Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Video Conferencing

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Adds Touch Support - Killer Enterprise Tablet UC!

July 18, 2012

Microsoft is continuing to make strides in their Lync platform. While the big news two days ago was the Office 2013 news, including support for touch and cloud support, you may have missed the simultaneous news about the Microsoft Lync Preview 2013 becoming available for download.

Microsoft Lync 2013 is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform that supports instant messaging, voice, HD video, and conferencing, and eliminates the need to use a VPN for encryption. Lync 2013 supports HD video conferencing and it's the first version of Lync to take advantage of Windows 8 “touch first” capabilities to provide fast, natural, hands-on control of communications.

This touch support will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features.



Polycom Launches SDK, Doubles Scalability, Better Tablet Video Conferencing Support

July 16, 2012

I spoke with John Antanaitis, Polycom VP of Marketing to discuss the news about their various news announcements made today. One of the announcements is a new version of RealPresence Mobile (1.3) which now runs on HTC One smartphones and the HTC Jetstream tablet, along with the new Apple iPad. This version adds far end camera control (FEC) to allow users to control the camera. RealPresence Mobile 1.3's camera control feature enables you to remotely control the camera on the other end of a video meeting allowing users to pinch-to-zoom, pan, or tilt the camera to get a better look at the subject or the environment. This feature is especially important in many vertical market applications such as healthcare, for more in-depth patient consultations; educational settings, for panning the classroom or zooming in on a speaker or presentation; and manufacturing plants, to closely examine the products on the factory floor.

Microsoft Lync 2010 for iPad 2.2 Released But No VoIP or Video

June 29, 2012


Microsoft recently released Lync 2010 for iPad v4.2. Features include rich presence, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and calling features, but surprisingly no VoIP or video conferencing. Instead it uses a callback mechanism for the voice calling.

You can connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers as well as make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, enabling you to connect with others using a single, consistent identity.


Microsoft XBOX Surface To Feature PixelSense?

June 18, 2012

Today is the big Microsoft "reveal", with everything pointing towards a Microsoft designed tablet. One rumored spec sheet via Shift2U is very fascinating detailing a new device called Xbox Surface:

At first glance I saw the 250GB 2.5" SCSI 10K RPM disk drive, which is way too thick and heavy for a tablet device. But then I read the rumored announcement is actually two devices. The other intriguing spec I saw was the maximum resolution of 1280x720, which seemed to be pretty small for a 7" tablet device.

Bria Android Edition Adds Video Calling (Finally!)

June 12, 2012



CounterPath today announced they've added video calling to its Bria Android Edition mobile softphone, which is now available in the Google Play app store. It's been two years since Counterpath for Android was launched, so video calling has been a long time coming.

Video calling for Bria Android Edition supports the H.264 video codec. Interestingly, the video calling feature is an additional "add on" fee to the $7.99 Bria Android app.

Apple's FaceTime in iOS 6 Now Works Over Cellular

June 11, 2012


In a bold move (not really), Apple is lifting the restriction that only permitted FaceTime to work over Wi-Fi and not 3G/4G cellular networks. Apple announced this at the Worldwide Developers Conference and no doubt users will be happy since there is not always a Wi-Fi connection available.

This is a highly-requested feature, because users are not always connected to a Wi-Fi signal. Another FaceTime enhancement in iOS 6 includes the unification of a user’s phone number with an Apple ID, which allows calls to be answered on an iPad and Mac. Apple said it is doing the same with iMessage too.

Of course, AT&T is regretting unlimited iPhone data plans and Verizon is phasing out unlimited data plans, in favor of tiered plans, which means just when you can use FaceTime anywhere, anytime - Verizon and possibly AT&T in the near future will slam the door. Personally, I think Apple was slow on the draw on this one.




LG-Ericsson SBG-1000 Review

June 6, 2012



When you think unified communications (UC) you’re most likely to think voice, video, and IM/chat. The LG-Ericsson SBC-1000 takes a slightly different and quite unique approach unifying voice, video, and IM/chat but also data, security, and IT services. The LG-Ericsson SBG-1000 is an all-in-one phone and IT system that sports both phone features as well as IT infrastructure features, such as a print server, file server, PoE switch, router, SPI firewall, QoS, bandwidth allocator, VPN concentrator, Wi-Fi access point, and DECT base station. It truly is an “office in a box” offering all your typical voice and IT infrastructure needs.

SimpleSignal Brings Mobile Enterprise Video Conferencing to Apple & Android Mobile Devices

May 30, 2012

SimpleSignal, a cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration provider announced today that they are bringing mobile enterprise video conferencing to Apple's iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Android mobile devices. Their cross-platform video phone compatibility works across a variety of mobile, desktop and telepresence/video-enabled devices, via a WiFi connection or a 3G/4G network.

I've said in the past that I predict Apple iPads (& Android tablets) will be your next enterprise desktop phone because of their UC and video phone capabilities. SimpleSignal also believes tablets and other mobile devices will be game changers when it comes to UC. Hookflash is another interesting player in the mobile UC space.

According to SimpleSignal, "The seamless integration of iOS and Android operating systems into SimpleSignal's Unified Communications platform, coupled with the mobile video capabilities of these devices, means that advanced enterprise communications capabilities are no longer confined to the desktop."

"This new mobile video service is the biggest breakthrough in SimpleSignal history," said Dave Gilbert, CEO of SimpleSignal.





OPNET Technologies, Inc. Acquires Clarus Systems, for Unified Communications Management

May 30, 2012


OPNET Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPNT), a provider of solutions for application and network performance management, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Clarus Systems, Inc., a privately held software company headquartered in Redwood City, California. The acquisition expands OPNET's product portfolio for application and network performance management by adding Unified Communications (UC) to the management mix.

Clarus software provides end-to-end service management for Enterprise Voice over IP (VoIP), Unified Communications, and TelePresence video. Clarus's suite, ClarusIPC Plus+, maximizes service performance and availability through automated testing, performance monitoring, configuration management, and business intelligence reporting.


Skype Aware of IP Security Flaw Back in 2010

May 3, 2012

Some more interesting information has come to light regarding the IP revealing security flaw in Skype. Researchers from Inria, a research institute in France, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University discovered the flaw. Stevens Le Blond, one of the team's researchers who discovered the exploit told the Wall Street Journal that the team first discovered the flaw in November 2010. They were actually able to track the city-level location of more than 10,000 Skype users over a period of two weeks simply by making short calls to users that don't cause a Skype notification popup and the calls don't appear in the call histories.
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