Deploying WebRTC: Straight Ahead, with Two Sharp Turns

It seems everybody will be showing up at the WebRTC III Conference and Expo this week. The event has quickly become the premier venue for all things related to WebRTC, and attracts hundreds of people to standing-room-only presentations. It is rare that a technology generates so much interest so early in its development phase.

A lot of the industry excitement is perfectly justified. Until now, video and audio communication was only possible using dedicated applications and devices. WebRTC will provide a standardized API to the functions of a real-time communication device, built into a web browser. This will decouple application development from video engine development and unleash web-based application development creativity into the real-time communications arena. Video and audio communication will now be integrated into applications in ways that were previously not possible. Although companies like Vidyo have already been creating APIs for their video engines, WebRTC is the first instance of an industry-standard API. The fact that it originates from W3C and IETF further solidifies its credentials. The elimination of the “download” step is also very important in several application deployment scenarios.

In the midst of the excitement, however, there are two things that need to be considered. First, putting an API around a video and audio engine does not mean that one has solved the problems of packet-based video and audio transport over the Internet. This includes congestion control, rate control, error resilience, error concealment, among many others. An API is, and should be, transparent with respect to all these issues, since it does not affect application design and implementation. The quality of experience that a user will get, however, depends on what’s under the hood.

Vidyo has demonstrated that scalable video coding is the way forward for high quality, real-time video over the Internet, and nearly all companies in the field have followed our lead. Our recent announcement with Google concerning the development of a scalable video extension for VP9 is further testament to the need for scalability on the video codec, regardless of its origin. An inherent benefit of the WebRTC architecture is that one will be able to use a better codec without changing any part of the application’s code.

The second consideration that WebRTC enthusiasts should take into account is that in order for WebRTC to fulfill its promise of ubiquitous use of video and audio communication in web applications, it must be possible to design servers that can support the scale of these video and audio applications. This is essential for multi-point applications. A WebRTC server application must be able to support hundreds of users to be economically sensible. Traditional transcoding servers (MCUs) that have been used in videoconferencing are very complex, expensive, introduce unacceptable delay, and have very poor scalability (number of simultaneous users). This is a well-known problem in the video conferencing industry, and one that Vidyo has successfully solved with its patented VidyoRouter architecture. The VidyoRouter performs no transcoding, and can support hundreds of users from a single 1 RU box. Introduced in 2008, together with the first-ever Scalable Video Coding (SVC) endpoint design, it brought video conferencing in line with any other network application. Today the VidyoWorks platform represents the best solution for supporting large-scale WebRTC deployments.

There is no doubt in my mind that WebRTC represents a great leap forward for video and audio communication. In fact, I am sure we will all be surprised by the range and reach of the applications that will be developed. All the elements are getting in place and the road ahead is clear for its deployment and widespread use. Application developers should realize, however, that WebRTC is an endpoint API. Architects must take into consideration all the additional elements that are required to create successful applications that can scale to large numbers of users, and provide the high quality that users expect. A scalable codec and a non-transcoding server are the two most important elements.

The excitement today about WebRTC is centered on the application development community. If we are to transfer it to the user community we must make sure that we deliver the best possible quality and experience to them. In the past, legacy videoconferencing systems failed to meet consumer expectations so users shied away from using it. Today we finally have the technical know-how to deliver superb video and audio quality everywhere. We must make sure that we use it; users will reject any application, or technology, that falls short regardless of how promising the architecture may be.

Alex drives the technical vision and direction for Vidyo and also represents the company on standardization committees and technical advisory boards. He is an award-winning researcher, bringing over 23 years of research experience in video compression and communications to his role at Vidyo. Prior to Vidyo he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. Alex has more than 100 publications, holds 64 patents (several of which are used in Blu-ray Disc, H.264/AVC, and ATSC digital television systems), and has served as the Editor of the MPEG-4 Systems specification, Co-Editor of the H.264 SVC Conformance specification, and Co-Editor of IETF’s RTP Payload Format for SVC.  He is a Member of the Boards of IMTC and of the UCI Forum, and co-chairs the IMTC SVC Activity Group as well as the UCI Forum’s SVC Technical Working Group.

 

Vidyo Sets Benchmarks: Leads Video Conferencing Market Trends and Industry Follows Suit

From the time we unveiled our first product in 2008, Vidyo has been noted as an innovation leader in video communications and collaboration. We have continued to advance the industry and repeatedly deliver on our promise to provide superior video conferencing solutions for our customers and partners. Again and again, we demonstrate new and innovative ways to bring video conferencing to the masses through our patented technology, based on scalable video coding (SVC).

Today it is clear that the new paradigm introduced by Vidyo years ago ultimately caused a shift in the video communications market. More and more large-scale Vidyo deployments are being realized — such as CERN’s, hosting thousands of Vidyo meetings a month or Google Hangouts, servicing tens of millions of users. Market leaders and opinion makers who may have once been skeptical are now acknowledging that Vidyo really HAS changed the game. Vidyo set the bar in video communications and the value proposition that we articulated so many years ago has now become the precedent for those looking to invest in a future-proof, scalable video conferencing solution.

Recognized market analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester have been following this industry for years, even before Vidyo came on the scene. It is their mission to collect both qualitative and quantitative data about industry innovation and new market developments; these organizations have been long-trusted for providing astute, comprehensive information for those interested in the market. Recently, two reports, in particular, are of note. Why? Because, we believe both the Gartner, IT Market Clock for Enterprise Video, 2013 and the Forrester Wave™: Desktop Videoconferencing, Q3 2013 validate Vidyo’s long-standing vision for the entire market. Vidyo believes the Forrester Wave Desktop Videoconferencing, Q3 2013 report supports key trends that are core to its value proposition:

• The shift from hardware room systems to software endpoints
• The importance of a strong mobile solution
• The proliferation of WebRTC
• Scalable video coding (SVC) based architecture that Vidyo pioneered allowing the best video quality among all participants

We believe these are trends and market directions that Vidyo has pioneered and cultivated, some for over five years! Diving deeper into the analysis, we believe the “,” found below, indicates that these types of innovations may make the difference and are “the advantages” in a changing video conferencing market.

In addition, our collaboration with Google to bring Vidyo’s SVC technology to WebRTC, and our work in standardizing H.265 SVC, are further evidence that our unique architecture is both standards-agnostic and future-proof. Vidyo continually hones its time-tested arsenal of vision, technology leadership and knowledge to continue to lead the market in innovation.

Gartner, IT Market Clock for Enterprise Video, 2013
This IT Market Clock illustrates the relative market maturity and commoditization levels for the leading enterprise video asset classes (see “Introducing the Gartner IT Market Clock”).

 

What makes the above Gartner, IT Market Clock for Video Enterprise, 2013 analysis especially interesting is that, we believe it strongly validates Vidyo’s strengths and initiatives. It’s a clear illustration of the individual
components that comprise Vidyo’s unique value proposition and future-proof product line for IT and business leaders and confirms what we have been stating for many years.

Below are a few key findings from the report:

  • Video conferencing endpoints are shifting from a mix of purpose-built room appliances to a broader base of endpoints that now include unified communications (UC) solutions, dedicated softclients, browser based endpoints and mobile apps.
  • Video infrastructure associated with multipoint bridging and hosted conferencing is transitioning from high performance hardware platforms to more scalable software implementations to support a larger population of endpoints and to reach a growing base of ad hoc demand users.
  • Video codec innovation presents more integration challenges for enterprises that do not have sufficient governance of their video endpoints and infrastructure.
  • Enterprises are demonstrating the desire to leverage video for broadcasting, narrowcasting, virtual
    presence and a range of other applications outside of traditional telephony and conferencing.
    Many of these use cases place additional emphasis on the storage and search of video content.
  • Cloud implementations of video-as-a-service are moving beyond existing exchange and federation models to facilitate the mixing of consumer, enterprise and extra-enterprise video systems for ad hoc calls.

The report underscores a significant shift in the market, towards personal and mobile endpoints. We believe this is reshaping the landscape for group video collaboration.

The Forrester Wave™: Desktop Videoconferencing, Q3 2013
In another recent market analysis, Vidyo received top ranking for its technology partners in the Forrester Wave™: Desktop Videoconferencing, Q3 2013. Forrester cited Vidyo as a “strong performer” and as having “best overall video quality and performance” of all the 10 vendors that participated in its September 2013 analysis.

According to the report, “Vidyo’s routing architecture shifts the heavy media-processing power from bridges to the endpoints, significantly reducing the cost per port to deploy video conferencing.” Additionally, “In our demo, Vidyo clearly delivered the best overall video quality, even with a large number of participants. Vidyo is foremost a provider of desktop video conferencing but also sells room systems based on the same software and routing architecture. Its ability to deliver solutions from the desktop to the conference room put it more squarely in competition with room-based vendors…” The report also states, “In contrast to our 2012 evaluation of Vidyo, during the 2013 Forrester Wave, it provided impressive enterprise customer references, each using its technology on a large scale.”

For all of these years, Vidyo’s overarching message has been that video conferencing must be simple, natural and universal. We’ve repeatedly stated that video conferencing needs to work on any device, be available on any type of Internet connection, and be accessible to everyone at an affordable price. This is why we’re especially pleased to receive such acknowledgement and affirmation from these two market reports.

The transition in the Enterprise from “minimal adoption” to “main stream adoption” of video conferencing has been exciting to watch and be a part of. Vidyo has made a significant contribution to this shift in the market, which is evidenced by the findings of the Gartner and Forrester reports. We urge you to connect the dots …. REALLY consider what these analyses indicate. Download the full Gartner, IT Market Clock for Enterprise Video, 2013 report here.

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*Gartner, IT Market Clock for Enterprise Video, 2013, Robert F. Mason | Whit Andrews, 12 September 2013

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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.

 

Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, has been an innovative force at the heart of major architectural transformations in the videoconferencing industry since 1996. He was integrally involved in the development of the H.323 specification and the first IP based multi-point control unit architecture and gatekeepers, developed the use of H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) for video conferencing, and led the development of a new media relay based architecture- the VidyoRouter. Ofer is a named inventor on 40 issued and 28 pending patent families. He was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and received the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Disruption in the category of Internet, Networking and Broadband. 

 

 

 

And the winner is… everyone

Last week at the AV Magazine gala, I was proud to accept the “Collaborative Communication Project of the Year” award on behalf of Vidyo, Inc. It is indeed an honor that Vidyo was co-named as a recipient of this award with global humanitarian organization, Concern Worldwide. Concern services over 25 underprivileged countries, delivering programs that benefit 8.5 million people annually. From tackling health, education and livelihood challenges of the world, the 2,200 Concern Worldwide personnel also face the challenge of visually communicating and collaborating, reliably, clearly and affordably to get the job done. It is humbling and extremely gratifying that Vidyo’s innovative technology has been recognized in helping Concern Worldwide meet this challenge.

According to Vincent Richardson, CIO, Concern Worldwide, “Vidyo makes it possible to conference to the most obscure, underdeveloped locations on the planet … and that’s deeply powerful. What Vidyo offers us is a video conferencing platform that we can use broadly anywhere.” Read the full case study, here.

Often times we think of video conferencing as something only used in the boardroom. Today, with Vidyo’s technology, innovators around the world are leveraging Vidyo’s unique, flexible, architecture in various applications to improve lives and support significant economic and social initiatives such as the Thinking Schools Academy in India or the Haiti Medical Education Project. Vidyo’s technology is making a huge difference, advancing innovative global communications for our partners, our customers and for everyone who has experienced the amazing benefits of the Vidyo-based communications and collaboration tools that are driving these critical humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

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For the past six years as Vidyo’s Director of Sales, Fraser has been responsible for many aspects of Vidyo’s business. Fraser’s team manages Vidyo’s network work of Distributors & Resellers and spends a large proportion of time working closely with end users. For the past 17 years Fraser has worked within the Videoconferencing industry and during this time worked for VideoServer, Polycom and RADVision in similar positions; responsible for bringing new technologies to market and building incremental revenue. Prior to venturing into the videoconferencing industry Fraser held technical positions in the datacoms industry with leading manufactures such as Chipcom and 3Com. Fraser is married with three children, lives in Dorset is a keen horseman and runs marathons to keep fit.

 

 

Simply Amazing: Counting Vidyo Connections at CERN

What’s really BIG at CERN – the research organization that focuses on the smallest objects in the universe?

I’m not talking about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider that has been used to identify the Higgs boson. Nope, it’s the size of their VidyoConferencing deployment and its utilization.

Throughout 2012, the client downloads rose slowly from about 2000 to just under 14,000. Then, in January, the Vidyo service fully took the load and downloads exploded by more than 10,000 downloads to almost 24,000 in just five months.

But it’s not just the number of users that’s impressive, it’s how CERN leverages visual collaboration in their research. They are peaking 600 simultaneous connections at precise points in any given day. Some of these meetings may be small, connecting individuals to other individuals, or can be even larger, connecting groups with groups — in all, these meetings are averaging 2000 total connections a day. But it is the ability to hold large meetings that is really important to CERN’s collaborations. Since CERN started using Vidyo, they’ve had over 1400 meetings where the number of participants ranged between 25–50 connections. And this is all on a self-managed system with a worldwide deployment connecting people with mobile devices, laptops and room systems including legacy H.323 systems.

Two of CERN’s largest research experiments are ATLAS and CMS which are the largest international scientific collaborations in history, involving thousands of particle physicists, engineers, technicians, students and support staff from hundreds of universities and institutes. In April 2013 alone, ATLAS had 1860 Vidyo meetings and CMS had 1183 Vidyo meetings.

Steven Goldfarb, Outreach and Education Coordinator for ATLAS describes why Vidyo is so important to their mission:

Much of our research is done outside of CERN, maybe 10 percent of us are here at CERN. We have to remain connected all of the time. That’s the only way to be able to make decisions and contribute to those decisions as a collaboration.”

In the video conferencing world, numbers like the ones discussed here are amazing numbers. CERN’s self-managed deployment involves more than 20 VidyoRouters spanning the world and 11 VidyoGateways clustered in three locations across the network. Users may connect over wired or wireless connections, and they are able to have large
multi-user meetings. Don’t you agree that this is simply incredible?

Note: you can look at this data yourself on CERN’s public dashboard: http://avc-dashboard.web.cern.ch/Vidyo.

 

 

Maximize Workplace Collaboration with Visual Communications

Don’t know about you, but I often feel like I’m drowning in a sea of digitally communicated words!  Texts, emails, IMs and the like seem to have taken the place of actual conversations. Not only do our personal lives suffer from this, our workplace has transformed into a place where we constantly need to deal with the data driven craze–  as the inundation of electronically transmitted words — information, questions, issues all needing to be responded to ASAP – never seem to end.

But the workplace still appreciates and values face-to-face communications. Don’t you agree? Even more importantly, many organizations require face-to-face meetings with fellow colleagues occasionally, if not all the time. The benefits of face-to-face meetings stretch beyond making decisions on the fly, it also helps people adjust to emotional cues and allows for a better sense of team and relationship building for ultimately better business productivity.

Video conferencing in the workplace:
•  brings people together via face-to-face communications and nurtures a collaborative effort
•  ignites a collaborative culture where people and teams can feel comfortable visually sharing plans and exchanging ideas
•  fosters team and relationship building by encouraging individuals to visually share their vibrant personalities
•  resolves problems quicker and builds strong team chemistry

There are a myriad of reasons why slowly, but surely, face-to-face communications is making a huge comeback.  And no, we’re not talking about having to be physically present in order to have these great conversations.  More and more businesses are turning to high quality visual collaboration and communications via the Internet, 4G and other easily accessed networks, without having to spend a lot of money on equipment and infrastructure – and Vidyo is leading this revolution in terms of technological excellence and affordability.

A rapidly growing number of companies and organizations are already realizing the many benefits of Vidyo’s solution. Take KaBOOM! for example, a national nonprofit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child—serving over 6.5 million children, engaging with over 1 million volunteers and have successfully built or improved over 15 thousand playgrounds in America. You can only imagine the massive scale of collaboration needed to communicate with everyone involved in each project. Vidyo has transformed the KaBOOM! conferencing dynamic. The result is reduced costs, more productive and efficient project meetings, and a quicker and more powerful human connection for the team. Or take Concern Worldwide, an international charity, fighting world poverty, that connects humanitarian aid workers in 24 countries.  Vidyo helps connect 2,200 Concern Worldwide personnel to be able to instantly, clearly and affordably communicate and collaborate visually with field managers in some of the most remote locations in the world.

Collaboration is imperative to success. Whether it’s building a playground for a community or connecting charitable people around the world – video communications in the workplace is making a world of difference.

But, don’t just take my word for it! If you register for Vidyo’s upcoming webinar, you will hear, firsthand, from Vidyo’s CEO, Ofer Shapiro, and our featured speakers, David S. Maldow, Esq. and Howard S. Lichtman, from Telepresence Options, “Why Video Collaboration Will Make Audio-Conferencing Extinct.” Whether you agree or disagree with this premise, we’re certain that this will be a spirited conversation between our presenters … one that you can’t afford to miss!

 

VidyoWorks™ – It’s All About the Platform

The last two weeks were very busy with product news and strategic win announcements for Vidyo:  Important partnerships with the likes of Mitel, Arkadin and CTN, a gigantic win with CERN, and of course exciting news about VidyoConferencing 3.0, featuring major usability enhancements and innovations throughout the Vidyo portfolio including a new Microsoft Lync Integration.  Now, today, we have jointly announced with Ricoh, the U.S. availability of a sleek, portable, light-weight Vidyo-based videoconferencing system that’s the size of a notebook!

So why are all of these announcements significant and what do they have to do with each other? It’s all about a platform that scales! The affordability and innovation enabled by the VidyoWorks APIs has sparked the interest and imagination of a wide range of companies and organizations looking for a solution that satisfies all of their visual collaboration modalities – not just some of them – and does it at a cost that is comparable to voice services.  As the growing number of important Vidyo partners indicates, Vidyo has demonstrated its strength and leadership, not only in terms of technological innovation, but also in its ability to forge new roads in the marketplace that allow our customers and partners access to a level of scalability and geographical distribution that has never before been achieved affordably and with such high quality. By doing so, Vidyo has upped the ante for every video conferencing vendor in the world. Now every significant player is trying to develop a scalable video coding (SVC) strategy. SVC is much more than a compression standard, it allows for a new architecture, which Vidyo has perfected for years from both product and intellectual property perspectives. We welcome these new offerings into the SVC-enabled world as we continue to lead with our field-proven products.

Everywhere you look, it seems, there are new and exciting examples of Vidyo products and services.  Since last week, alone, we have made several impressive announcements: a Vidyo/Arkadin-powered web-based service deployed by the California Telehealth Network that will improve healthcare to patients in rural California, a partnership with Mitel that will result in the integration of Vidyo’s HD video and telepresence solutions across their entire line of unified communications and collaborations (UCC) products, and yet another example of a global cloud-based video conferencing solution, with the unveiling of the P3000 from Ricoh, an important Vidyo partner in the US.

After a very long wait, the visual communication revolution is finally here and we are so proud to be at the heart of it. We would like to thank all of our great customers, partners, investors and, of course, our dedicated and talented employees who have made all of this possible.

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Disclaimer: 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.

Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, has been an innovative force at the heart of major architectural transformations in the videoconferencing industry since 1996. He was integrally involved in the development of the H.323 specification and the first IP based multi-point control unit architecture and gatekeepers, developed the use of H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) for video conferencing, and led the development of a new media relay based architecture- the VidyoRouter. Ofer is a named inventor on 40 issued and 28 pending patent families. He was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and received the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Disruption in the category of Internet, Networking and Broadband. 

 

 

 

Vidyo Continues to Push the State-of-the-Art Forward

Come see the future of Vidyo at InfoComm Booth #1581

Today is an exciting day for Vidyo. If you haven’t already, please read our latest announcement on the release of VidyoConferencingTM 3.0 – an upgrade that will move the industry forward by delivering a new integrated desktop, enhancing the user experience to deliver mass adoption of visual communications. It also introduces two new room systems at market-disrupting prices and additional features like an iPad app to share, view, and annotate content.

VidyoConferencing 3.0 – More Functionality, Accessibility, Affordability, and Control wherever you may be.

If there is a theme for this year’s Vidyo showcase at InfoComm 2013, it would simply be “more”. Perhaps that alone is a good place to anchor this discussion. We are now entering our third generation of product maturity.  VidyoConferencing 1.0 brought personal telepresence to a largely room system-based market. We delivered multipoint meetings over any IP? network with so little latency that you could have a natural meeting experience at a very affordable price. With VidyoConferencing 2.0, Vidyo brought about real infrastructure scalability by delivering latency-free
cascading among VidyoRoutersTM that localized traffic for network efficiency. This was followed by virtualizing the entire infrastructure!

And now, with Vidyoconferencing 3.0, Vidyo is leading the videoconferencing market once again, with an advanced end user experience on a
future-proof architecture.

So what’s new?

VidyoWeb: More Accessibility
What? No need for guests to download the software client application to join in a video conference? That’s right. Vidyo is making it more accessible than ever to join a Vidyo conference.  Vidyo moves into the browser with VidyoWeb, TM a simple plug-in so guests can join a Vidyo conference without installing the VidyoDesktopTM client!

And that’s not all! Unified Communications (UC) is a hot topic with enterprise IT, and Microsoft Lync® is one of the leading platforms. Vidyo’s
new plug-in for Lync
gives the full Vidyo experience to Lync users by allowing Vidyo to reside completely within the Lync window. It delivers not only the natural multipoint experience, but enables integration with legacy architecture room systems. And the Outlook® plug-in enables integrated scheduling.

More Functionality
The modernized user interface (UI) exposes new features including integrated chat plus more functional pre-call and in-call capabilities.

VidyoMobile 2.0: More Control
The new VidyoMobileTM app lets you invite anyone from your contact list to a meeting, putting even more power into the palm of your hand so you can schedule or immediately invite anyone to a meeting from wherever you are.

Room Systems Starting at $999: More Affordable
Vidyo continues to disrupt the room system market with even lower prices. Immersive telepresence is now available for under $5000/screen with the VidyoPanorama 600 which supports up to 6x 1080p60.  If your company is considering various telepresence options for purchase and deployment, it’s clear to see that Vidyo’s is the more economical and smarter choice. And with the new Intel NUC (network unit computing)-based VidyoRooms, Vidyo marks the dawn of a new era of software-based room systems and sets the stage for room system prices to
fall at the rate of the PC world.

So, if you’re at InfoComm and want to see the future, be sure to stop by Vidyo’s Booth #1581. We’ll also have a live demo of H.265 running side-by-side with H.264 so you can compare the quality and marvel at the reduction in bandwidth consumption this new technology can bring!  See you there.

The new Google+ Hangouts

In recent days after the announcement of a new Google+ Hangouts platform, we’ve received many inquiries about just how Vidyo fits into the new solution. First, let me just say how excited we are about Google’s new communication platform. This cross device messaging approach, that connects Android, Chrome, Gmail and iOS alike, is a huge step in making the user experience as simple as can be, and that means wider adoption. It’s also further testament to the success the product has had and how visual communication is becoming an increasingly important part of the way people interact.

Some diligent bloggers have taken a look at the legal notices of the new Hangouts product and noticed that Vidyo’s patent notice is not there, which triggered a lot of rumors about Vidyo being ‘out’ of the Google+ Hangouts platform. Some people speculated that Google had replaced our technology for WebRTC. The truth is this was just an editorial oversight and the media technology in Google+ Hangouts did not change. Our partnership remains as strong as ever, and frankly, we couldn’t be happier. Hangouts is turning into a mainstream and useful form of communication which is in line with the trends we see across our business, from consumers to business applications.

 

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Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, has been an innovative force at the heart of major architectural transformations in the videoconferencing industry since 1996. He was integrally involved in the development of the H.323 specification and the first IP based multi-point control unit architecture and gatekeepers, developed the use of H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) for video conferencing, and led the development of a new media relay based architecture- the VidyoRouter. Ofer is a named inventor on 40 issued and 28 pending patent families. He was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and received the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Disruption in the category of Internet, Networking and Broadband. 

 

 

Telehealth Talk with Vidyo VP Amnon Gavish

How have you seen telehealth evolve over the years?

Amnon Gavish, Vidyo’s SVP of Vertical Solutions

Telemedicine and telehealth has been evolving for over 15 years. It is agreed among those who have been following this evolution that economic factors, aging population, the effects of public policies and a growing trend for more resources in care, has generated a strong demand for reform and efficiency in healthcare processes and practices. This trend represents a golden opportunity for integration of telehealth into healthcare workflows. Dr. Dale Alverson, the former President of the American Telehealth Association (ATA) has described it as “A perfect storm.” New technologies are developed and modalities continue to evolve. We’re seeing hospitals connect with other hospitals to provide healthcare services; local health facilities, clinics and nursing homes are no longer confined to the resources available only within their own campuses. The rise of technologies that allow people to easily connect, contributes to the increase of enabling technological developments that, accordingly, promote, validate and inspire the use of telehealth.

Why is Vidyo seeing so much success in the healthcare market?

Vidyo’s unique architecture opens the door to new healthcare applications and services that simply are not possible with traditional videoconferencing solutions. Unlike Vidyo, legacy solutions can’t scale to reach millions across a wide variety of global locations; to connect patients with practitioners anywhere, anytime, and in any place via commodity devices over public networks. Vidyo’s technology eliminates the complex and costly process of installing expensive networks and equipment, making it easy for patients to connect, while offering the high level of telepresence-quality video and audio communications needed to facilitate excellent healthcare delivery.

Why couldn’t this be achieved with traditional or off-the-shelf videoconferencing solutions?

There are fundamental requirements for healthcare-related videoconferencing that address security and patient privacy issues. Healthcare communications and collaboration systems need to have the capability to control who joins the conversation while managing and protecting participant identity. Simply said — this just isn’t possible with any of the consumer solutions on the market. Another key factor to consider is a level of communication quality high enough to help build trust between the patient and doctor. Vidyo’s patented VidyoRouter™ architecture offers unprecedented error resiliency, low latency rate matching thus enabling natural, affordable, high-quality video to work over the Internet, LTE and 4G networks enabling natural interaction between patients and doctors to make them feel as if the other person was in the same room.

What are some of the new healthcare applications and services enabled by Vidyo?

Vidyo’s technology is transforming traditional healthcare processes. From changing hospital workflow in the ICU or extending patient care to the home, Vidyo’s technology enables real-time, high quality videoconferencing that can be applied for use cases like telepsychiatry—used for preventive consultations to help people quit smoking or fight against obesity, for instance. Vidyo’s technology is also leveraged in places like rural Alaska, where remote care is fundamentally needed, but finding the best care means traveling a great number of miles. Vidyo makes it possible for doctors to perform reliable, remote primary care examinations, like ear and dermatology checkups or even oversee a physical exam without having to be physically present.

Vidyo’s technology is also being implemented to streamline hospital services such as improving the patient discharge processes, reducing readmissions and refining overall accountable care. In other cases, hospitals have adopted Vidyo as a part of their call centers where a trial nurse accepts the first call to consult with patients.

What are your thoughts on the future of telehealth and where do you see Vidyo’s role in that?

It’s said by folks in the field that introducing the term “telehealth” actually induced a fear amongst those in the industry and was responsible for slowing down the adoption of “telehealth” solutions. The way I see it, in the not-too-distant future, the separate category of “telehealth” probably won’t exist. Instead, we will likely see that, what is now a distinct adjunct to healthcare will soon become an integral part of standard healthcare provision for all. Overtime, as caregivers and administrators adopt and integrate new systems and technology like Vidyo, and provide more training to staff members on the latest technologies, “telehealth” will play a core role in everyday evaluations, diagnoses and decisions by healthcare providers.


About Amnon Gavish

Amnon Gavish brings more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications market. Before joining Vidyo in October 2009, Amnon was the Chief Technology Officer at Keisense Inc., an innovator in the field of textual user interface for Computer Electronics devices. Previously, he served as VP of Business Development at RADVISION, where he was responsible for the company’s strategic partnerships and for the definition of the company’s product offering to the service providers market. Amnon was the CEO and co-Founder of Surf Communications, where he was responsible for all activities, from product inception, through go-to-market strategy, strategic partnerships and sales.

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.