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Ubergizmo has published the first pictures of AnyBot's new Q(X) telepresence robot which has been built with a Polycom RealPresence videoconferencing engine. The new design is a departure from the company's iconic QB which featured an oversized head, tiny screen, and big eyes on a stick in favor of a significantly larger display and form factor. The bot will be competing with robotic telepresence platforms including Suitable Technologies' Beam and iRobot's Ava. Please see the Telepresence Options Comparison Chart: Robotic Telepresence: Tale of the Tape 2013 for the most comprehensive comparison of all the leading Robotic Telepresence platforms. Bookmark our Robotic Telepresence page for the latest coverage of the industry.
The information requested below will be used in support of the VC DireXions Summit. The goal of this event to help give a voice to users and customers of visual collaboration technology and services. Through the VC DireXions program, we will directly share these concerns and requests with the VC community (including Vendors and Providers) and create an open dialog to discuss the potential for working together on solutions.
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Telepresence technology has taken some giant leaps forward in recent years. The difference, said Human Productivity Lab founder and president Howard Lichtman, is the human factor.
Continuing the roll out of our 2013 series covering the leading companies in videoconferencing, telepresence, and visual collaboration, we offer a profile of Masergy.
Masergy delivers customized, high-performance communications platforms with flexible network connectivity options, embedded network services, hybrid cloud communications and secure managed services.
Our complete collection of Company Profiles, Solutions Snapshots, and Catalog Entries will be featured in the print version of the Telepresence and Videoconferencing Catalog. The print catalog will accompany the next issue of Telepresence Options Magazine, which will be delivered in May to over 5000+ subscribers and industry influential in 100+ countries. Get your free subscription here. Companies that are interested in having their company profiled on Telepresence Options and appearing in print version of the Catalog should contact us at Info@TelepresenceOptions.com
Earlier this year we covered a new, and unique, visual collaboration solution. The Mezzanine by Oblong. Please see our previous article for the full details, but for a vast oversimplification, think of the futuristic displays in the Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report" (which the Oblong scientists happen to have worked on). Rather than having a dedicated monitors for videoconferencing, or data share, or other content, the characters in the movie just seamlessly swapped any type of content from screen to screen. Mezzanine gives a mult-monitor meeting room the same type of flexibility.
The unique user interface follows a similar workflow to the common PowerPoint slide deck creation. Users can add or move content to the monitors, much as you would add or move content between PowerPoint slides. The result is a very flexible, and powerful presentation and collaboration environment. The power is amplified when Mezzanine rooms in multiple locations are connected, allowing for not just remote meetings, but true remote collaboration. Please see our earlier coverage for more information about the solution.
Since we last checked in, there has been a lot of activity from the Oblong Team. We got the details from Mike Brown, Global VP Sales for Oblong. Keep reading to learn about the four big things happening with Oblong.
Most people are amazed at the fluidity and naturalness of the responsive speech by Sweden's social robot called Furhat. We are impressed at the potential for telepresence where anyone's face can be projected onto the head-shaped transparent display. The head is remotely controllable similar to the head-and-neck telepresence systems like Revolve Robotic's Kubi which allows for remote participants to look around and interact with people using videoconferencing-equipped tablets. We are looking for someone to build a telepresence model. Luckily the good folks at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology have published some instructions on how to replicate their work.
ClearOne is best known for their quality personal and Pro audio gear, which can be critical to providing an immersive and productive visual collaboration experience. However, they haven't been the first company that comes to mind when thinking of the video equipment itself. That is starting to change. In January of 2012 the company announced that they had acquired the Israeli videoconferencing innovator VCON for a reported $4.5M in cash.
The acquisition gives ClearOne a strong portfolio of relatively low-cost, high-quality software based videoconferencing solutions which include room systems, desktop clients and video network infrastructure. These video offerings can be easily bundled with ClearOne's audio gear and move through its existing relationships with distributors and pro-av and IT partners. The company has hired videoconferencing industry veteran Adi Regev, former vice president of products at Vidyo, to head the video conferencing business worldwide. We wanted to get the details so we interviewed Adi to get the scoop.
Continuing our series profiling the leading companies in videoconferencing, telepresence, and visual collaboration, we offer a profile of AVI-SPL, the world's leading video communications partner, specializing in designing, building and supporting collaborative environments.
The company's solution portfolio addresses everything from routine meetings to the most challenging conference requirements across video, audio and web platforms, providing the most comprehensive technology and logistical support to help its partners and customers increase revenues, improve productivity and reach new markets.
Click through to learn more about AVI-SPL and their unmatched resources to provide top-level services in every market, including corporate, education, healthcare, government, financial, legal and hospitality.
November 2013 Edition
The WebRTC Conference & Expo III is underway. You need to stay informed on the latest developments in the WebRTC world, so we are partnering with the crack editorial team at TMCnet to bring you the news you need to know from this event.
UPDATE: Demo Winners!
Congratulations to all the winners. For complete coverage of the demo winners please see this excellent article by Rachel Ramsey.
Here at Telepresence Options we are working to provide continuing coverage of the potentially revolutionary WebRTC protocol. The evidence, both anecdotal and statistical, of increased adoption and user satisfaction related to browser based videoconferencing, continues to mount. The popularity of WebRTC videoconferencing is not surprising. People are comfortable using their browsers for all sorts of rich media applications. There is less of a barrier to ask someone to click on a website, compared to having to download and install a client. It makes sense that people are proving to be less resistant to joining video meetings when offered a browser based option.
When we learned that Videxio was adding WebRTC support to their virtual meeting room solution, we reached out to CEO, Tom-Erik Lia, to get the scoop. Since seeing is believing, I met with him in a Videxio virtual room, using a WebRTC connection from my Chrome browser. The extended meeting (well over an hour) was high quality, and hiccup free. This was no beta demo, this was a professional meeting experience.
Click through to learn more about Videxio and their WebRTC enabled visual collaboration platform.
Continuing our series profiling the leading companies in videoconferencing, telepresence, and visual collaboration, we offer a profile of AT&T, one of the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to businesses.
Click through to learn more about AT&T and the first, fully managed, multipoint, business-to-business telepresence application powered by the industry leading AT&T global MPLS IP-based network.
How do you help invigorate the Microsoft machine? Well, for Peter Lee, the answer lies in the frontiers of computer science. Lee is the new managing director of Microsoft Research, the company's global research arm. His job is to help his parent company, not always quick on the uptake with emerging technology, understand the latest advances in computer science and better integrate them into both new and existing products--in other words, to put some fresh life in Microsoft's innovation step.
Microsoft Research's Telepresence Experiments
It's still impossible to be in two places at once, unless you've got one of these gadgets lying around.
The InForm is a dynamic shape display from MIT's Tangible Media Group. It turns 3D data into crude, physical representations in real time.
Using a Kinect motion sensor, it can scan bodily movements and recreate them on a table of physical "pixels," allowing you to manipulate objects on the other end. The pixels on the InForm table are actually a grid of 900 motorized, polystyrene pins that can extend about 4 inches from the surface, according to an MIT paper (PDF) for the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction.
The Telepresence and Videoconferencing Catalog, is being completely redesigned and upgraded in 2013 to provide the most comprehensive overview of visual collaboration providers on the Internet. We recently added 5 new enhanced listings to the catalog.
Videoconferencing is being used around the world in primary education to connect classrooms to each other and interesting places around the world. Telepresence Options takes a look at a program that works in Greenville, South Carolina along with some "News You Can Use": A list of the top destinations for videoconferencing field trips.
Mind-controlled virtual reality system combines the forces of Emotiv EPOC, Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra
This awesome VR project combines the forces of three sophisticated gadgets to take mind-controlled virtual reality to the next level. Use your mind to move around with the Emotiv EPOC brain-interface, look around with the Oculus Rift 3D headset, and move your hands to interact with virtual objects holding the Razer Hydra gaming controller.
Sonus has announced the release of the latest version of their SBC 5000 series of session border controllers. Session border controllers have historically been known for handling general media, interworking and network security issues, but I found this release interesting because of its heavy new support for video traffic. Overall, the release has over 100 updates, including the increasingly essential advanced Lync support. Once again, the ever increasing pervasiveness of video in the workplace is having ripple effects beyond the traditional telepresence paradigm. Today, even SBCs are all about the video.
Telepresence Options is announcing the addition of a new Technology Brief to our growing report library. The paper, sponsored by Phoenix Audio Technologies, is titled "Quality Audio is Crucial for Visual Collaboration: A Quick Note for Users, Vendors, and Integrators of Collaboration Technology" and is available free at the Telepresence Options Scribd Library.
Video-based collaboration is an exciting and empowering business tool. But with all the focus on video, some of us may be taking audio for granted. Audio quality can have a much greater impact on your meetings and working sessions than you may realize. This Technology Brief drills down into the relationship between audio quality, worker fatigue, and meeting effectiveness. Learn what you need to know, to ensure you aren't hurting your team's productivity.
This report is designed to help users, vendors, and integrators of collaboration technology address audio considerations. In addition to discussing general audio considerations, the report offers an example of a novel means of providing ceiling mic coverage, without requiring an expensive audio mixer.
As we all move to transform our antiquated meeting rooms into modern collaborative team workspaces, and as collaborative technologies filter down from the Fortune 1000 to small and medium firms, we must keep the user experience in mind. Whether building a premium boardroom, or a small huddle room, you can't afford to leave the audio to chance.
Today's meeting rooms and shared workspaces force us to make an unfortunate choice. We can use our personal devices, or we can use the premium meeting room collaboration tools in the room. If we use our own devices, life is simple, there is no learning curve, no complicated tools to learn. You can present a slide deck using the very same laptop or tablet you used to create the presentation. You can host videoconferencing meetings using the same VC solution you use at your desktop. But you are limited by the screen size and audio capabilities of your device. The result is a smoothly run presentation / meeting with limited impact.
On the other hand, we can learn to use dedicated (and expensive) meeting room tools and systems with premium audio and video quality. While this provides us with a more immersive and productive experience, it can lead to more failed meetings due to user error and technical complications. It also requires the implementation of expensive dedicated tools in your meeting room to begin with.
This is where Vaddio steps in with its GroupSTATION solution (which has gone GA today). We met with Vaddio CEO, Rob Sheeley, to see this offering in action and get the details about Vaddio's plan to embrace the BYOD revolution. Click through to see what we learned.