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There is a lot of value in doing things from the browser:

  • You don't need to download a thing
  • Theoretically, it works across operating systems
  • Theoretically, it works for PCs as well as mobile handsets
  • You can "widgetize" it and deploy it across multiple sites, mesh it up with other data services, etc.

There is a lot of talk these days about the real-time web: instant updates, instant notifications, instant everything. But, for some reason, this real-timeliness isn't about bi-directional video. You can do something close by streaming video in both directions, but it won't be the same.

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Last week we held the RADVISION Unified Communication Summit in Tel-Aviv. I was tasked with giving a key-note presentation on social media, and decided to look at it from an inter-personal communications perspective. These two concepts may seem very different, but my point was/is that they are set to meet, one way or another.

On one side you have the social media people, who are now regarded as cool and trendy. They tend to look down upon the "old" marketing tactics (from the '90s, that is), and they talk about how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the likes can help your company make millions with hardly any need for investment.

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Sometimes Voice Is All You Need

November 18, 2009 9:36 AM

While I am an avid user and proponent of video conferencing (to me this means all forms of visual communications), I don't believe it is going to replace voice calling - at least not all voice calls. As with other communications technologies, it will replace only part of the other means of communications.

You see - sometimes video is just not what we are looking for. Or at least it's not what is necessary to succeed.

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Video Roundup: Video Conferencing Hype

September 30, 2009 1:46 PM

I'll be placing here links once in a while of news items and blog posts that I find interesting and are related to visual communications.

If you have items you'd like to feature here - just email me at [email protected].

Here goes:

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Video Conferencing: It's Not About Preference

September 23, 2009 11:54 AM

 It is about time we stop pretending as if video conferencing is here to replace face-to-face meetings. Or that it gives a "life-like" experience, which will surely make airline companies redundant. As Rich Tehrani reports from a recent Forbes survey:


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I've been whining a bit about the lack of innovation in video conferencing in my RADVISION blog, and even took the time to suggest what the next innovation might be.

At the time of writing these posts, I haven't had the time to read Robert Cringely's post about the education system:

Education, which - along with health care - seems to exist in an alternate economic universe, ought to be subject to the same economic realities as anything else.  We should have a marketplace for insight.  Take a variety of experts (both professors and lay specialists) and make them available over the Internet by video conference.  Each expert charges by the minute with those charges adjusting over time until a real market value is reached.  The whole setup would run like iTunes and sessions would be recorded for later review.

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On my VoIP Survivor blog, I've been complaining about the lack of innovation in the video conferencing market.

I'd like to take this a jab at suggesting what can be the next innovation for the video conferencing market.

1. Connectivity between enterprises

It's no secret that video conferencing today is a niche where only large enough enterprises play.

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Last week Stacey Higginbotham reported on GigaOm about the coming upstream revolution:

Demand for upstream bandwidth is growing. Floyd Wagoner, a director of marketing and communications for Motorola Access Networks Solutions, said in an interview today that a U.S. cable provider has seen peak upstream bandwidth use increase by 24 percent from 2007 to 2008.

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Garrett Smith, one of the smartest people writing about VoIP out there, had an interesting post a few weeks ago, about the use of video calling:

"Propelled by the "seeing is believing" phenomena, video phone calling is continuing to increase in popularity and usage.  It's growing adoption, however, is not being driven by traditional consumer calling (as one would think), but by niche applications."

Garrett also provides several examples of such niche applications - some of which I haven't known about until I read his post. While I don't refute the fact that video calling is used for a wide variety of niche applications, I think the analysis is a bit misleading.

I've discussed it here already, when I was analyzing whether  video telephony adoption is a matter of better user experience or more use cases.

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Logitech just launched a new service called Vid.

Essentially, it's an application Logitech is supplying along with the webcams they usually sell. Why? To sell more webcams, of course.

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The visual communication industry has been asleep for a long time. Too long, or so I'd like to think. No great progress has been made.

We've been playing around with room systems, telepresence and other high-end devices, trying - as an industry - to push it as a replacement to flight tickets.

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I've promised myself not to talk (or tweet) about Susan Boyle. But I just couldn't resist it, reading how Robert X. Cringely does the math on her YouTube video:

The video file as presented on YouTube is just over seven minutes and 26 megabytes long. Twenty million (and counting!) times 26 megabytes is 520 terabytes or approximately half the size of the Internet Archive.

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Welcome To SIP, Video Surveillance

April 30, 2009 12:07 PM

Video surveillance is one of those huge markets where standards aren't used enough. Though I am not an expert in video surveillance, I have been on the edges of this market and its requirements in the past several years.

During this time, I have seen only two types of surveillance systems:

  1. The closed proprietary ones, where everything is done with some obscure protocol.
  2. The hybrid ones, where camera links use proprietary protocols, but some gateway along the way is capable of converting it to a standard protocol.

The standard protocol of choice in this industry is RTSP - Real Time Streaming Protocol.

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People have been talking about a "3 screens world" for a while now: the TV, the mobile phone and the PC. Now that media phones are sprouting around us, they are being touted as the 4th screen. Should we continue to count the screens around us?

We live in a world of gadgets.

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I'll be placing here links once in a while of news items and blog posts that I find interesting and are related to visual communications.

If you have items you'd like to feature here - just email me at [email protected].

Here goes:

  • Once in a while, I bump into an interesting question on LinkedIn.
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Recent Comments

  • I think you raise some very good questions, but I read more
  • Tsahi Levent-Levi: That's a good question. I'd say that the opinions on read more
  • Interesting post. I agree that it's not just niche apps read more
  • Tsahi Levent-Levi: Nick, While I think you are correct in your general read more
  • Web Based TV is the future. No set top box. read more
  • Videoconferencing will never replace all in-person meetings. There are times read more
  • karleen: Hi Tsahi! Thanks for the post! It was very insightful! read more
  • I read your December 31, 2008 preview of the tiny read more

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