Vidyo Raises $20 Million to Address Visual Communication in “Internet of Things”

Today Vidyo announced a $20 million round of financing to accelerate the company’s efforts to deliver visual communication solutions that address the explosion in the “connected world” as millions of new devices, appliances, services, platforms and workflow/business processes connect businesses and individuals online at work, at home, in their car or through wearables.

 

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Every day there are announcements of new connected solutions or applications in healthcare, banking, government or enterprise solutions visually connecting people at work. Vidyo makes it possible today to integrate visual communication into these applications, and many others, anywhere, using commodity devices that exist today and will support new applications as they emerge. While the focus of the ‘Internet of Things’ up until now has been on machine-to-machine applications, we are seeing strong demand to visually connect people into workflows for person-to-person applications in the workplace, on the road or at home, all federated with the Internet of Things. We recently spoke with Don Clark from The Wall Street Journal about our vision of how Vidyo will power new applications in the Internet of Things.

Vidyo is powering integrated visual communication in large-scale online banking, healthcare, government and enterprise applications. Vidyo technology is currently deployed in individual networks with capacity exceeding hundred of millions of minutes per year, in other networks exceeding 1,200 VidyoRoomTM systems, and in new form factors and applications such as hospital beds and gaming systems. Vidyo works over public networks and can address the massive scale required for IoT applications, and can be integrated into a company’s workflow or business processes, at the right quality and price point. Click here to learn more about integrating visual communications into any device, any network or any application.

 

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 Introduces Industry’s First Ultra HD Soft Room System

 

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 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.

 

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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.

 

Tesla, SpaceX, Google, Amazon, Aereo, NEST, IBM, Corning, Square and Vidyo

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What a thrill for Vidyo to be included last week on this list of innovators with companies  like Tesla SpaceX, Google, Corning, Amazon, Square, Aereo, IBM and NEST- truly disruptors in their respective industries.

“Few companies have the creative genius to come up with a breakthrough technology, and even fewer have the genius to keep delivering innovative products over the long term,” according to Don Reisinger of eWeek who goes on to say:

“Vidyo is one of the smaller companies in this roundup, but it doesn’t make the firm any less innovative. The startup has invented a way to heavily compress video transmitted over wireless networks, allowing users to hold video-conferencing with just about any device they desire without quality-of-service issues. Vidyo is being used heavily across the enterprise for video conferencing and has become a real sore spot for Cisco’s telepresence initiatives.”

This is not the first time that Vidyo or the VidyoWorks platform have been recognized for innovation that transcends an industry, but we don’t take any of the accolades for granted.  Vidyo CEO Ofer Shapiro was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Tech Pioneer, the company received the WSJ Innovation Award for all of Networking, Broadband and the Internet among all public and private companies, and was cited on the MIT Technology Review’s “50 Most Disruptive Companies”.

Ongoing innovation is part of our DNA at Vidyo and we look forward to tomorrow’s next opportunity.

VidyoWorks Platform Powers Swisscom Video Conferencing Service

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Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecommunications provider has launched a cloud-based, HD video conferencing service called “Vidia” — using the customizable VidyoWorks™ platform. The new video conferencing service was developed by Swisscom’s software team and runs on the Swisscom Cloud. The massive scalability of the VidyoWorks platform enables Swisscom to extend the Vidia service to hundreds of thousands of users.

“The integration of Vidyo has enabled us to offer our business clients the ability to place HD video conferencing calls. In Switzerland, customers expect a high level of quality and reliability; those features, along with the scalability and flexibility that was needed to really differentiate this service, were made possible through the power of Vidyo APIs and VidyoWorks,” according to Swisscom’s Head of Transversal Products, Erich Gebhardt.

This is another milestone launch for Vidyo’s service provider business and demonstrates the versatility, and scalability of the platform. That a major telco such as Swisscom used our platform to build this important new service is not only a testament to VidyoWorks, but also points to the relative ease with which telcos can differentiate their offerings and achieve a competitive edge in the market.  The Swiss are renowned for creating high quality, precision-engineered products and the selection of Vidyoworks is further proof of the quality of Vidyo’s platform.

Vidia provides each customer with their own virtual video conferencing room to participate in high quality, multi-party meetings.

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(Meetings can be accessed via a computer, tablet, or smartphone, Android/iOS)

Swisscom is currently offering its customers a free 30-day trial of Vidia.

MPEG LA Shares License Terms for HEVC (H.265)

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Vidyo is proud to have played a role in establishing the license terms for the High Efficiency Video Coding Standard (HEVC, also known as H.265), as announced by MPEG LA last week.  According to MPEG LA’s January 16 press release, the cooperation of patent owners to reach common ground was key in making a joint patent license available for the convenience of HEVC adopters.  As work continues on evaluating patents for essentiality and concluding terms in final agreements, the license is currently supported by 25 prospective HEVC essential patent holders including top companies such as Apple, Cisco, LG Electronics, Siemens and others.

As our inclusion in this notable group of “prospective essential patent holders” reflects, Vidyo has contributed to the HEVC standard from the very beginning. Vidyo made multiple contributions to the standard, with a lead role in the development of the HEVC scalable extension, called SHVC, scheduled for technical completion July 2014. To date, Vidyo has made 58 contributions towards the development of HEVC and its SHVC extension.

The SHVC extension is the HEVC parallel of H.264’s Annex G (SVC), and with it, our VidyoRouter™ technology will be able to achieve the same kind of high performance with HEVC that our customers previously experienced with H.264.   Vidyo has been actively involved in MPEG standards for a number of years.  Our involvement with MPEG LA was first announced when we licensed our H.264 Annex G (SVC) Essential Patent to the MPEG-LA patent pool in November of 2012.

We are proud to have a team of innovators who are world-class technologists driving disruption to benefit customers. Vidyo currently holds 47 patents with 68 patent families pending with 10 patents and 15 patent families that may read on the HEVC specification and its forthcoming scalable extension.  With such technological talent, we have enabled the industry’s best video communication applications on the Internet and on mobile.

Since we launched the company in 2008, our unique architecture has eliminated the need for transcoding and enabled ‘technology transparency,’ providing an experience uninterrupted by performance flaws arising from issues like network reliability, MCU driven latency, or end-point capabilities. Most importantly, our VidyoRouter technology implementation will not require a hardware upgrade when the time comes to roll out new standards such as HEVC or the upcoming WebRTC with scalable VP9, which we announced with Google last year. We enthusiastically welcome new standards that create opportunities for interoperability and wide adoption, and that support industry innovation.

This is an affirmation of our proven technological expertise and our commitment to open standards and we are excited at the prospects.

 

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. 

 

 

 

Opportunities for Vidyo in the Land of the Sleeping Giant

With the rise of access to the Internet across the vastly populated regions of China, the potential strategic market opportunities in this country are enormous. According to the Harvest Business Review, “The size of the Chinese Internet is staggering. There are almost 600 million Internet users in China now, more than in any country in the world — next highest is the U.S, with 254 million. That’s just 44% of the Chinese population compared to 81% in the U.S., so this gap will continue to grow.” China is also the third largest country in total area behind Russia and Canada and very similar to the United States.

It’s no wonder business leaders around the world are investing in China. Its emerging economy and potential to lead technological innovation provides further reason why the country is known as “the land of the sleeping giant.”

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Over the years, Vidyo has been cultivating strategic relationships with business partners and resellers in China and throughout the Asia Pacific region to promote and distribute its solutions. Demand for scalable, affordable, and high-quality video conferencing is on the rise, and we are very excited to be at the cutting edge. Vidyo recently completed a series of product tours across APAC – from Hong Kong to Korea and Japan – that introduced the company’s latest VidyoConferencing™ innovations.  The product tours concluded with a media event in Beijing with 12 top-tier business and technology journalists. The event featured demonstrations of Vidyo’s new innovations including VidyoRemote™, VidyoSlate™, content collaboration app, VidyoDesktop™3.0, VidyoMobile™ and a new room system with a simpler, intuitive user interface and better performance.

In addition to the “buzz” created by the product tours and media event, Vidyo also announced that Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation deployed the VidyoWorks™ platform to power collaboration and communications for internal meetings among its globally dispersed offices—achieving concurrent multi-point video conferencing between MTR’s headquarters in Hong Kong, and offices in other cities including Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Melbourne, London and Stockholm. Based in Hong Kong, MTR is regarded as one of the world’s leading railways for safety, reliability, customer service and cost efficiency. From its starting base, the corporation has expanded into the Mainland of China and taken on a range of railway-related projects and consultancies internationally.

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And topping off all of this exciting news from the Asia Pacific region is the fact that Vidyo has been  recently recognized as the recipient of the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Growth Excellence Award for Desktop Video Collaboration Market. Frost & Sullivan cites that Vidyo’s continued growth in China is a testament to its innovative software platform – opening new markets with applications that address the business needs of customers. Vidyo is outpacing the market with its exceptional quality and affordable video conferencing solutions that deliver superior value and scalability. There is no doubt, we are expanding our leadership position by continuing to deliver innovative solutions to our customers in Asia Pacific.

It is always gratifying to gain continued recognition such as this.  We are honored to hear the praises of media and analysts that the VidyoWorks™ platform is readily able to scale to the challenges of China’s thriving market. Our continued positive reception in APAC reinforces that Vidyo is one of the best video conferencing solutions for global enterprise collaboration and communication.

For more information: www.vidyo.com.

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Vidyo_William-Yu-150x150William Yu is Vice President of Sales, Asia Pacific at Vidyo. William joins Vidyo with over 17 years of video conferencing experience with Lifesize, Polycom and PictureTel. Prior to joining Vidyo, William was with Lifesize Communications, where he was the Director of Sales for APAC and built their channels and sales organization covering 14 countries in the region. William was also the Director of Asia Pacific Sales for Polycom, where he led their expansion into the video conferencing market, and the Regional Technical Manager for PictureTel Asia.

William received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. William is based in Hong Kong.