Vidyo Makes Scientific Collaboration VISUALLY Compelling at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

If you haven’t been blown away sufficiently by some of the most recent Vidyo-related news you’ve read … here’s the latest on Vidyo’s never-ending list of WOW items! The preliminary phase of a nationwide communications system for scientific collaboration across academic, industrial and government partners has been recently completed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the largest science and energy national laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy system. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.

So what does Vidyo have to do with this system that is now providing the core communications solution to connect such renowned institutions as ORNL, Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Lab, Idaho National Lab, MIT, NC State University, Westinghouse, University of Michigan, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)?

EVERYTHING!

Vidyo, in conjunction with Digital Video Enterprise (DVE) telepresence, helped develop the Virtual Office Community and Computing (VOCC) Laboratory that provides, real-time video and information exchange among a national science team engaged in the modeling and simulation of light water reactors (LWRs). The custom-designed Vidyo-DVE network is a unique telepresence and agile video collaboration environment that includes a massive, multipoint energy sciences exchange is able to link all types of endpoints, from tablets and smart devices to immersive telepresence rooms and visualization venues.

For the next phase of development, the VOCC Laboratory plans to continue the partnership with Vidyo to develop a scalable, affordable, secure, and interoperable telepresence that will support collaborative communication between the Department of Energy (DOE) Critical Materials Energy Innovation Hub and their biggest materials customer, the Department of Defense (DOD). The VOCC lab is piloting an effort to establish a multi-user collaboration community using a beta version DOD portal provided by Vidyo. The planned conferencing suite meets DOD Joint Interoperability Test Command’s (JITC) requirements, including related Defense Switch Network (DSN) and IPV6 interoperability requirements. Vidyo is the first software-based, telepresence-quality video conferencing solution to be JITC certified and is fully compatibility with H.323/SIP standards based end points and infrastructure.

For more details about this exciting announcement from ORNL, click here.

Telehealth Trailblazers

During the week of ATA 2012, Vidyo hosted our inaugural Healthcare Advisory Council meeting on May 2nd  at our Executive Briefing Center in Redwood Shores, CA.

Council members participated in a dynamic exchange of current use cases, future trends and best practices in healthcare using video conferencing solutions from Vidyo.  A common theme emerged as council members recounted the benefits of expanded access to quality healthcare through the use of Vidyo between endpoints such as the iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.  Please review this 5 minute highlight video if you want to understand how Vidyo, along with these thought leaders, are demonstrating the vision that is needed within Healthcare today.

Vidyo Co-founder and CEO, Ofer Shapiro, delivered a presentation highlighting recent announcements to the Vidyo portfolio and engaged in dialogue with the council members about video conferencing needs in healthcare. At a time where healthcare expenses are rising at astounding rates, Vidyo technology is enabling patients to see the appropriate healthcare professionals without having to leave their homes.  Vidyo is also enabling consults between healthcare professionals to occur in a timely manner between locations only limited by the reach of the internet.

Also presenting at the council was Dr. Dale Alverson of the University of New Mexico and Dr. Jeff Kessler of the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth.

Dr. Alverson, a past President of ATA, talked about the global aspects of International Telehealth, specifically discussing the ability of doctors in the Amazon to meet with remote patients and local healthcare professionals while working from a floating clinic.

Dr. Kessler revealed that the number of Telehealth patient encounters in 2011 in GA alone was over 40,000. The fields of psychiatry, neurology, Telestroke and rural patient care have been most aggressive in utilizing video conferencing thus far, and expansions into many other fields are rapidly emerging.

Council members and the Vidyo executive team came away from the meeting with a great deal of excitement about the future prospects of Vidyo-enabled telemedicine and Telehealth solutions to improve the quality and decrease the cost of providing critical services to patients around the world.

New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett Meets With Vidyo CEO and Co-Founder Ofer Shapiro

Vidyo’s CEO, Ofer Shapiro, had the pleasure of hosting Congressman Scott Garrett (R), from New Jersey’s Fifth District at Headquarters in Hackensack, NJ.  The Congressman was given a tour of our offices and a demo of VidyoPanorama, where he witnessed a multi-point VidyoConference with participants as far reaching as Brussels.

During his visit, the Congressman spoke to Ofer about Vidyo’s role in local job creation as well as important strides made in sales and certification with the Federal Government.

Vidyo Co-Founder and CEO Ofer Shapiro meets with Congressman Scott Garrett (R), from New Jersey’s Fifth District

The Congressman was interested in learning how Vidyo’s architecture compares to competitors and the advantages of our price points.

“I want to thank Vidyo for taking the time to explain their business and show me the technology they are working on right here in New Jersey,” said Congressman Garrett. “In honor of National Small Business Week, they follow a great American tradition of turning an innovative idea into a successful business with lots of hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Thank you Congressman Garrett for taking interest in Vidyo!!

Sify and Vidyo Partner: “Sify videomeet” Brings New-Generation Video Conferencing to Indian Enterprises

Sify Technologies Limited announced today the launch of Sify videomeet: This new service is powered by Vidyo and thus benefits from its unique architecture, enabling ubiquitous HD video conferencing from anywhere, any time, on any device and any network.

“We are proud to partner with Sify in India,” added Vidyo CMO & SVP of Corporate Development Ashish Gupta. “With the growing penetration of smartphones, laptops and tablets in the region, Vidyo’s software-based approach to videoconferencing on multiple devices over non-dedicated networks is the ideal solution for the market in India. Vidyo’s Adaptive Video Layering collaboration platform is perfectly suited for emerging markets like India, offering low latency, natural, affordable, high-quality video that works over an Internet connection, whether wired or wireless including WiFi and 4G. We look forward to empowering Sify with the technology backbone required to extend this service to other customer segments.”

 

Sify videomeet will enable emerging businesses & enterprises to have video conferencing at less than Rs. 3 per minute. Customers could pay a fixed rental for getting unlimited video conferencing access or avail the ‘pay-per-use’ option. This service also eliminates the need for a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) or any other video conferencing device at the premises of the customer, thereby reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

 

“Sify videomeet, the Video Conferencing-as-a-service is a rich addition to our converged ICT services portfolio bringing competitive advantage to our customer’s business,” said Daniel Alex senior VP network services of Sify technologies. Built on the strength of our industry-leading Network Services, with Vidyo’s innovative technology, this new-generation service will empower enterprises of all sizes to collaborate cost-effectively and in a secure manner. Our strategic partnership with Vidyo will help us innovate for our customers to keep them ahead in their businesses.”

For more on the Sify-Vidyo partnership: Read the full press release, or this Hindu Business Line article.

Vidyo CEO and Co-Founder Ofer Shapiro Announced as 2012 Innovator Awards Finalist

The Innovator Awards (TIA), offers venture capitalists the chance to honor their successes, fellow board members and portfolio companies with a prestigious award. This year, TIA’s Big Idea Award – which honors the most disruptive business model in the past 12-18 months – selected Vidyo CEO and co-founder Ofer Shapiro as one of 4 finalists!

Other finalists include Victoria Ransom (Wildfire Interactive co-founder and CEO),  Drew Houston (Dropbox founder & CEO) and  Mark Gilbreath (LiquidSpace CEO). The award,  presented by IBF, SVB, BDO, Mercedes Benz, ReedSmith and Sherwood Partners, is an important one here in the Valley.

This is very exciting news for Vidyo and a great honor for Ofer!

 

Vidyo’s Virtual Field Trip Connects California Middle Schoolers With Arizona State University Scientist and Researcher

Last November, we shared with you the story of the San Carlos Charter Learning Center (SCCLC) and showed how Vidyo’s platform for education provided 22 California middle schoolers the opportunity to participate in a virtual field trip and spend an afternoon at a museum in Denver, 1,289 miles from their Bay Area classroom.

Monday, the San Carlos Charter Learning Center held another Vidyo-powered virtual field trip! This time the school took them to a laboratory at Arizona State University’s School of Life and Sciences (ASU-SOLS).

As some of you may recall, ASU has been using Vidyo’s technology to connect biology students to experts and leading research scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s facilities on Barro Colorado Island, in the middle of the Panama Canal. This program allows students to explore the jungles of Panama from their classrooms miles away in Tempe, Arizona. (If you’ve missed the video, you can always check it out here.)

The ASU-SOLS-Smithsonian virtual classroom project was so successful that the faculty at ASU decided to participate in a new Vidyo-powered field trip. Professor Quentin D. Wheeler, Director of the International Institute for Species Exploration and Senior Sustainability Scientist at ASU and Chuck Kazilek, Assistant Dean of Technology, Media and Communications, worked closely with Ben Sibrack, science and language teacher at SCCLC, to develop a suitable and pertinent class lesson which coincided with content closely aligned to material being studied in the fifth and sixth grade class and ASU’s “Ask a Biologist” program.

The lesson connected many fields of study including Biology, Entomology and Taxonomy. Leveraging Vidyo’s technology, the students could naturally interact and ask questions to Quentin and Chuck over the course of the class. They were also able to take a peek into ASU’s  laboratory, and witness for themselves some of the hundreds of species of bugs being studied. Using a MacBook and a simple, off-the-shelf, USB camera, the ASU team was able to show the San Carlos students some of the lab’s most interesting insect specimens, both dead and alive!

Courtesy The San Mateo Daily Journal

The classroom at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center was simply equipped with a regular MacBook plugged into an HD monitor and an off-the-shelf webcam. An iPad 2 was also connected to the videoconference so that the students could pass it around and personally see content shared from ASU. The students were even able to use the iPad 2’s back camera as a means to show Quentin and Chuck their own collection of insects, including a live Madagascar hissing cockroach. Both endpoints were connected over a standard Internet Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections.

 

The SCCLC staff and students weren’t the only ones impressed by this Vidyo-powered virtual field trip! US Congresswoman Jackie Speier also stopped by and was able to witness for herself the benefits of virtual learning.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA., visits Vidyo-powered Virtual Field trip with SCCLC Director, Chris Mahoney and Vidyo CMO & SVP of Corporate Development, Ashish Gupta.

In a conversation with Vidyo, Professor Wheeler explained that he has been working on developing tools designed to manipulate and examine insect specimens remotely: Anyone from anywhere in the world, will soon be able to control the tools and cameras at the lab in Arizona. Chuck was thrilled by the potential of combining these remote controlled tools with Vidyo’s platform. “This is the closest thing to teleportation!”, he said with a smile.

ASU Emeritus Professor Shapard Wolf, also involved in the virtual field trip planning, explained how the Vidyo/ASU collaboration was born, “We first used Vidyo…to bring the research being done in the Panamanian rain forest into the classrooms in the ASU campus in the Tempe desert, allowing the students here to interact with the researchers on site. Since then, I’ve seen Vidyo used in many situations, from researchers collaborating across three continents, to second graders in a Texas classroom talking with one of our expert entomologists and wondering at his specimens of beetles as held them to the camera.”

Seeing the excited expressions on the school children’s faces and knowing that they’ve seen something that previously would have required an enormous amount of logistical effort was a very rewarding experience for us at Vidyo!

Vidyo’s education products are eligible for discounts through E-Rate, a federally funded program that provides assistance for schools and libraries to purchase telecommunications and Internet access. To learn more about how to equip your school with Vidyo’s technology, stop by our site.

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Related Links:

- Article about the San Carlos Charter Learning Center’s last Vidyo Virtual Field Trip: “Federal E-Rate Program Helping K-12 Classrooms Travel the Globe
- Aricle about the ASU-SOLS-Smithsonian virtual classroom project: ”Vidyo’s Education in Biological Diversity

- More about Vidyo’s platform for Education: Click here.

 

Vidyo Demonstrates HD Video Conference Connecting VidyoPanorama System to Kindle Fire and Other Mobile Devices

ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2012 is one of the largest professional AV and systems integration trade show ever held in Europe.  Though the conference ends today (2/2), we’re happy to report that Vidyo’s demo – hosted by COMM-TEC — created big buzz, generating much interest among the many in attendance — manufacturers, distributors, integrators, and technology managers from over 100 countries worldwide.

The Vidyo demo focused on the flexibility and interoperability of our groundbreaking high definition, software-based video conferencing solution.  It featured the VidyoMobile client running on some of the most popular iOS and Android tablets and smart phones — including the Kindle Fire, iPad®2, iPhone® 4S, in addition to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smart phone running Ice Cream Sandwich.  All of these devices were connected live with one another and with VidyoDesktop and VidyoPanorama systems located across the world, in a multipoint, HD video conference, over wireless and public Internet networks.

It blew the socks off of ISE attendees.  But don’t just take our word for it … check out this short video clip featuring Vidyo’s own Fraser Dean, sales director for Vidyo UK, showing a Vidyo conference on VidyoPanorama (Vidyo’s  groundbreaking personal telepresence solution that delivers the industry’s first affordable 1080p at 60 fps solution supporting up to 9 screens) that was accessed on an iPhone 4S!  We think that’s pretty darn cool.

 

Security: Not All Video Conferencing Platforms Are Created Equal

Last night, Nicole Perlroth wrote an interesting piece about corporate security and video camera hacking issues. The article resonated throughout the web and rightfully so: security is – and should be – a major concern when it comes to corporate networks. Luckily, not all video conferencing platforms are created equal, the VidyoRouter provides a level of security superior to other video conferencing solutions.

The article highlights two key issues:

  1. People are deploying endpoints on public IPs. Why? Because it is too difficult, too expensive or both to place them on their intranet and solve the firewall traversal issue AND they need to be able to connect with people outside of their corporate network.
  2. As directly accessible devices, legacy room systems are inherently prone to hacking when visible in public space, particularly when they ship by default with the auto answer feature turned on (as is the case with Polycom). The way these devices are accessed is dialing of an IP string from another legacy endpoint. There is no layer of protection between the two.

Here’s how Vidyo addresses these issues:

  1. VidyoRouter Cloud Edition enables customers to solve firewall traversal as a deployment option without buying expensive dedicated equipment or paying for special licensing. By deploying a low cost VidyoRouter appliance inside the corporate network and another in the DMZ, firewall traversal is achieved natively and transparently from the user’s perspective by establishing explicit IP to IP rules on the firewall between the two trusted and secured devices. Using this approach, it becomes easy to keep all of the room system endpoints on the corporate network, behind the firewall, without sacrificing performance or accessibility to the rest of the world, and without adding cost to deployment.
  2. All of the Vidyo endpoints connect through the VidyoRouter and are not directly accessible from another endpoint. The VidyoRouter inherently provides the endpoint with a layer of security from third party hacking and voyeurism with technology built in for spoof prevention (other devices can’t pretend to be a trusted part of the Vidyo network), encrypted token technology for session security, HTTPS with certificate support on login, and TLS with certification for signaling as examples. It is not possible for a would-be hacker to connect directly to a Vidyo endpoint that is on the public network simply by dialing an IP address as is the case with legacy video conferencing endpoints.

Bottom line: Vidyo’s architecture not only delivers higher performance in terms of user experience over converged IP networks, but it also prevents the kind of malicious voyeurism legacy endpoints are susceptible to when left in public space with the auto-answer feature enabled.

 

Vidyo Helps Haiti Medical Education Project Rebuild Haiti’s Healthcare System, Donates VidyoConferencing Solution to Help Train Local Doctors

How about an uplifting news story for a change?  Here’s a short but important CNN video clip that aired over this past weekend.  As we mark the second anniversary of the earthquake that demolished much of Haiti, many of international news reports have focused on the fact that there is still so much that needs to be done to help this ravaged country.  But here is one very positive account of countries, universities, medical practitioners and Vidyo (!) coming together to ensure that Haiti’s own medical community is restored and able to thrive into the future.

The Haiti Medical Education (HME) Project — a non-profit (501c3) organization, established by international healthcare providers, academics, and social activists — was founded in 2010, following the devastating earthquake that brought worldwide attention to Haiti and its people.  Working in alliance with Haitian medical leadership, faculty, and students to preserve and further the education of the many displaced Haitian medical students affected by the earthquake disaster, its mission is to restore and build upon both the physical and curricular infrastructure of existing Haitian medical schools and teaching hospitals, to ensure that the next generation of Haitian doctors and medical leaders are ready to care for Haiti.

When HME coordinators identified “distance learning” via video conferencing as the best and fastest means to reactivate medical classes in Haiti, they were initially dismayed at the problems they encountered with most video conferencing systems they tried.

Dr. Galit M. Sacajiu, President and Medical Education Director of HME, explains: “Haiti’s problematic Internet connections and typically antiquated computer hardware presented major challenges when we first attempted to initiate remote classes via video communications. Vidyo was the only solution that was able to make these critical video connections at all possible. Vidyo’s capacity to support video conferencing under less-than-optimal bandwidth conditions was key to getting us up and running.”

VidyoConferencing used in Haiti by Medical Students

Since Vidyo’s products do not rely on specialized networks or equipment and can deliver quality video with even limited broadband connections, Vidyo was able to jump in and provide timely help in for this critical situation completely free of charge.

To date, 60 international medical professors from a variety of medical institutions — including Dartmouth College, Harvard Medical School, Albert Einstein Medical School in the U.S., McGill University and Montreal University Medical Schools in Canada, and Lyons University Medical School in France – have volunteered their time and expertise to enable Haitian physicians/medical students to continue their medical studies through a Vidyo-supported lecture program.   Currently there are 45+ Haitian medical students enrolled in the program and the number is expected to grow as the program expands.

According to HME lecturer and the Chairman of  HMEP advisory board advisor Dr. Brain Remillard, Associate Professor of Medicine and Section Chief, Nephrology & Hypertension, Dartmouth Medical School, “The task of physically rebuilding Haiti’s entire hospital and medical school infrastructure is incredibly complex; if we had to wait for the actual facilities to be constructed, we would lose a whole generation of physicians. Vidyo has helped us offer ‘knowledge without borders.’  What we can do with this assistance from Vidyo is revolutionary; we’re able to use cutting-edge technology to open up the world and the free flow of knowledge to make sure the best and the brightest young physicians in Haiti STAY in Haiti where they are desperately needed.”

At the core of HME’s Vidyo-supported initiative is a weekly lecture series taught by prominent medical educators from Canada, the United States and France who are able to instruct the Haitian students via high-quality VidyoConferencing that is accessed over the Internet, despite low-bandwidth limitations. The remote medical faculty members are able to clearly see and respond to the Haitian students, plus share documents via Vidyo; the students are likewise able to interact with the instructors.

Through this series, not only do Haitian medical students now have the opportunity to receive the needed credits to complete their medical degree, but the country’s practicing physicians are able to keep apprised of the latest medical information and techniques.  The HME project is currently working with at least ten clinical facilities in Haiti.

Haiti's first White Coat ceremony took place last weekend

A proof point of HME’s success was highlighted over this past weekend.  The first-ever Haitian “white coat ceremony”, an event during which medical students are formally welcomed into the doctoring profession, took place at  Quisqueya Medical School (QMS) in Pétion-Ville, Haïti.  During the ceremony, the graduating class took the Hippocratic Oath, which stresses the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship and the importance of compassion in medicine. This ceremony traditionally symbolizes the long journey towards professionalism and healing that all doctors must complete. To these particular Haitian medical students, the event provided an even greater measure of significance and pride.  Vidyo is gratified and honored to play a role in this milestone.

CES Show-Goers at ShowStoppers: Make Sure to Stop by Vidyo!!

Tonight the ever-exciting CES 2012 ShowStoppers event will take place in Las Vegas … and, as always, the level of “WOW” will be off the charts as new products and groundbreaking technologies vie for the attention of CES attendees. Vidyo’s contribution to the excitement this year is sure to generate a lot of WOW electricity!

Vidyo was able to get multipoint video conferencing up and running on Amazon’s new Kindle Fire – and tonight at CES ShowStoppers we’ll be showcasing this as another proof point of how Vidyo has lead the way into a new generation video conferencing solutions.  We’ll also be featuring the latest platform support for its VidyoMobile™ HD video conferencing software client: Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ running on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smart phone. The new Android mobile platform will be part of a live, multi-point, global video conference connecting an extensive variety of endpoints on iOS and Android mobile devices including Kindle Fire, plus desktops, laptops and room systems. ShowStoppers takes place tonight from 6 to 10pm in the Lafite Ballroom of the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

And – while you’re at CES this week – you can also find Vidyo at the Alcatel-Lucent Booth – #31412 South Upper Hall  - as Vidyo teams with Alcatel-Lucent and other ng Connect member companies to provide a glimpse into videoconferencing and broadband-enabled service concepts in the transportation, public safety and healthcare industries. According to Jason Collins, Vice President of Emerging Technology and Innovation at Alcatel-Lucent, “Vidyo is an ideal fit for the ng Connect Program, where we show how high-bandwidth networks can transform specific industries to spur excitement about future possibilities. The integration of live videoconferencing, by leveraging Vidyo’s ability to deliver a high quality, flexible video conferencing solution over a range of devices, helps the service concepts achieve an even greater impact and a more compelling value proposition.”

And don’t forget to check out the Vidyo-based retail kiosk demo — part of the Connected Retail Experience demo in the Verizon booth (Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Booth #32059)! Vidyo is teaming with Verizon Wireless to showcase sophisticated HD videoconferencing over a 4G LTE network that can help make shopping more fun for consumers and more profitable for retailers.  In the Connected Retail Experience, a Virtual Personal Stylist (VPS) shows how shopping for new clothes can become both an easier and a richer experience over the 4G LTE network.

We hope you are having a fun, productive time at CES … and hope to see you at ShowStoppers tonight!