Looking back at CES 2011

Now that we’ve been able to catch our breath after being blown away by the annual whirlwind that’s known as CES, we thought we’d share some of what we thought were the highlights for Vidyo during this truly amazing experience!

First, let’s talk about our great evening at CES ShowStoppers, where Vidyo demonstrated its HD multipoint video conferencing over the Internet. Our demo was quite a hit, as we connected a variety of consumer devices including laptops, an iPad, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the new Google Nexus S running “Gingerbread” with enterprise room systems. The significance of this demonstration is that, as we enter a new era of feature-rich smart phones and tablets, we’re going to want them to connect with our PCs and Macs, desktops and laptops, even video conferencing room systems… and ONLY Vidyo’s unique architecture makes this possible today. Our solution for mobile devices is currently being piloted by a telecom carrier in Europe and we believe these services will be broadly available to consumers around the world before the end of this year.

Then in the CES Exhibit Hall, Vidyo was rubbing shoulders with some major Fashion Industry icons! Thanks to our collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent and ELLE Magazine, as part of the ng Connect Program’s Virtual Personal Stylist, a new retail concept for shoppers, Vidyo’s HD video conferencing technology was featured, demonstrating “real-time” personal interaction between consumers and product consultants.

The new ng Connect Virtual Personal Stylist Program

In a nutshell … CES was, indeed, a great way to start this New Year and a great experience for Vidyo. We anticipate following this up with more extraordinary events, announcements and industry firsts, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

[Click here to read the full press release: "Vidyo Collaborates with Alcatel-Lucent, ELLE as Part of ng Connect’s “Virtual Personal Stylist” Solution Concept at CES"]

[Click here to read the full press release: "Vidyo Extends Multi-Party Telepresence to the Home over the Internet on General Purpose Consumer Devices"]

VidyoConferencing via WiMax

Since the first commercial launch of Mobile WiMAX (IEEE802.16e) approximately two years ago in Baltimore, Maryland, 4G broadband communications have become a sudden reality for vast metropolitan area populations world-wide. By the end of this year, Clear will have launched close to eighty WiMAX networks in the U.S alone - with Clear, Sprint, Timewarner, Comcast, and Best Buy, all selling 4G network service plans for various devices: 4G-ready PCs, 4G USB adapters, 3G/4G hotspots, and 4G/WiFi hotspots to consumers and enterprises.

From a very rudimentary perspective, netbooks, notebooks, slate tablets, and smart phones can be utilized as the traditional cellular phone – in terms of staying connected while traveling in a car, bus, train, etc. Consumers, who had to search out a coffee shop or book store in order to get on the Internet, can now stay connected to the web throughout the city.

Recently, the Internet has unleashed a flurry of uses for both the consumer and the enterprise (e.g. communications, entertainment, collaboration, multimedia, and services like Google Maps, Netflix, etc.). In the midst of all this, a slew of smartphones (like Sprint EPIC 4G, Sprint HTC EVO 4G, Apple iPhone 4, etc.) and slate tablets (the Apple iPad, ExoPC Slate, etc.) have been released like hot cakes into markets.

Sanjiv Gupta, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Intel

What makes these smartphones and tablets so versatile and invaluable to the end-user is not just the sexy size, look and feel. There are an infinite number of creative applications and services that can be developed, downloaded, and utilized from an app store, store front, market, etc. using a variety of operating systems such as Meego, Linux, Android, and Windows.  All these applications and services require broadband communications in order to function superbly.

On top of that, when you add entire population centers (Manhattan, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, etc.) sending and receiving huge amounts of Internet data all at the same time, this requires a multi-lane highway with quality of service for each lane: a far left lane for fast power users and far right lane for slower Internet browsers… This is exactly the self fulfilling prophecy behind Mobile WiMAX which was formulated and developed into the one and only 4G reality in the world today by IEEE.

One company, Vidyo Inc., stands poised to harness the broadband infrastructure by offering high definition, low-latency, error resilient multi-point videoconferencing on conference room systems, desktop, and mobile systems strung along the IP network. Intel and Vidyo have performed video conferencing over WiMAX demonstrations during the past several years (Intel Developer Forum 2010 at the Intel Pavilion in the Moscone Center, in San Francisco), Intel Developer Forum 2009 (click here to see Dadi Perlmutter’s Keynote demo on stage at Moscone Center, San Francisco), Computex 2009 (Sean Maloney’s Keynote demo on stage at TICC building, Taipei, Taiwan). For Computex 2009, a Vidyo conference was showcased over the Amsterdam, Netherland’s Worldmax WiMAX network into the TICC Keynote, and for IDF2009, a Vidyo conference was showcased over the Portland, Oregon’s Clear WiMAX network into the Moscone Center keynote.

In addition to being equipped with a USB webcam and a noise cancelling headset, each of the Intel PCs (Intel Core 2 Duo or i3/i5/i7 core processor-based) was loaded with VidyoDesktop software with its configurations managed by the VidyoPortal.  The VidyoRoom was set-up remotely by Vidyo.

Vidyo’s proprietary distributed computing solution significantly eliminates long delays, choppy frames, and broken pictures, etc. in multipoint video conferencing over the Internet – Vidyo technology divides and buckets the video bitstreams into highly reliable and low reliable channels. In this way, the video components allow the distributed system to dynamically adapt to changing network conditions (e.g. network bandwidth, packet loss, jitter, network delay, etc.).

The multiple bit stream components also allow for the distributed IP network to adapt to the dynamic nature of computer processing amongst all the client devices engaged in the video conference. WiMAX, as the wireless broadband communication medium, offers speeds which are ten times faster than 3G with corresponding 10MHz channel bandwidth as well as a QoS infrastructure which intelligently allocates an appropriate modulation scheme for users on the network.

Hence, Vidyo in conjunction with WiMAX offers the most robust video conferencing solutions/experiences to date - especially for clients who are un-tethered to a wired network (DSL, Cable Modem, etc.) and on the go.

———————————————————————–

Sanjiv S. Gupta is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Intel Corp with focus on WiMAX enablement world wide – primarily in U.S., Latin America, India and the EU. He has been with Intel Corporation for twelve years and has been directly responsible for the marketing/integration of Intel’s graphics and wireless components into OEM PCs worldwide.  Sanjiv S. Gupta received a BSEE from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a MSEE from the University of Texas, Arlington in 1988 and 1995, respectively.  His experience in high technology spans more than twenty years with past roles as Senior Microwave Design engineer at Texas Instruments, Senior Product Engineer at Cirrus Logic, and Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Brooktree Corp.

Vidyo’s Global Reach Expands

Vidyo welcomes COMM-TEC GmbH, one of the largest distributors of communication technology in Europe, who recently became the latest in a growing number of important international distributors that are offering Vidyo’s full range of products.  As one of the major AV distributors in Europe, COMM-TEC is not merely impressed by Vidyo product, but also by its innovation.
Carsten Steinecker, Director Business Development, COMM-TEC

Carsten Steinecker, Managing Director, COMM-TEC

According to Carsten Steinecker, COMK-TEC’s Managing Director, “Vidyo redefines video conferencing and telepresence with its unique technology by making video conferencing independent of location and devices. Vidyo’s IP and the unique way its architecture leverages SVC, resulting in unmatched image quality, even with large bandwidth variations, convinces even the most positive fan of legacy MCU and AVC systems.”


Noteworthy News from the Nordic

Another video conferencing FIRST was announced today: The FIRST video conferencing service that lets business users engage in HD room and desktop video conferencing VIA THEIR SMART PHONES AND TABLETS.  We’re talking about enterprise-grade, multi-party, TV-quality video conferencing on your smart phone or tablet!

This goes way beyond one mobile device interacting with another mobile device.  This new mobile service from leading Nordic communications service provider, Elisa, is being piloted on the Samsung Galaxy phone and tablet. Unlike other recent announcements, this is not something that anyone has to wait for or wonder about.  It’s available today – in the Nordic region using the Elisa service on a Galaxy Tab or smart phone.

Video conferencing for Enterprises is becoming main stream. And for this reason, businesses are looking for conferencing products and technology that are MOBILE, to let anyone, anywhere participate.  They’re looking for services and solutions that let you connect to important conferences on your smart phone or tablet, along with other participants who are on room systems, desktops, laptops, etc.  If you’ve been following the news and this blog then you know that, yes, it is only Vidyo who offers the SVC-based architecture to make this possible.

[Click here to watch a clip posted in last week's blog post that demonstrates VidyoMobile on a Samsung Galaxy]

Businesses that are investing in enterprise-grade video conferencing today need to know that the solution they choose can be leveraged, not only across room systems and desktop video communications, but will also extend beyond, into the realm of mobile devices.  They need to invest in an architecture that serves the widest variety of communications devices.  That’s why more and more service providers, such as Elisa, along with carriers, distributors, and Enterprise customers are turning to Vidyo.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this!

—————————————————————————

Related Links:

- Full press release: “Elisa Corporation to Pilot First Multi-Party TV-Quality Video Conferencing on Smart Phones and Tablets”
- Last week’s Vidyo blog post: “Telepresence: Coming soon to a Galaxy Near You”
- David Gardner’s article on InformationWeek: “Vidyo Intros Enterprise Videoconferencing For Samsung Galaxy
VidyoMobile iPad Demonstration Video
- Matt Hamblen’s article in ComputerWorld: “Update: Galaxy Tab sales hit 1M mark

Latency Matters

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————————————————————————–

Related Links:

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

Make IT Personal

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

VidyoMobile Technology Demonstration on Samsung Galaxy, iPad and iPhone 4

VidyoMobile Technology Demonstration on Samsung Galaxy, iPad and iPhone 4

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

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

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

——————————————————————————————————–

Related Links:

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

Paul Otellini’s Keynote at the IDF

Today marked the beginning of the 2010 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) where Intel announced the new and improved features for its upcoming 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors.

Paul Otellini at the 2010 Intel Developer Forum

Paul Otellini at the 2010 Intel Developer Forum

Intel also demonstrated a “dual processor, next-generation Intel® Xeon® processor server running Vidyo* video conferencing software that utilizes the 32 threads available on the system, and takes advantage of the AES New Instructions set (AESNI). Next-generation Xeon™ processors for 2 socket servers and workstations run 8 cores and 16 threads per processor and are on schedule for production in the second half of 2011.”

——————————————————————————————————–

Related Links:

- Video: Paul Otellini’s full Keynote
- Intel’s Press Release: Intel Details 2011 Processor Features, Offers Stunning Visuals Built-in