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The Haptic Tech That Could Let You Touch The Person You're Skyping With

November 24, 2015 | Telepresence Options


I was skeptical. Two cubes sat side-by-side, looking like stripped-down 3D printers. I sat in front of one as instructed, and reached my hand inside, toward a floating disembodied finger. Just at the moment I knew I'd stab through the illusion, I had the ultimate "E.T. phone home" moment--I swear I could feel the other finger pressing on mine.


Cisco to buy collaboration company Acano for $700 million

November 20, 2015 | Telepresence Options



Cisco Systems Inc. said Friday it agreed to buy privately held conferencing software company Acano Ltd. for $700 million, a move by the network giant to grow its collaboration business.

The cash deal is expected to be completed in Cisco's quarter ending April 30.


Yealink Announces New Videoconferencing Endpoint, Video Phone, and Desktop Client

November 18, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Yealink, a global leading unified communication provider, announced today three new additions to its one-stop video conferencing solutions: the VC110 All-in-One Videoconferencing Endpoint, the SIP VP-T49G HD Touch Screen Video Phone and its VC Desktop software.


Fuze acquired by ThinkingPhones, bolstering collaborative options for businesses

November 17, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Steve Kokinos, co-founder and CEO of ThinkingPhones

Video conferencing startup Fuze sold to ThinkingPhones on Monday for an undisclosed sum.

Prior to the acquisition, San Francisco-based Fuze raised $68.5 million over four rounds from investors such as Khosla Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, Index Ventures and Hermes Growth Partners. The company also has offices in Palo Alto and Seattle.


The past and future of the videoconference room, Part 2: The Room

November 11, 2015 | Howard Lichtman


Getting to the right answer when picking collaboration systems is never just about the technology. The first step is understanding your use case and environment.


Get a Virtual-Reality Punch, Feel Real Impact

November 10, 2015 | Telepresence Options

Thumbnail image for Impacto_armband.jpg

Imagine playing a virtual-reality boxing game, complete with a menacing opponent aiming a haymaker at your head. You get your gloves up in time to block the punch, but you feel no impact when it hits, breaking the otherwise immersive experience.

Impacto, a prototype developed by researchers in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, sidesteps this deficit in mainstream VR experiences. The technology consists of an armband that combines basic haptic feedback (a tap or vibration on the skin) with electrical muscle stimulation to push or pull the user's limb in a way that convincingly simulates a physical impact.


Tely Breaks into Enterprise Video Conferencing with Focus on Huddle Spaces to Fuel Creativity

November 6, 2015 | Telepresence Options


October 27, 2015, Redwood City, CA - Tely today announced its vision to enable enterprises to deliver video collaboration to the growing millennial workforce with a new solution to video conferencing and collaboration. Tely is introducing the Tely 200, an affordable, simple to use video collaboration endpoint that integrates and connects with the cloud-based video service of your choice. Tely is also launching Tely Portal, a cloud based management platform that makes it easy for IT departments to deploy and manage the endpoints from the cloud. With the Tely 200, customers can easily share content and initiate a virtual meeting with a single click.


Polycom's New Products Shake Up Workplace Collaboration

October 29, 2015 | Telepresence Options


I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation for an advanced briefing on Polycom's big announcement celebrating their 25th anniversary with a few brand new solutions. I started the day by chatting with Polycom EVP of WW Engineering, Michael Frendo, who was immediately speaking my language. He assured me that while the team was very proud of the specs and feature sets of the products I was about to see, the focus was going to be on actual user applications and workflow. In today's collaboration market, this is the clearest path to success. Customers today are a lot less impressed by "cool toys" and a lot more concerned about hosting productive working sessions with remote-based teams.


Woman sends robot to queue for iPhone 6s so she doesn't have to

September 24, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Lucy the robot is queuing up outside to get an iPhone 6s - whilst her owner stays nice and warm

For the geekiest Apple faithful, queuing up for the newest iGadget has become a time-honoured tradition.

But one savvy fan hit upon the ingenious idea of outsourcing the menial task to a robot.


Blue Jeans Network Raises $76.5M To Bring Video Conferencing Beyond The Office

September 23, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by TechCrunch

Blue Jeans Network, a company that provides cloud-based video conferencing services, has raised $76.5 million in its fifth round of financing.

NEA led the Series E round, joined by Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, Glynn Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, and Quadrille Capital. Jeter Ventures, a new fund launched by MLB all-star Derek Jeter, also participated.


Say Cheese! The past and future of the videoconference room camera

September 22, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Enterprise videoconferencing has been around in one form or another for decades. The space has been - and continues to be - owned by many diverse silos (facilities, AV, IT, UC) which is one of the key reasons it is still "seeking its potential" all these years later.

While the latest thinking has videoconference room systems playing a much smaller role in the world of Unified Communications (smaller both in importance and the size of the typical room) it is still an essential tool in an organization's collaboration ecosystem. All of which makes one wonder why the approach to these systems is still so confusing and...well...FUBAR is really the only term to describe it. In this first of a few bogs where I'll address this space, I'll focus on the videoconference room camera.


Rutgers Collaborative VideoWall Program Connects Their Multiple Campuses

September 17, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Rutgers University's Dept of Computer Science has developed a series of collaborative videowalls that connects classrooms in their multiple campuses. The system designed by computer science professor Richard Martin and Doug Motto, a program manager in the department, over the course of two years uses off-the-shelf consumer electronics and software the dept developed themselves with the goal of making "distance obsolete". This story from Rutgers Today's John Chadwick and a presentation from Professor Martin found on the net provide additional details.

Rutgers Collaborative VideoWalls


Polycom Freshens Its Meeting Room Video Offerings

September 14, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Polycom made three new announcements last week for their video lineup. I had a chance to speak with Chris Thorson, Sr. Director of Marketing at Polycom, to get the inside scoop.

As we all know, a good user experience requires a lot more than a quality video image. The workflow itself is important. For many years, one of the banes of the VC world has been the overly complicated remote control. People always found them to be intimidating and confusing, no matter how well designed. On the other hand, users have no problem learning to use touch apps. Therefore, it makes sense to offer a small touch surface to Polycom VC users, to replace the old remote control. From the video (above) the UI appears to be clean and user friendly.


Presenting Well on Video Is the New Career Prerequisite

September 10, 2015 | Telepresence Options


You may not be an on-air personality, but today's careers require everyone to be a video star.

With the increasing ease of video technology - Skype, Periscope - presenting well on video is a career advantage and fast-becoming a prerequisite. At all stages of career, from landing a job to developing professional to leading increasingly global teams, the everyday professional, not just the media or marketing group, needs video skills. Here are some real-life examples where video matters, and tips for getting more comfortable in front of the camera:


Harvard's New Digital Classroom

September 3, 2015 | Telepresence Options

harvard-virtual-classroom.jpgharvard-virtual-classroom_Control_room.jpgTop: Harvard Digital Classroom Bottom: The Control Room

THE newest classroom at Harvard University's business school has no desks or chairs. Instead, the professor teaches facing a towering digital screen that stretches from wall to wall, filled with the live video feeds of up to 60 students tuned in from their computers.

IN the futuristic classroom, housed in a television studio three kilometres from campus, class plays out like a giant video conference.

Students can jump in to ask questions or respond to their classmates. The professor can stop a lecture to quiz individual students, or send the group a quick online poll. The project, called HBX Live, is a departure from the genre of online courses that are recorded in advance to be taken later. Here, Harvard sought to create a live, online replica of its campus classrooms. "With one difference, of course, which is we collapse geography," said Bharat Anand, a business professor and faculty chairman of HBX, a digital initiative at the school.


Cisco and Apple Team for Improving Collaboration on Mobile Devices & Sales Partnership

September 1, 2015 | Howard Lichtman
Apple_Cisco_Webx_telepresence.jpg Apple and Cisco announced a partnership on Monday to improve the way that Apple mobile devices work on corporate networks and work with Cisco collaboration applications like Cisco WebEx, TelePresence, and Spark. "This is a major strategic partnership, something that neither company has done before," said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group. "We have a shared vision of a completely seamless experience." Engineers from both companies have been working together for 10 months, and Cisco and Apple salespeople will go on joint sales calls, he said.

Wey Intelligent Keyboard Integrates Videoconferencing, Control Panel, and Videowall Control Into Touch Panel on Keyboard

September 1, 2015 | Howard Lichtman

Wey_Intelligent_Keyboard.jpgWEY Technology announces the launch of the "WEY Smart Touch" keyboard. The WEY Smart Touch significantly simplifies processes in all multi-screen workplaces where users need to switch between different systems. The intelligent keyboard boasts a broad range of surprising features...Central to the WEY Smart Touch is its 10" touch screen that automatically adapts its layout to the selected system. Telephony, messenger, two-way radio and videoconferencing, as well as external devices and other software applications, can be integrated seamlessly. Users can easily manage and control all their connected systems and switch between them.


Redboot Launches Desktop Collaboration and Conferencing App

August 25, 2015 | Telepresence Options

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Redbooth-Workspace.png

Redbooth, a company that sells software with task management, videoconferencing, and messaging features, is announcing today that it has built a new native desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Until now people were only able to use Redbooth in a web browser, or on iOS and Android.

Array Telepresence DX Camera vs. Cisco and Polycom's Voice Tracking Camera Technology

August 20, 2015 | Telepresence Options

At a cursory glance one might think that the Array DX Camera module and Image Processor are competitive offerings with Cisco's SpeakerTrack 60 and Polycom's Eagle Eye Director which attempt to solve the problem of the farthest participants from the camera having tiny, indecipherable features and poor human factors by using machine vision and voice-tracking to zoom in on and frame the active speakers.

The reality is Array's approach solves the "postage stamp-sized head" problem in a vastly superior manner and then further improves the scene and the experience in a variety of ways that will delight your end-users and everyone you conference with.


Razer Unveils 3D-sensing Camera With Intel's RealSense Technology

August 19, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Intel's RealSense technology was announced last year and for those who are hearing about it for the first time, this is basically a piece of camera technology that will be able to detect gestures, come with facial recognition, and can even detect finger-level movements as well, making it a lot more subtle.

That being said, Razer who is primarily a games peripheral maker, has announced a new camera which will take advantage of Intel's RealSense technology. The idea of this camera is to enhance the gaming experience of its users, and at the same time will also appeal to internet broadcasters such as those on Twitch.

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