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"Immersive Communications:" An Upcoming Telepresence Alternative

April 8, 2011 | Howard Lichtman
Alcatel - lucent.jpg
An Alcatel-Lucent Immersive Communications video conference. Each of the individuals are in different locations, with the Immersive Communications software taking "cut-outs" of them and transposing them into a single virtual conference room.

Cisco. Polycom. LifeSize. Vidyo. Radvision. Magor. When it comes to developers of video conferencing solutions for use in business settings, these are some of the names that immediately spring to my mind. HP, as well, with the telepresence solution formerly called Halo.

Developers of business communications solutions (or business-grade telephony platforms, or software-based real-time voice systems, or whatever other convoluted euphemism you might choose to invoke to avoid saying PBX) without video conferencing products of their own tend to partner with one or more of these to add room-based video conferencing solutions to their portfolio.

But - without developing a comprehensive set of Polycom-like video conferencing systems of their own - some business communications solution (PBX) developers are beginning to get quite creative in the video conferencing options they are introducing. Avaya has its Desktop Video Device and related Flare interface. Aastra has ViPR and more recently the BluStar desktop device, which can facilitate multipoint video conferences without need of an MCU. Cisco, of course, has Cius and a full line of desktop, room-based and immersive telepresence solutions.

And Alcatel-Lucent's enterprise group is talking more about video conferencing than it has in the past. Like Avaya and Siemens Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent has a line of room-based video conferencing systems from a third-party partner (LifeSize). And like Aastra, Avaya and Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent has a new telephone/desktop video end point (My IC Phone). This has been written about a bit, so I'm going to leave it at that because I want to move on to OpenTouch. OpenTouch is on the one hand the name for Alcatel-Lucent's new product architecture and on the other hand a new suite of products based on the architecture.

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