with the Polycom RealPresence Trio 8800 conference hub

February 19, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Ian Barker / ITProPortal

Remote working, globalisation and multi-site operations all mean that modern businesses rely heavily on conference calls to hold virtual meetings. To do this effectively you need something a bit more sophisticated than a simple speaker phone and there are an increasing number of specialist solutions on the market.

Polycom's RealPresence Trio is a communications hub that can be used for both voice and video calling. It aims to be easy to use and effective as well as stylish enough to grace the boardroom.

In the box

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