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Tom Keating
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Video Conferencing

Yealink VP-2009 Review

January 7, 2011


Yealink sent me their Yealink VP-2009 color touch-screen videophone to review a few months back and I finally found some time to crack open the box and check out this very cool phone. Featuring a large 7" digital TFT-LCD with 800×480 pixels resolution, the VP-2009 is pretty slick looking and supports HD voice (G.722) and popular HD codecs (H.263 & H.264).

Installation
Installing the VP-2009 was a breeze. I registered the phone with a trixbox Pro system, which is an Asterisk-based IP-PBX. After connecting it to the network and acquiring an IP address, I went to the web portal and logged with the default credentials (user = admin, password = admin).



Panasonic Adds Skype Voice & Video Calling to New Panasonic Blu-Ray Players

January 5, 2011

Panasonic and Skype today announced that Skype Voice & Video calling will be added to new 2011 Viera CAST-enabled Panasonic Blu-Ray players. Skype already had a partnership deal with Panasonic to bring video & voice calling to Panasonic HDTVs via an external HD camera. This deal extends the Skype ecosystem a little further.

Polar Bears + Not-so-indestructible Cameras = Pure Entertainment

January 3, 2011


The BBC's popular BBC show Top Gear collaborated with superspy James Bond's friend and co-worker Q to create not-so-stealthly spy camera gadgets masquerading as chunks of ice designed to spy on polar bears. One of the spy cams Blizzard Cam glides on skis powered by 2 propellers and can reach 40mph. You would think a cam that travels 40mph would have no problem outrunning a polar bear. Well, you would be wrong.

There is also Snowball Cam, a spherical camera designed to survive immense pressures and is designed to get in close to the polar bears.


Skype Video For iPhone!

December 30, 2010


Skype Video for iPhone is here! You can now make video calls from your iPhone with the latest update from the Apple App Store. Rich Tehrani and I tested it this morning on his iPhone 4 with my iPhone 3GS (only rear-facing camera).

The video quality was pretty good. I estimate between 5-12 fps over WiFi. After awhile my 3GS started going black for a few seconds and then would turn back on.


Hitachi America Launches CPX9 Portable Series LCD Projector

December 21, 2010

Hitachi America today announced the CPX9 Portable Series LCD projector, useful anywhere a lightweight, high-quality projector is needed. It weighs less than five pounds and measures just 12 x 8.7 x 3 inches. The CPX9 can project images up to 300 inches (diagonal measurement) with XGA resolution, 3,200 lumens brightness and 16.7 million colors.

Use Skype to Video Call Any Video Endpoint: Polycom, Cisco, Tandberg, etc.

November 22, 2010

Christian Bongiovanni, co-CEO and CTO for Imagicle gave me a demo of SkyStone Video, which enables video conferencing everywhere to any video endpoint. Using SkyStone Video you can call any video endpoint using Skype, including Cisco/Tandberg, Lifesize, Polycom, Radvision, Sony, and others, enabling you to call video phones, video conferencing systems, and telepresence solutions. Guess this means the VoIP Videphone War is over!

To do the demo I simply went to their website and clicked this button (Note: you can do this too):

If you hover your mouse over the button above you'll see it's a Skype link.

Microsoft Lync Meets Video Kinect on Xbox 360

November 22, 2010


During my New York City demo with Microsoft's Lync team a few weeks ago I discussed with one of the Microsoft employees the Kinect for the Xbox 360 and how it would be a perfect fit for Microsoft Lync. He hinted it would indeed be coming. The Kinect is basically a two-camera system, comprised of one 640x480 color camera and another 640x480 IR depth-finding camera using for mapping objects in 3D. Kinect already offers video chat with Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger system, but that is more of a consumer-based app. Certainly adding Microsoft Lync support to Kinect makes a lot of sense.

ooVoo Adds Facebook and YouTube Integration

November 9, 2010


Today ooVoo announced their new 2.9 software update which includes powerful social media integration and video sharing. In 2.9, users can connect and share their ooVoo status with Facebook and invite Facebook friends to join them on ooVoo, as well as upload recorded video calls or messages to YouTube.

“Our latest 2.9 release with Facebook and YouTube integration is a great first step in allowing fans of ooVoo to combine their social networks with their video chat experience,” said Philippe Schwartz, CEO of ooVoo.  “The growth of our high quality service is driven by our goal to provide seamless video communication on multiple platforms.  We’ll continue to grow as we integrate social media tools and launch new products that help ooVoo accomplish anywhere, anytime video communications.”

Other changes in version 2.9 include the launch of “ooVoo Buddy,” a tool designed to help users create video messages or launch a multi-person call, and inform users of new features that can enhance their ooVoo experience. 




Adobe Launches Adobe Connect 8

November 1, 2010

Adobe today announced Adobe Connect 8, a significant update to the company’s Web conferencing solution for enabling Web meetings, online training and webinars. Based on the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player software, the latest version provides enterprises and governments worldwide with broad capabilities for delivering rich experiences across multiple devices, while maintaining easy, reliable meeting entry.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature is the addition of two-way Universal Voice that allows customers to bridge audio from any conferencing provider into an Adobe Connect room and provide two-way communication between participants on both VoIP and telephone audio. Another nifty feature is the improved drag-and-drop interface that lets the meeting leader grant meeting attendees video, audio, or on-screen sharing capabilities, or change attendee roles on the fly during the meeting. New views allow presenters to quickly get vote counts and easily control breakout sessions.

Skype Meets Facebook - But Not Without Problems

October 14, 2010

Skype 5.0 has been released with some new features, including Facebook integration. A new Facebook tab appears within the Skype client, which shows Facebook's 'News Feed' and a phone book. When I linked my Facebook account, I noticed under the privacy settings it said "Access my data any time. Skype may access my data when I'm not using the application".
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