And the Winner of the 5K race is…VidyoRouter
VidyoConferencing demonstrates 5K; breaks the 4K barrier

And we didn’t even break a sweat doing it! Apple announced the availability of the 27” iMac with Retina 5K Display on October 16, 2014.  Many of the bloggers wondered if there would be applications for 5K screen resolution beyond having room for tool-bars while editing 4K videos. We, at Vidyo, saw an opportunity to innovate and had one of these devices in our possession about 10 days after launch.  Within hours, we experienced the world’s first 5K videoconference.

Vidyo 5K Video Conferencing Experience

 Click here for the full Vidyo 5K experience.

So what’s the big deal? Why would anyone need 5K videoconferencing?

Vidyo 5K Quality Image

For starters, it’s an amazing experience for anyone who participates in group collaborations – think Apple Retina display vs. an older screen.  You can have up to 16 720p participants rendered in 1:1 pixel mapping on the screen at the same time. That’s 6x (611%) more pixels in your desktop conferencing than an expensive telepresence system.

Vidyo 5K Video Quality Comparison

Oh, and if you’re into research, industrial design, financial modeling with dense spread sheets, or any other application that depends on detailed imagery, content sharing is important to your video collaboration. Imagine seeing shared content from a device with an Apple Retina or 4K display in full native 4K resolution while having seven participants at 720P around it. Your eyes will breathe a sigh of relief, not having to squint or interpolate data in scaled down images of lower resolution endpoints.

10 Years of Innovation and Leadership at Vidyo

Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if available basis. The product plans, specifications, and descriptions are provided for information only and are subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied.  Vidyo reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time.

Vidyo Introduces Industry’s First Ultra HD Soft Room System

 

4K-room-web

 First Ultra HD Soft Room System perfect for customers that require remote participants to see fine details of shared content, like spreadsheets, CAD drawings or medical images.

If yours is like most companies, there are a significant number of collaboration spaces in your organization that are not yet videoconferencing enabled. Given the global nature of our economy today and the well documented productivity benefits of visual collaboration, it begs the question “why haven’t group video conferencing solutions become more pervasive?” The answer boils down to cost and user experience.

Vidyo’s uniquely adaptive software-based architecture has always leveraged the performance benefits of the ever-evolving PC market. It’s no exception that we are able to take advantage of new device enhancements, like 4K displays, to deliver an ever-improving user experience through software only upgrades. Ultra HD as a software only upgrade to our infrastructure, the VidyoRoom™ HD-230 and VidyoPanorama™ 600 are the latest examples of how software solutions protect customer investments where competitive hardware approaches end up obsolete within months of purchase. To make video more pervasive throughout collaboration spaces, the enterprise needs to think differently about the makeup of a group solution for huddle rooms or conference spaces…and now they can.

Today, Vidyo introduced the VidyoRoom SE (Software Edition), the world’s first Ultra HD capable software room system that supports the equivalent screen real estate of 4 x 1080p displays on a single seamless 4K elastic canvas that can be used to render greater than HD shared content in full native resolution. As an installable soft-client, VidyoRoom SE turns off-the-shelf computing platforms into fully functioning group systems with important features like:

  • Far End Camera Control (FECC)
  • Simple single button press calendar integration
  • Shared content automatically rendered on second screen when present
  • Remote controllability from room automation systems, tablets using the free VidyoRemote application or the hand-held remote control

Pair, for example, the VidyoRoom SE with the newest, most cutting edge USB PTZ camera, audio device and display – like off-the-shelf 4K or 1080p monitors, and you have a solution that sets a higher bar for room system performance while making it economically desirable to Vidyo-enable every collaboration space, in the enterprise, including huddle rooms.

 

huddleroom-workspace-web

VidyoRoom SE turns a convenient meeting place into a Vidyo-enabled workspace or “huddle room”.

With game-shifting innovations from Vidyo, the economics and logistics of video collaboration are radically changing for the better. Businesses are free to choose “best-of-breed” solutions and build integrated, multivendor systems using off-the-shelf, commodity hardware that make prices much more affordable, and configured to their particular need.

To get more information on today’s announcement, click here!

Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if available basis. The product plans, pricing, specifications, and descriptions are provided for information only and are subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied.  Vidyo reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time.

 

MarkNoble4aMark Noble is the VP of Strategic Marketing at Vidyo where he brings over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications and visual collaboration spaces. Mark works closely with customers and partners to develop new opportunities to lower their business and operations costs, while improving productivity and results, via Vidyo solutions. In addition, Mark works closely with the Sales and Marketing teams on positioning, messaging and product marketing programs. Mark’s experience ranges from engineering to business management. Before joining Vidyo, Mark worked at Bell Labs and on the AT&T Wireless account for Lucent. He also managed the development programs at UTStarcom for all wireless and IP softswitch products. Mark is adept at understanding new technologies and identifying new market opportunities that translate into profitable businesses.

 

Video Conferencing on the iPad, iPhone and Android Tablets and Smartphones

While VidyoMobile makes it possible to participate in unbelievably high quality multi-party video conferences over the broadband mobile network while you’re barreling down the highway, only do so from the passenger seat! Texting while driving has become a significant road hazard and is responsible for countless accidents—and texting has very limited engagement.  Just imagine how much more difficult it would be to concentrate on driving if you had a natural HD video interaction that made it feel like the participants were sitting in the car with you.

But there are so many other “safe” ways to use VidyoMobile that improves your flexibility to meet people face-to-face, and independently of whether the “far-end” participants are using mobile devices, laptop or desktop computers, SVC or H.323 appliance based room systems, or immersive telepresence systems. Assuming the iPad2 as the platform (and it really is a video conferencing endpoint in tablet clothing), there are three compelling modalities for the use of VidyoMobile.

Desktop Video Phone

VidyoMobile on a docked iPad 2 joining an HD multipoint video conference at 720p with 4 other laptops. (Note: This picture has not been photoshopped in any way.)

One of the nice things about using popular commercially available devices is ready access to low cost and very cool peripherals. Using an off-the-shelf speaker dock, VidyoMobile can turn your iPad2 into a very handy desktop video phone with a slim foot print.  This enables the user to have a stable hands-free experience with rich audio.  Since VidyoMobile supports shared content viewing and the neat zoom in/ zoom out pinch gestures provided by iOS, the collaborative experience is compelling.  And of course, when you are not VidyoConferencing, you can use it to add music to your work environment.

Mobile Access

VidyoMobile on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 viewing a shared PowerPoint presentation while joining a multipoint video conference with 4 other laptops. (Note: This picture has not been photoshopped in any way.)

Not all mobility happens in cars.  Could be that a doctor wants to walk down the hall to pick up lab results, in which case she could just pull the VidyoMobile device off of the dock and take the conference with her.  Since VidyoMobile on the iPad2 offers the ability to switch between front and rear facing cameras, mobility also means delivering “see what I see” capability into a conference. For a customer support specialist who is showing an engineer in a remote lab a problem on customer site, a process engineer who wants to show the design house a manufacturability issue on the production line, or a biologist in the field showing a rare plant life to a life sciences class half way around the world, this is mobility at its best.  Of course, mobility may also mean face to face interaction from the back of a cab, on board a train or in an airport.

Ad-hoc Room System

VidyoMobile on iPad 2 joining an HD multipoint video conference at 720p with 4 other laptops and a room system. (Note: This picture has not been photoshopped in any way.)

Did you know that there is an optional HDMI dongle for the iPad2?  Even better, the dongle also supports simultaneous connection to power.  So now the same device that you are able to use in a dock as a desktop video phone, and then undock and continue to use in-transit, can now connect to a large screen 1080P display when you get to your destination so that multiple people can participate in the conference from the same location as the VidyoMobile device.  While the conference room is certainly a popular application, just image taking a meeting or connecting with friends and family from your couch with the conference on your living room TV.

So remember, even though VidyoMobile simplifies the user experience to a screen tap to enter a conference with no devices to configure or manage, please don’t video conference while behind the wheel of a car.  There are plenty of other safe and productive ways and opportunities to use VidyoMobile. Besides, with the ability to meet face-to-face with anyone, anytime, from anywhere, you’ll have less reason to be behind the wheel of your car in the first place.

——————————————————————————————–

More info:

- VidyoMobile demonstration on iPad 2: View on YouTube.
- Full VidyoMobile press release: “Vidyo HD Multipoint Video Conferencing App for iPad2, iPhone Available Now”

Latency Matters

Sometimes people use the expression “timing is everything” very loosely, but when it comes to real time video communication, this colloquialism rings true. It is both irritating and frustrating when you are trying to have a meaningful exchange with someone and you end up with pregnant pauses between the time that you say something and the other end receives it. The results: frequent air-time collisions and lip sync so bad you feel like you’re conversing with a ventriloquist. This delay between transmit and receive is known as latency.

Latency has long been one of the most significant factors inhibiting video conferencing adoption. Those who struggled through it, did so for years because there were no alternatives. There are several contributing factors to the “glass to glass” latency in a video conferencing system, including network traversal, endpoint encode and decode, and, the greatest source of latency, the transcoding MCU. Now, however, with the arrival of a new class of solutions that have eliminated the need for transcoding, including Vidyo’s personal telepresence, end users have options and are beginning to demand more natural interactions from their visual communications experiences.

At the Visual Communications Industry Group’s first annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL this week, Bob Dixon of the Ohio Academic Resources Network and Ben Fineman of Internet 2 hosted a session on Desktop Collaboration Tools. Vidyo and three other vendors were invited to participate in the session to provide a live demonstration of their desktop solution, have a couple customers join via their tool to talk about their use cases, and give a brief presentation regarding the solution.

Tandberg withdrew from the event citing that they wouldn’t have anyone in the area to do it… When Polycom gave their demonstration and presentation. Latency. Like Tandberg their dependency on the transcoding MCU for multipoint conferences puts them at a disadvantage in terms of performance.

Users in the audience, after suffering through the latency issue for years, were quick to identify it and were effectively demanding a higher quality solution. In short, they were looking for Vidyo. Happily, they found us on the show floor and in our presentation on scaling video conferencing deployments. And soon, they’ll find us in their network, where their MCU used to be.

——————————————————————————————————–

Related Links:

- Visual Communications Industry Group’s Website
- Vidyo’s YouTube Channel
- The International Business Time’s Article: Cisco Home Telepresence Rumors Fuel Speculation, Doubt

Make IT Personal

If your life is anything like mine, you may find yourself longing for a personal assistant.  Someone who can off load mundane tasks that consume time but aren’t core to your daily objectives.  Of course such a luxury is not in most of our household budgets, but what if your smart phone were truly smart enough to perform this role?

VidyoMobile Technology Demonstration on Samsung Galaxy, iPad and iPhone 4

VidyoMobile Technology Demonstration on Samsung Galaxy, iPad and iPhone 4

Justin Rattner’s keynote address in the final day of the Intel Developer’s Forum focused on context computing – making the machine more aware of the user’s surroundings so that it could best provide information and services without being specifically asked to do so.  One application that is being co-developed between Intel and Fodor enables a hand held travel companion to proactively identify nearby points of interest, restaurants, and even make recommendations with regard to appropriate attire based upon weather conditions.  The device utilizes a variety of “hard” (accelerometer, GPS, etc.) and “soft” (web searches, calendar, etc.) sensors to learn about the user’s behavior, tastes and preferences such that the device become better at anticipating the user’s interests over time.

This technology is intriguing with a great many applications that can enhance the user’s quality of life, but as is the case with most behavior altering technologies, there is a cost. Increasingly, our interactions during the course of the day are with machines, lacking a certain critical element – the human element.  For example, if I were touring a vacation spot and didn’t have a device to tell me where to eat, I would stop to ask one of the locals where the best restaurants are in town. In doing so, I may engage in conversation and learn something new about the area and satisfy my basic human need for interaction with other people.

But perhaps there is a compromise.  What if my smart phone could be my personal assistant and off load mundane tasks but then connect me face to face with other people when I am ready for human interaction?  This is the beauty of VidyoMobile – making sure that your personal assistant remains… well… personal.

——————————————————————————————————–

Related Links:

- VidyoMobile Demonstration
- BusinessWeek Article: Virtual Meetings for Real-World Budgets
- TechCrunch Article: Vidyo Bets On The iPad And iPhone for the Future of Videoconfering
- PC Mag’s Article:  Video Telephony: The Next Big Thing. Again.