Who’s First? The Race for Mobile Video Conferencing…

…And does it really matter?

      • December 2010 – Elisa service on Galaxy- first mobile service offering
        by a telecom provider on a tab and phone
      • August 2011 – Vidyo’s mobile client is available in the Apple App Store
        delivering multipoint HD videoconferencing for both iPhone and iPad
      • October 2011 – Polycom announces first enterprise HD video software
        solution for tablets

Who was first? Others have called out Polycom for making this false claim.  While Vidyo was both first to demo multipoint video conferencing on a mobile device (January 2010 in Paul Otellini’s CES keynote) as well as deliver multi-party videoconferencing on a smartphone and tablet, the real issue for enterprise decision makers is not about who is first, but about who can deliver a complete solution. With the memory of Steve Jobs still in sharp focus, I’m reminded that it is not about a specific product, but about delivering for the user the most satisfying effortless experience.

With the memory of Steve Jobs still in sharp focus, I’m reminded that it is not about a specific product, but about delivering for the user the most satisfying effortless experience.

In videoconferencing, porting an application to run on a device is only a small part of the requirement—this just delivers the potential for a personal video communication device. Having an intuitive UI for entering and interacting within a videoconference is another part of the experience. But the most important aspect is the actual video interaction that makes the communication experience natural and engaging. The challenge is that mobile devices use wireless networks—WiFi, 3G or 4G—and packets will be dropped and bandwidth may be limited as well as highly variable. And, an enterprise quality solution must be capable of multi-party conferences that enable communication with other mobile devices as well as desktop and room system participants who may encode at far higher resolutions.

Delivering on this challenge requires a completely different infrastructure architecture than what is offered by the old market leaders such as Polycom whose MCU architecture was designed for perfect connectivity such as provided by ISDN, and has now developed Band-Aid approaches including Forward Error Correction, Loss Packet Recovery and others to deal with the Wireless.Wild.West non-guaranteed QoS bandwidth. The result is lackluster performance and increased overhead that further exacerbates the challenging network conditions.

And the bad news gets worse for legacy MCU architectures when it comes to multipoint. When you have a mobile device interacting with another mobile device and an HD room system, the MCU transcodes and gives the gift of additional latency. Since it must transcode to enable disparate devices to be in the same multiparty meeting, it degrades the video quality in the process as well as adds delay. The problem is that for a natural interaction to occur on a mobile device, there just is not any time available for transcoding. Sure you can do it, but the experience is no longer satisfying. You’ll speak over each other, develop a tendency to pause before speaking, and other unnatural behaviors that will make you long for just a phone call or in-person meeting. Clearly, not an “Apple-quality” solution.

Vidyo was built with mobile devices in mind. Vidyo pioneered the use of the recent video compression standard—H.264 SVC— in video conferencing because it enables a latency-free way to adapt to packet loss.  Vidyo created an architecture that intelligently routes packets to each participant’s device based upon the resolution required, computational capability and bandwidth available, and to do so by dynamically adapting many times a second to changing conditions. And in a multiparty conference, it does this without transcoding so it maintains original video quality and adds less than 10msec delay because it makes packet routing decisions with no need to perform complex computational gymnastics. The user experiences natural HD quality multiparty videoconferencing that is engaging.

While this alone differentiates the Vidyo solution, the win for an enterprise deployment is that the Vidyo infrastructure can be deployed for 10% of the cost of the old Polycom MCU architecture. A single 1U VidyoRouter device can support 100 simultaneous participants. VidyoRouters can be geographically deployed to minimize bandwidth consumption. Since Vidyo is a software solution with central capacity license management, the full pool of licenses is available to all VidyoRouters as needed. The result is a dramatically lower number of licenses required to be purchased. And best of all, Vidyo only needs non-guaranteed QoS networks including internal bandwidth. The cost savings of moving away from dedicated video networks may pay for the entire Vidyo infrastructure!

So maybe this is why Polycom resorts to a misleading announcement. It craves for leadership, but it’s saddled with an old architecture that just can’t.

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Marty Hollander

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

 

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.

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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”

Vidyo wins Frost & Sullivan Video Conferencing Award

Vidyo was honored tonight as the recipient of the  2011 winner of the Frost & Sullivan Global Product Differentiation Excellence Award for Videoconferencing Infrastructure Systems.

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices team of industry experts presents awards to companies demonstrating best practices in a variety of regional and global markets.  These Best Practices Awards recognize the superior planning and execution of product launches, strategic alliances, distribution strategies, technological innovations, customer service, and mergers and acquisitions. A host of other crucial marketing factors such as leadership, strategy, service, innovation, integration, and development are also considered as part of the award methodology.

“In a marketplace defined by technological advancements, Vidyo has been at the forefront of innovation, launching products that have positioned the company for growth,” said Roopam Jain, Industry Director, Unified Communications and Collaboration, Frost & Sullivan.  “In terms of innovation, technical excellence, scalability and adaptability to varied videoconferencing environments, the VidyoConferencing suite of solutions is impressive and market disruptive. Vidyo’s technology allows new entrants a low barrier of entry to create new, differentiated and cost-effective applications at a desired price performance.”

Young-Sae Song, Vidyo VP of Product Marketing and Art Robbins, president of Frost & Sullivan's North American operations

Vidyo is seeing success based on new and innovative products that address end user pain points. In its best practices report on Vidyo, Frost & Sullivan cites that currently, several products in Vidyo’s portfolio – the VidyoRouter, VidyoRouter Cloud Edition, VidyoPanorama and VidyoMobile enjoy a “first mover advantage” in terms of a high quality solution at a reasonable price point, “clearly jettisoning Vidyo to a prominent position in the fast growing videoconferencing market.”

For more information, you can read the full press release and check out Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Research report on Vidyo.

 

Legal Industry is Poised for Explosive Growth in Personal Telepresence

Time is an expensive commodity. And few industries price time higher than in the legal profession.

So utilizing video conferencing to collaborate more efficiently and eliminate costly travel time, has been a high priority for law firms. Most major firms have been using the legacy video conferencing solutions.

A very large percentage of legal work involves collaboration, whether that is for attorneys working as a team or negotiating with counterparts representing the other side. While the legal profession has recognized the value of being able to meet face-to-face to accomplish their work, the video conferencing tools they’ve used have mainly been room-based. This experience has not been compelling because they’ve sat at traditional conference tables and had the experience of seeing their counterparts as barely recognizable figures around a large table. Well, times are changing for law firms, and today we just shared the Vedder Price story. Vedder Price upgraded from their Polycom legacy past to the modern Vidyo world.

Vedder Price has now used VidyoConferencing for almost a year. Vidyo was chosen to replace the firm’s legacy system which, according to the company, had become extremely limited in terms of flexibility and scalability, and wanted to ensure the new solution fit their UC strategy. Since they were a Polycom customer and had an investment in legacy room system and MCU hardware, they wanted to be sure that making the switch would deliver the desired benefits.

According to Lonnie Horvat, Vedder Price’s Audio-Visual Systems Specialist, “When I was approached about testing Vidyo as a possible component of our Unified Communications strategy, I was already familiar with the Vidyo online demo but hadn’t put the actual equipment to the test. We rigorously tested the VidyoGateway, VidyoRouter, VidyoPortal, VidyoRoom Units and VidyoDesktop for nearly 3 months. Our conclusion was that Vidyo provided the best high-quality image with the smallest network footprint; equipment and infrastructure cost was considerably lower than any other comparable option, and Vidyo provided the most flexible solution for now and into the future.”

Vidyo has other law firms as customers and many more doing their own trials. We are encouraged that the legal industry is coming to recognize that democratizing video communications to each person’s office or even to their iPad for mobile access is now the priority over just outfitting conference rooms for meetings. Having a major success within her firm, Vedder Price’s MIS Director says it better than I can:

“Vidyo offers significant advantages over other options, allowing us to easily and affordably expand into the future with incredible geographic flexibility, interoperability, and the choice of using a variety of different devices to access video conferences,” said Maureen Durack, Director of MIS at Vedder Price.  “After using Vidyo, we realized that legacy systems like Polycom are archaic solutions. Those companies can only go so far in reengineering what they have.  Vidyo’s one-of-a-kind SVC-based software platform with Adaptive Video Layering is a totally new approach that is much more suited for firms such as ours that have an immediate need for cost-effective, high quality video conferencing. With Vidyo we won’t have to worry about expansion and updating in coming years because they’re committed to staying on the forefront of technology and keeping up with new form factors such as mobile devices.”

Vedder Price is currently using VidyoConferencing for daily interactions among the firm’s attorneys across all of its locations, ongoing continuing legal education trainings for Vedder Price attorneys, and for remote depositions with clients and outside firms in various cities around the world.  We look forward to delivering this same value to all of the other major law firms and freeing them from the inflexible proprietary hardware architectures of the legacy video conferencing suppliers.

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Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s Senior Vice President, Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

 

Overcoming Network Limitations for Universal Video Conferencing

The promise of video conferencing offers benefits that are appealing to almost any company:  employees can collaborate across geographies and time zones without the need to travel, saving companies money and improving the work life balance.   As a result, employees are happier and more productive.  Although the adoption of video conferencing has steadily increased, one of the key constraints has been particularly difficult to overcome to make video conferencing a truly universal tool that can be used by any employee in a company.  Vidyo’s Adaptive Video Layering overcomes this critical constraint to deliver universal video conferencing.

Despite the promise, when it comes down to real life deployments, video conferencing faces a basic problem when trying to achieve universal availability.  Video conferencing requires a high quality broadband connection, and this just cannot be achieved cost effectively in all cases.  High quality can be defined as a connection that delivers high enough bandwidth to avoid congestion or one where the priority of the traffic can be controlled.  This requirement can significantly increase the cost of a video conferencing deployment by requiring a business class service with MPLS for quality of service (QoS).  Although pricing may vary from carrier to carrier, the average price for a nationwide MPLS service adds approximately $100* per month for a T1 access circuit.  For a 100 site deployment, that’s an additional $10,000 per month in added operational expense.

Over the past 10 years, companies have redesigned their data and communications infrastructure to leverage the cost advantages of IP networks.  The TDM networks of the past consisted of network silos where a separate network was built out for each individual application or service.  With IP convergence, a common IP transport is leveraged with multiple applications leveraging the common infrastructure.  Ironically, the suggested approach to video conferencing from some of the larger vendors is to go backwards in time and build out a separate video conferencing network. Figure 1 below compares the different approaches to video conferencing and how Vidyo’s technology allows companies to further leverage the benefits of a converged IP network rather than building out an expensive overlay network.

Figure 1

There is no argument that video conferencing increases the bandwidth requirements of a network.  The traditional view has been to build out a separate overlay network designed to support the performance requirements of video.  Vidyo has taken a very different approach and created a technology that can actually adapt to the network itself.  Adaptive Video Layering optimizes a video stream based on the network characteristics and endpoint capabilities.  The significance of this innovation is that it allows any endpoint to become a video conferencing device, and it can work over a broadband connection starting at about 500 kbps.

With this approach, companies do not need to deploy expensive overlay networks using expensive business class services such as nxT1s with MPLS.  Rather, they can leverage the lowest cost broadband Internet access available including consumer grade xDSL or cable service.  This drastically changes the network economics of deploying a universal video conferencing solution that can be used by any employee.  High speed broadband is becoming more and more widely available.  However, solutions from the traditional video conferencing vendors work best with business class bandwidth of approximately 3 to 5 Mpbs, which is just not available cost effectively everywhere.  Vidyo has taken on this challenge with its patented Adaptive Video Layering to make high definition video conferencing not just a promise for the future but a promise with concrete benefits that can be delivered to every employee today.

Source:

*Industry analysis from carrier pricing from ILECs and CLECs.

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Young-Sae Song

Young-Sae is Vidyo’s vice president of product and channel marketing. He has over 10 years of experience in the networking and telecommunications industry.  He joined Vidyo from Covad Communications, where he developed and introduced nationwide Ethernet and MPLS services.   Prior to Covad, Young-Sae worked at leading networking and software vendors such as Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Microsoft.  He also served executive clients in the financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing industries, focusing on strategy formulation, service operations and organization restructuring as a management consultant at Booz & Company.  


Cisco’s InfoComm Announcements – What Were They Thinking?

Cisco made a big deal about a set of Telepresence announcements on June 14th that in any other industry would have been labeled as “bug fixes” and “playing catch up”. These announcements put into question how much in touch is Cisco with the industry or perhaps, Cisco thinks that their customers are unaware of what is going on in the market outside of “CiscoVille”.

According to Cisco: MX200 is Priced to Scale

Cisco introduces an HD videoconferencing room system endpoint for $21,600. At that price, it includes a 42” screen delivering 720p at 60 fps. What is amazing is that every other significant videoconferencing room system manufacturer has had lower priced, higher performance solutions available for years!

OK, it will natively connect to a $300,000 Cisco TP room without transcoding. But recognize that there is NO IMMERSIVE experience when the MX200 is involved in the meeting. It is just an HD videoconferencing room system. And if you want 1080p, rather than 720p, that upgrade will cost you even more!

To be fair, the real value is that it includes a monitor stand and is ready to run in just 15 minutes. For that wonderful convenience, Cisco views that its customers are willing to pay a tremendous premium for a run-of-the-mill HD videoconferencing room system. What game do they think they are playing?

According to Cisco: Telepresence Conductor Simplifies Multiparty Video Communications

Cisco customers have really needed this product for a long time—too bad that they still need to wait for the scheduled release in December. With this announcement, Cisco is admitting to the following:

  1. Customers want to have ad hoc meetings without having to schedule infrastructure resources.
  2. A hardware-based infrastructure creates a fixed limit on the number of multiparty participants.
  3. Smart meeting organizers reserve more hardware ports than they require just in case additional participants need to join. This practice guarantees unused, but yet unavailable hardware ports.
  4. A “switching” videoconferencing infrastructure architecture for telepresence combined with a “transcoding” MCU architecture for rooms and desktops causes an administrative nightmare.

People who use web conferencing, audio conferencing or VidyoConferencing will wonder how on earth anyone lives with these needless restrictions. Well, Cisco has realized that this complexity is getting unbearable for their customers, and risks Cisco’s ability to be competitive. In the very near future, Cisco customers will find more videoconferencing users who want to connect from personal devices—personal computers, tablets or smartphones—so Cisco has announced that Conductor will fix these problems. That is good news for 2012 planned upgrades.

If you look below the surface of Conductor to understand the problem it tries to solve, you begin to see the complexity caused by having different video infrastructure architectures.

  1. Cisco gives you a “switching architecture” for ensuring the low latency telepresence experience for the CTS Series endpoints.
  2. A more affordable “MCU architecture” provides transcoding to attach endpoints to a multiparty video conference, but needed ports may not be available.
    - A customer may have different MCU versions with some having SD hardware ports, and others having HD hardware ports that must be matched to the meeting requirements
    - MCUs may be physically located in a different geography than where the resources are needed at any time during the day.

So Cisco’s solution to addressing the administrator’s nightmare is to sell the Cisco Telepresence Conductor and remove the administrator from having to handle all of the choice management complexity. Since the hardware was inherently underutilized prior to Conductor, Cisco hopes that a customer can justify this new purchase on the basis that Conductor will hopefully better utilize the legacy architecture resources. Cisco realizes that without Conductor this nightmare is not sustainable as administrators face increased demand for more multiparty connections as users move to personal communication devices.

What is most surprising is that Cisco views these announcements as wonderful news for the industry! Putting a Band-Aid on Cisco’s high cost, high complexity, multipoint infrastructure with additional costly add-ons is not something most companies would proudly announce. But Cisco must view that with enough positive spin, customers will continue to be happy to buy Cisco, and pay more knowing that they are making the SAFE choice. But beware, not everyone plays CiscoVille (apologies to Zynga if this analogy is upsetting)

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Marty Hollander

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s Senior Vice President, Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

 

VidyoPanorama: Personal Telepresence with Immersive Interactions

Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile and global, and an office extends beyond the four walls of a physical building.  With globalization and the growth of the Internet, people have dramatically changed the way they work and the devices they use for communication.  Along with the standard office phone and computer, many workers conduct their business on smart phones, tablets, and home computers.  In addition, they work in the office, on the road, and at home.  The fact is that today’s business is conducted over multiple devices and anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Unfortunately, when it comes to video conferencing, the majority of solutions have really limited themselves to proprietary endpoints that limit the availability and use cases.  This is especially true for telepresence rooms, which fail to deliver an immersive experience despite the excessively high price tag.  Figure 1 shows a very simple example of the imperfect telepresence experience, which is a common scenario that occurs hundreds of times every day.

Figure 1
Figure 1

The above scenario depicts a three way video conference with three participants in one location (P1, P2, P3) and one participant in another location (P4).  These four participants are communicating with another telepresence room with three screens.  As shown in the figure, when there are four remote cameras and only three screens, a tradeoff needs to be made.  In this case the trade off results in P3 not being displayed.  P3 can participate by appearing through voice activated switching, and the images of the participants will jump from screen to screen.  The typical configuration above probably cost about $1 million when factoring in the network and ongoing maintenance costs.  Even after that expense, the experience is not immersive but rather imperfect telepresence.

Vidyo has pioneered a new way to do video conferencing that redefines the telepresence paradigm.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb6mJa43cP4

VidyoPanorama is a solution that enables personal telepresence with immersive interactions.  The experience is personal because we enable video conferencing over any device including PCs (Win, Mac, Linux), mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android), and other room systems.  The experience is immersive with 1080p60 resolution, which is the highest resolution offered in a telepresence solution today.  In a visual communication, 70% of all communication is nonverbal*.

At the end of the day, the quality of the interaction is not determined by the furniture or lighting but the immersive quality of the video itself.  The video needs to VGA quality or better for the face of each participant with real time voice and video synchronization whether the person is participating from a high end room system or an iPad2.  Vidyo delivers on these requirements with the best quality video and makes video conferencing universally available with its Adaptive Video Layering technology, which makes it possible to do video conferencing with a simple Internet connection.  And the best part of the Vidyo solution is that we provide all this for about 10% of the cost of the other solutions in the market today.

Vidyo Panorama

VidyoPanorama with a 9 screen setup, a Motorola Xoom, and iPad 2, an iMac 27” and a Google Nexus S all participating in the same Vidyo call.

It is exciting to talk to partners and customers who see the game changing potential of VidyoPanorama.  Beyond the traditional telepresence market, VidyoPanorama is being considered for new applications in healthcare and manufacturing that allow communications and collaboration not possible before.    Vidyo is delivering a whole new world of applications and industries by delivering a new era of telepresence economics that is sure to permanently change the industry dynamics.  Workers will be able to do video conferencing over the devices they want to use, and IT managers will be able to deliver a universal video conferencing solution to every employee in the company.

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Young-Sae Song is Vidyo’s vice president of product and channel marketing.  He joined Vidyo from Covad Communications, where he was responsible for marketing, branding, and developing next generation products for Covad’s wholesale division, which included communications and value added services.  Young-Sae joined Covad from Redback Networks, where he led the corporate marketing and branding efforts and established the company brand as a leading video solutions provider.  Prior to Redback he held senior management positions at leading technology companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Riverstone Networks, and Microsoft.  Young-Sae also served executive clients in the financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing industries, focusing on strategy formulation, service operations and organization restructuring as a management consultant at Booz & Company.  Young-Sae received his MBA from the University of Chicago, and his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.

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Related Links:


- VidyoPanorama Demo Video: Click here!
- Full VidyoPanorama Press Release: “
Vidyo Shatters Telepresence Price Barrier for Immersive Interactions with 1080p60 Resolution on Up to 20 Screens and Opens Untapped Markets
- Our blog post: “
iPad 2: Vidyo conference! See it now!
- Our blog post: “
Vidyo Taking Mobile Video Conferencing to the Enterprise Sources: *Human Productivity Laboratories

 

Vidyo’s Telemedicine Platform Selected by Holy Cross Hospital

Vidyo’s versatile telehealth solution is being embraced globally by leading medical establishments (American Well, Massachusetts General Hospital, etc.), and today, Holy Cross Hospital’s innovative Virtual Care Services in Silver Spring, Maryland, is joining the healthcare revolution.  Holy Cross is using Vidyo’s technology to connect with patients, caregivers and other providers beyond the limits of the hospital, including extended care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and even the homes of patients and their families.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5st8eB1bDk

Dr. Andrew Barbash, Medical Director for Neurosciences and Clinical Director of Virtual Care Services at Holy Cross Hospital, wrote for the Vidyo Blog about the meaning of virtual care and about what it can bring to healthcare:

What is “Virtual Care”, as opposed to “TeleHealth or TeleMedicine”?

Doctor Andrew Barbash

Healthcare is a “people process” – always has been and will be into the future. While “telemedicine” is an important component of virtual care, it is merely a subset of a more global process.  Virtual Care is more generic and implies that anyone should be able to receive the right level of prevention, pro-active care, diagnosis, decision-support, treatment and monitoring/follow up at the right time and place, from the best source of expertise, regardless of geography, personal demographic or economic status.  In order to achieve this we need to advance the “workflow process” of how PEOPLE support other PEOPLE along this path. The technologies are enablers, not the main drivers of success…the key is that all of this can now begin to take place “virtually” because the “tele” technologies have evolved to far greater levels of simplicity and affordability.

The essence of virtual care is that, by bringing the communications process into a ubiquitous, globally informed and highly affordable state (the clear trend that will never reverse)—people are empowered to connect with the right “other” people in order to make better decisions and manage their personal time resources far more effectively – all the while obtaining “better” and more effective care, independently from the traditional geographic or organizational silos. If people are educated as to HOW to achieve this, all of the tools, technologies, services and methods exist to bring this about.

Example: Engaging patients and family caregivers in shared decision-making in real time

A family had seen a specialist for a second opinion and wanted to review the findings with an endocrinologist who had known them for several years .The family was given a CD with some of the images and test results and had it in their hands, at home, 3 hours away. A time was arranged by email to have the latter physician connect with them by video chat, have them put the CD in their computer and display what was on their screen, so that all could discuss the likely findings in real time and avoid a long trip just for a follow up discussion. The family was happy to pay for the experience directly, but the process was so efficient for the physician, taking 15 minutes, that it was considered easier than trying to explain it all by phone or reviewing things by mail at some other time!.

Virtual care involves leveraging the entire continuous stream of advances in personalized communications while respecting the necessary boundaries that people require in order to function effectively.  It will involve the evolution of new models of collaboration and incentives to do so, well out of the bounds of the traditional model of healthcare delivery and financial remuneration for activity….probably more on an “availability model” than on a “specific service widget” one.

Join Vidyo on May 24th for an informative Web Seminar about how VidyoConferencing is transforming healthcare. Click here to register.

Example: Crossing the chasms of care

A hospital based physician is covering for the group of doctors who routine manage all the inpatients and are responsible for fielding phone calls about patients who had recently been transferred to other facilities. At 9PM a phone call arrives from a skilled nursing rehab center about a patient discharged from the hospital earlier that morning in stable condition.  The patient is having more trouble with some motor changes in the right arm, not specifically reported on admission or noted in the discharge documents received by fax. The nurse is not known to the doctor, the doctor is not familiar with that patient, and the physician is home, potentially with language obstacles between providers and/or staff.  The physician is able to “ping” a mobile device on wheels or any mobile computer within that facility near the nursing station, and request to have a quick video conversation with both the staff nurse and the patient or family attendant. Added history is obtained, an observation that the arm is really aching more than before, but not truly weaker, some local therapy recommendations made and a planned follow up visit the following morning by the staff attending physician is arranged.  A night time urgent transfer via 911 or ambulance was avoided

If it has made sense traditionally to have people come to “medical homes for primary care” and “multispecialty clinics” for integrated care, then it is perfectly reasonable to expect that advances in telecommunications should bring all of that expertise, when needed, right to where the patient, the family caregiver are at any time.  It becomes a partnership model of virtual collaboration in whatever level of instantaneity is appropriate to the task and eliminates the traditional obstacles to effective decision making that were based on physical access limitations.

Example: Real time collaboration of specialists with the medical home:

A busy primary care physician in a community health clinic for the under-insured has a patient with an interesting skin lesion or an unusual shaking of an arm that was noticed a few days ago. From any computer, phone, tablet or device within reach she “looks for and finds” a specialist who is accessible according to their “online personal availability” who arranges to “click back and drop in for a quick video consult” within the next 15-30 minutes.  A brief interaction takes place in which the specialist gets a bit more history, takes a look at the skin lesion or tremor, and provides some advice to the primary care physician or mid-level provider on interim management, with a plan to do a quick virtual follow up when the patient returns to the clinic next week. Nobody had to be inconvenienced–the patient, the family, the primary caregiver, the office staff, the remote specialist or his/her office staff, etc.  Everyone’s level of confidence was higher than if done any other way, and better care in the short term resulted.

Virtual Care means better care and better care means collaboration and shared decision-making that is not at all defined by physical boundaries or the constraints of clinic/hospital or other environments. It is not a virtual substitute for being physically present. It is about having knowledge and expert human support being far more present than ever before. Virtual care is the next phase in our evolution to far better and more effective care for anyone, any time, any place.”

Learn more about how Holy Cross selected Vidyo in the full press release.

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Related Links:

- Full Vidyo Press Release: “Vidyo’s Telemedicine Platform Delivers Unmatched Video Conferencing and Collaboration between Hospitals, Extended Care Facilities, Patients and Families”
- Doctor Barbash’s Blog: the NowDox Virtual Care Blog
- Our blog post: “American Well Chooses Vidyo’s Platform to Power its Online Care Services
- Our blog post:Massachusetts General Hospital Chooses Vidyo’s Technology for Telestroke Program


 

 

 

Vidyo Drives SVC Leadership & Interoperability with RFC 6190

Further evidence of Vidyo’s long term leadership in bringing standards and interoperability to H.264 SVC-based systems!  RFC 6190 is more than random letters and numbers… RFC stands for “Request for Comments” – which is what a finalized standards specification is named to indicate that it is “fixed” (will not change) and can be implemented.  This particular RFC was accomplished, in large part, due to the efforts of two renowned Vidyo technologists, Dr. Alex Eleftheriadis and Dr. Stephan Wenger, who were among the 4 experts in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) who co-authored the specification.

Over the last two years most major video communications companies have adopted SVC-based solutions. This makes SVC interoperability a key agenda item, to ensure market penetration and growth. RFC 6190 is an extremely important stepping stone in this direction, and Vidyo was instrumental in making this happen.

RFC 6190 will be used wherever SVC real time video is transported over IP-based networks, and is considered to be the most significant document for ensuring interoperability of scalable video transmission next to the coding specification defined in the H.264 standard.

Dr. Alex Eleftheriadis, Vidyo co-founder and chief scientist

Alex drives the technical vision and direction for Vidyo and also represents the company on standardization committees and technical advisory boards. He currently serves as chief editor of UCIF’s task group on Scalable Video Coding, working with the forum members to complete the last pieces required to achieve SVC interoperability. He has served as the Editor of the MPEG-4 Systems specification, co-editor of the H.264 SVC Conformance specification, has more than 100 publications and holds 16 patents in the US with 19 more pending.  Alex is a renowned visionary in video compression and communication technology, with several awards and inventions that are used in Blu-ray DVDs and digital television systems.

Dr. Stephan Wenger, CTO of VidyoCast , broadcast division of Vidyo

Stephan is CTO of VidyoCast, Vidyo’s broadcast division, and has been active in the field of media compression and transmission in different roles for over 20 years.  He has been an active contributor in the IETF, ITU, 3GPP, and other standardization organizations with an emphasis on cross-layer optimizations, documented in more than 100 standardization contributions and Internet Drafts.  He has been lead author of H.264 and H.264 SVC and other RTP payload formats for video.  Stephan currently holds nine US patents with several more pending.

For more info, check out the announcement that was released yesterday.

 

Vidyo Wins Best of Interop Award

Just got back from Interop 2011 in Las Vegas … and did not return empty handed!

Vidyo won the Best of Interop award in the Collaboration category, for delivering video communications and collaboration on mobile devices via its recently announced VidyoMobile product!  This is the 3rd time Vidyo has won Best of Interop in this category over the past 4 years.

Here’s some of what Eric Krapf, Editor of No Jitter, and one of the judges of the Best of Interop awards, had to say about Vidyo and its award-winning product:

“VidyoMobile represents a commendable step forward for the industry. Vidyo’s Adaptive Video Layering architecture promises to deliver high-definition 720p video with resolution up to VGA on smartphones and tablets. This is critical, especially in enterprise environments, where lower-quality video and audio act as a constraint upon widespread adoption. VidyoMobile will let enterprises quickly and efficiently deploy a high-quality, bandwidth-efficient video client to smartphones and tablets across the enterprise, helping to drive adoption of mobile video within the enterprise. As such, it is worthy of recognition as Best of Interop for the Collaboration category.”

According to Information Week Analytics, the group that oversees the annual awards, the Collaboration category is extremely significant and relevant to the Enterprise as more and more employees and contractors work outside of corporate offices, bringing the need for real-time, converged applications to the fore. “The goal: improve business by helping people team up in today’s virtual workplace, quickly and easily, whenever and wherever they need to; ensure that employees can locate and collaborate with the knowledge experts they need to succeed; and cut costs while boosting productivity.”

Vidyo CMO Ashish Gupta proudly holding the 2011 Best of Interop Award Winner certificate a few minutes after getting the good news!

The Collaboration category includes products and technologies that facilitate collaboration, such as multimedia, streaming media and voice-based applications. This category encompasses enterprise 2.0 collaboration and social networking products as well as asynchronous and real-time collaboration offerings such as unified communication software and services. This category also covers Web 2.0 tools and services, such as blogs, wikis, RSS and AJAX; streaming media delivery and videoconferencing technologies; portal software; and messaging applications.

According to Ashish Gupta, Vidyo CMO and SVP of Corporate Development, “We were the first to recognize the importance of mobile video communications and collaboration and the first to deliver HD video conferencing on mobile devices. As mobile devices become more powerful and business-critical to the Enterprise eco system, our video communications and collaboration platform will enable partners to build and deliver applications that were not available before, since Vidyo is the most cost-effective, scalable, interoperable and versatile solution in the industry.”

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Related Links:

- John Cox’s article in Network World: “Vidyo’s mobile videoconferencing app showcased on iPad 2
- Full Vidyo press release: “Vidyo Wins 2011 Best of Interop Award for Collaboration
- Vidyo Blog post with a video demo of VidyoConferencing on a iPad 2: “See it NOW: Vidyo conferences on iPad 2!

- Vidyo Blog post with a video demo of VidyoConferencing on a Galaxy Tab: “Telepresence: Coming soon to a Galaxy Near You
- Jim O’Neill’s article in FierceVOIP: “VidyoMobile teleconferencing available on iOS, Android devices

- Full VidyoRouter Cloud Edition press release: “Vidyo Architecture Offers Unmatched Scalability and Economics for Large Enterprise and Carrier Video Conferencing”