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Telepresence Options Magazine

Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
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How High Speed Communications Networks Are Making Remote Surgery Realistic

November 27, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Motherboard

Imagine a future where surgeons no longer have to enter war zones to treat soldiers injured on the battlefield. Instead, they would just rig themselves up to a surgical robot like the Da Vinci and operate on wounded fighters remotely. This is the promise of telesurgery--when a doctor performs surgery on a patient without being in the same physical location.

But to make it work, surgeons have to be sure that issues of latency are under control, so there's not too much of a time lag between an action and a response.

Tripp and Tyler: A Video Conference Call in Real Life

November 19, 2015 | Telepresence Options

Panasonic Sets Availability, Pricing For AW-UE70 4K UHD Pan-Tilt-Zoom Videoconferencing Camera

November 18, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by TVNewsCheck

Panasonic has announced the immediate availability of the AW-UE70, an integrated 4K pan/tilt/zoom camera.

The UE70 delivers 3840 x 2160 resolution images at 29.97p/25p via HDMI, and is also capable of 4K IP streaming and in-camera 4K recording. The camera has a suggested list price of $5,850.

Citrix to Lay Off 1,000 Employees, Create GoTo Business Spinoff

November 18, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk

Citrix Systems, Inc. plans to lay off about 1,000 employees and spin off its GoToMeeting products as a separate publicly traded business, the cloud-based software company announced Tuesday..

The restructuring news comes as the Santa Clara-based company with regional headquarters around the globe -- including one in Goleta at 7414 Hollister Ave. -- released initial results of its operations review.

Polycom Buries RoundTable 100

November 7, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Andrew W. Davis / Wainhouse Research

If you attended Enterprise Connect in March 2015, you might remember the keynote session when Microsoft's Zig Serafin invited Polycom CEO Peter Leav to join him on stage. On cue, Peter pulled out of his pocket a RoundTable 100, a Skype for Business device developed jointly by the two companies. From my seat in row 195 of the ballroom, RoundTable 100 hardware looked like an Intel Nuc computer combined with a Microsoft webcam and maybe a USB speakerphone.

On November 3 I received an email from Polycom stating, "Polycom and Microsoft have jointly decided not to bring the RoundTable 100 to market. Polycom and Microsoft remain committed to jointly promoting Polycom's portfolio of Skype for Business qualified products, and will jointly focus on promoting Polycom RealPresence Trio as a solution for huddle rooms and smaller spaces with Skype for Business. Early market feedback on RealPresence Trio indicates that this highly differentiated solution will provide Skype for Business customers, including SMBs, a richer experience and an affordable high performance solution which can meet many of the same requirements."

ScanSource Logs Another Record Quarter, Spurred By Acquisitions

November 7, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Rick Saia / CRN

ScanSource roared to another record quarter for revenue, hitting the higher end of its expectations while shattering its earnings projections, the Greenville, S.C.-based distributor said Thursday.

The company recorded close to $871 million in net sales for the first quarter of its 2016 fiscal year, ended Sept. 30. That surpassed the record $857 million ScanSource brought in during the previous quarter. Its first-quarter projected revenue range was $820 million to $880 million.

Industry Pioneer Passes: RIP Mackey Barron of HB Communications

November 6, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Gary Kayye / rAVe

THE AV industry's pioneer passed away at age 95 yesterday. I say THE in all caps, intentionally. There is no one in AV who knew Mackey Barron, founder of HB Motion Picture Service (now known as HB Communications), that would disagree. His history of "firsts" in audiovisual are legendary -- in addition to his unwavering support of the AV industry and, specifically, InfoComm. He literally started in AV almost 80 years ago when in 1937 where he helped his Boston-based high school hand-winding film reels. That, eventually, led him to a job curating film strips for a film service company that focused on distribution of educational movies to Catholic schools in the Boston area. That job required him to be the "keeper" of the films so he would also repair broken strips and splice in other materials.

In 1942, he enlisted in the Air Force -- at the height of World War II where he served as lieutenant colonel and an Air Force pilot. But in 1944 he became a prisoner of war for nearly a year after his aircraft was shot down over Denmark, which he later described as a "horrific existence." He was with more than 10,000 other POWs and tried to make the best of a bad situation by reading to his fellow prisoners, convincing the camp to show movies every once in a while (he ran that projector too!) and making ice cream for everyone in camp. He was freed at the end of the war in 1945, weighing only 112 pounds.

New InFocus JTouch Whiteboard Offers Simple Touch

November 6, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Dian Schaffhauser / THE Journal

InFocus has introduced a new member of its JTouch interactive touchscreen display family. The 65-inch JTouch Whiteboard (INF6501w) is intended for collaborative environments where users simply want to display the screens of PCs, Macs or Chromebooks via HDMI.

Slack, Jira, Asana: The new language of worker productivity

October 29, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Haley Hinkle / Chicago Tribune

In a world where you can set a ping or a push notification for almost anything, businesses choose from endless options for workers to connect and communicate online.

Software platforms streamline day-to-day tasks virtually through activities such as video conferencing, online chatting and code sharing. Business leaders say companies benefit significantly if they centralize information, communication and planning around such software.

6 Changes Affecting Video Conferencing Today

October 29, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Andrew Davis / No Jitter

The business world is changing, driven by technology developments and workforce and workplace shifts. Collaboration is now front and center in the strategic plans of large and small enterprises, driven by the need to build better teams, speed product and process development, and share knowledge and experiences among team members. Video conferencing, in turn, is adapting quickly to meet a whole new set of customer requirements. In fact, video conferencing has expanded from its early days of being a standalone room-centered technology to being an integral part of personal communications software on desktop and mobile devices.

Here I highlight six trends and developments that are bringing video conferencing into the corporate mainstream.

Microsoft's Edge browser will soon support Skype calls without a plugin

September 22, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by PCWorld

Windows 10 preview build 10547 features plenty of new tweaks and improvements, and among them is a preview of the Object RTC (ORTC) APIs for Microsoft Edge, a collection of tools that will make it easier for developers to build audio and video calling into Web apps without requiring any browser plugins.

Skype is a natural fit for ORTC, and sure enough, the Skype team announced Friday that it is working on new versions of Skype for Web and Skype for that take advantage of this new technology.

Primacoustic Paintables London room kits now available

September 22, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Audio Media International

Primacoustic has revealed that the Paintables versions of its London 8 and London 10 room kits - designed to provide everything you need to turn any room into a great sounding studio or home theatre - are now shipping.

Designed to address acoustical concerns that are common to all rooms, London kits help control primary reflections, flutter echo and excessive bass. Panels are mounted using Impalers that eliminate the use of wall-damaging glue.

Accenture Enlists Oblong Industries to Drive Analytics Usage

September 22, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Mike Vizard / IT Business Edge

Perhaps the biggest challenge associated with Big Data is not so much collecting it anymore, but rather figuring out what to do with it all. With that in mind, Accenture has enlisted Oblong Industries, a provider of telepresence systems, to make it easier to distribute visualizations of data created using the Accenture Analytics platform running on premise or in the cloud during a telepresence meeting.

Michael Bridges, managing director, information management and business intelligence for Accenture Analytics, says the most significant Big Data decision any organization can make is figuring out what use cases are actually worth the investment. IT organizations may wind up spending millions of dollars on Big Data analytics only to confirm either what the business already intuitively knows or provide an analytics result that is relevant to the business only a handful of times a year. In the latter case the organization might just as easily outsource that analytics process to a third-party provider versus investing in the infrastructure required to generate the result.

Whatever happened to Minority Report's technology predictions

September 18, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by The Guardian

Somewhere on Steven Spielberg's cutting-room floor are 20 minutes of footage shot for Minority Report, the sci-fi film from 2002 in which Tom Cruise memorably manoeuvred content around wall-sized computer screens by waving his hands. The 20 minutes were written by John Underkoffler, who also came up with the idea for the "gesture interface" used by Cruise, in his role as a chief of police catching criminals before they knew they intended to break the law.

The extra scenes - lost from the film - showed the back room: the people who processed all the data that was then routed upstairs to Cruise (playing police chief John Anderton) who would then waft them around the room.

New Microsoft and Salesforce collaborative video puts tech at the center of a mobile future

September 17, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Recently, Microsoft and new-found partner Salesforce have joined forces to bring us a nifty vision of what both companies believe is the future of mobile productivity. Every few years an extremely talented production team within Microsoft meets with the company's marketing teams, designers, and engineers to develop some truly inspiring pieces of visionary work. In the early 90's Microsoft produced a vision of what the future of Smart Homes could be. While a bit cringe-worthy in presentation, the company's ideas were not too far from today's reality. More recently, the Microsoft vision pieces outline a future of tech speckled with far out hardware and parallax visuals of information, people, and places floating all over the place.

Microsoft's more recent videos are seemingly designed to show an elegant future where the company helps people move information from one product to another. Men and women are often moving schedules and charts from impossibly thin glass tablets and phones to any other glass surface nearby in their offices or homes. Children are often found video conferencing from classrooms or kitchen areas on two-way glass displays and each piece of tech in the videos is voice or touch-operated. Microsoft has been crafting its vision pieces for over twenty years, and while the underlying theories were sound, the tech in the videos have typically been a bit too science fiction to take seriously.

Thanks to VR, Your Next Meeting Might Be With Robots

September 16, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Peter Rubin / WIRED

IF YOU'VE SEEN one slide deck in a meeting, you've seen them all. Unless, that is, you're a featureless robot, and everyone else in the room is a featureless robot, and the person talking you through the presentation is a featureless robot. Not in that Mondays-amirite office-humor way, either; I don't mean corporate drones, I mean literal featureless robots.

Oh, and the meeting room is perched on a hilltop surrounded by nothingness, and the dozen or so robots in the room are VR avatars for people who physically speaking are all over the country (and even as far away as Italy). This is a press conference--or product launch, or presentation, or robot uprising, or whatever you want to call it--for virtual-reality company AltspaceVR, to announce that it's finally cracked telepresence for the Samsung Gear VR mobile headset.

Behind the Scenes of Jimmy Kimmel's Cisco-Powered Video "Wall of America"

September 14, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Earlier this year Jimmy Kimmel Live launched the "Wall of America," a video wall powered by Cisco that lets viewers join on-stage via video (from any device) for a chance to be on the live broadcast.

With this Cisco video technology, Jimmy Kimmel Live is changing the fan experience by allowing them to be a "part" of the show every night. Through the Wall of America, fans have interacted with celebrity guests and played show-and-tell of favorite personal items.

The Alliance for Open Media Is Set to Create a Free Video Format

September 9, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Abel Avram / InfoQ

Several large Internet companies - Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix - have formed the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), an organization aiming to create an open royalty free video format that is interoperable, fit for various devices including mobile ones, supporting high quality video formats including UHD and commercial/non-commercial content.

The new format and codec will not start from scratch but it will be based on existing ones: VP9 from Google, Thor from Cisco and Daala backed by Mozilla and others. Thor is a newer format from Cisco, announced in August. While Cisco is one of the MPEG LA licensors, they have started to pursue a royalty free solution because they have several free products and the licenses for H.264 and H.265 are very high, according to Jonathan Rosenberg, VP at Cisco:

Can Cisco kill royalties for video codecs?

August 25, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images Caroline Gabriel / Rethink Wireless

Google made only limited headway against the might of the MPEG LA licensing body when it pushed its no-royalty alternative to H.264, VP8. Now a new round of wars over video codec standards - which will be essential to future mobile content experiences - has broken out. HEVC or H.265, is in the incumbent position, but is being battled by an open source challenger, this time from Cisco.

Cisco argues that HEVC has become too expensive, and too embroiled in a dangerous and costly patent war, to be the undisputed codec of choice for 4K and Ultra-HD video. As well as supporting those next generation video experiences on screens from large TVs to smartphones, HEVC technology will be important for more bandwidth-efficient Full HD delivery, bringing capacity relief to cellular and pay-TV networks.

FCC Chairman Promises Open-Source Video-Conferencing Platform for ASL-Signing Callers

August 25, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Ellen Muraskin / Channel Partners Online

FCC Chairman Tim Wheeler addressed the biannual meeting of the Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. (TDI) Conference in Baltimore on Thursday, with news of interest to anyone who works in assistive technologies..

The Commission is preparing an open-source videoconferencing platform for ASL (American Sign Language) communication and customer service, to be available "by this time next year." As a first step, Wheeler said, they will release mobile and desktop applications that "allow for text, voice and high-quality video calling into existing TRS (telecommunications relay service) providers."

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