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Tom Keating
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Video Conferencing

Microsoft Kinect Adds Video Chat

June 14, 2010

Project Natal for the XBOX 360 has just been renamed to Microsoft Kinect. Personally, I prefer the old name. In any event, Microsoft also announced a VoIP & video conferencing app simply called Video Chat. Great, get rid of a cool project name and then offer the lamest name for a video chat application ever! Offering a video app is a natural extension for this video camera device.

With this news of bringing videoconferencing to your TV, it would appear Microsoft isn't going to take Skype trying to take over the living room TV lying down.

CounterPath Announces Linux Softphone

June 2, 2010

Today, CounterPath has announced its Bria for Linux softphone client. Bria for Linux will support multiple VoIP accounts, LDAP, a wide variety of codecs and more. The new Bria 3.0 for Linux will debut next month, however CounterPath said it has already ben deployed by two Fortune 500 companies. CounterPath is well-known for it's industry-leading SIP clients, both free (X-Lite) and paid (Bria), so perhaps the biggest advantage of this announcement is that enterprises can have a single SIP application that enables VoIP across embedded products, Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems.

fring Brings Video Calling to Android

May 27, 2010

Panasonic Activates Skype on Viera 2010 HDTVs

May 18, 2010

Skype Group Video Arrives!

May 13, 2010

Today, Skype released a beta of their new software which enables group video for up to 5 video participants. This was a key feature missing by Skype that for years Skype fans (including myself) have complained about. Of course, Sightspeed, now part of Logitech has had multi-party video for a long time.

Here's the kicker though from Skype's blog:
Group video calling is just one in a set of new premium features you'll see us roll out during 2010. We haven't set prices for these premium features yet, but rest assured that we're still absolutely committed to bringing you free voice and two-way video calling.
I bolded the relevant portions.

FaceTime Vantage - The Ultimate Unified Communications Compliance Tool

March 29, 2010

As I have mentioned in the past, controlling and monitoring Skype usage in the enterprise is very difficult. It is Skype's ability to work on any network, regardless of the types of NAT, proxy, firewall, or intrusion prevention systems that have helped make Skype such a popular application. It is this same set of characteristics that has made Skype the bane of many corporate network managers that wish to control what applications run on their network.

FaceTime Communications ( today announced the release of Vantage, a software solution for the security, management and compliance of real time and unified communications, including Skype. Vantage is the successor to FaceTime's IMAuditor, (note the name change) and it expands the support for UC platforms such as Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) and IBM Lotus Sametime and for the first time provides stringent security and compliance controls for Skype in the enterprise.

Most notable among the features integral to Vantage are extensive support for OCS Group Chat, compliance archiving and ethical wall creation for Microsoft Live Meeting and support for Call Admission Control (CAC) to manage resource allocation.  Support is also provided for logging IBM Lotus Sametime announcements, file transfer capture, scanning and controls and a host of compliance features including ethical walls, inline disclaimers and data leak prevention. 

In addition to controlling who can use Skype, the software also records the Skype instant messages, controls whether file transfers are allowed, and can control when VoIP or video can be used.

Carrier Peering Federation Enables HD Voice and HD Video

January 21, 2010

One of the more interesting bit of news coming out of ITEXPO is that XConnect is not only offering "High-Definition (HD) Voice Peering Federation", but they're also offering a free one month trial. Their federation service for carrier peering let's you carry both HD voice and HD video by passing codecs across carrier networks.

Importantly, there is now a bridge server as part of Asterisk that assists in HD transcoding. So if 3 of us on a call and if only 2 of us have HD voice phones, Asterisk can transcode it so 2 phones that have HD stay on HD, while the 3rd phone goes down to G.711 or another non-HD codec.

Tandberg Enhances Movi, But Will Cisco Slam the Video Interoperability Door?

December 8, 2009

Videoconferencing is becoming more critical to businesses, especially with many enterprises employing remote teleworkers. As such, having high-quality HD video has become a requirement, as is the ability to simultaneously collaborate within the videoconferencing session.

Well, today, TANDBERG announced new advanced capabilities for Movi, its business-quality PC video solution. Movi offers the ability to share content, HD video, we well as full audio capabilities and centralized management. Movi's key new feature is the ability to share PC content with other session participants.

I'll just reiterate my concerns about Cisco recently acquiring Tandberg, where I thought perhaps Cisco could take Tandberg's various industry standards-solutions and make them closed/proprietary solutions.

fring Brings Video calls to iPhone and iPod touch

December 1, 2009

fring has done it again! A few weeks ago they brought video calls to the Google Android. Then last week they brought video calls to Nokia phones with promises that the Apple iPhone was coming soon.

Well, that day has arrived! You can now have video calls on your iPhone I installed fring on my iPhone and am about to test it.

fring and Skype Video calls on your Mobile Phone

November 25, 2009

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