Changing the world for Videoconferencing

I spent an entire day today visiting the Polycom office up in Westminster.  Both Polycom and ScanSource Communications (one of the main distributors my current company purchases from), hosted an all day event to bring us up to speed on the new videoconferencing, recording, streaming and sound technologies they have available.

I always love going to the Polycom office because I get to play with the cool technology and meet with multiple people from around the US and Globe.  Just today we met face to face with people in Austin, Atlanta, and California – all without leaving the same room.  Videoconferencing is definitely cool, especially in full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second.

Even though the demos and experience was awesome, I kept thinking about the competition coming in to the market and how many of the new video technologies are going to completely change the game for everyone.  As with all other types of services, many things are moving in to “The Cloud”.   Many organizations are switching to Software as a Service (SaaS) tools to manage and track projects, teams and communications.  Video communication is no different.

I have been lucky enough to meet with a company called Vidyo at the MediaLogix office in Littleton.   The way they are approaching Videoconferencing is completely different than the traditional “Legacy” style systems (their terminology, not mine).  Their website states it best:


One of the reasons why traditional video conferencing has never really taken off in quite the way Web conferencing has is that it was designed for an entirely different world than the one we find ourselves in now. That is, unlike the Web — the ultimate in distributed computing — traditional video conferencing was designed to rely almost entirely on centralized Multipoint Control Units (MCUs), dedicated high-bandwidth lines, and special conferencing facilities.



So instead of relying on dedicated high bandwidth networks, Vidyo is using a technology called Scalable Video Coding (SVC) which is the same type of technology that is currently used in streaming video for hosted content like YouTube.  Their technology is designed to work over the regular internet and is based on computer based routing software running on a Quad Core Server.  I won’t get in to the technology of how it works now, but if this is something you are interested in, definitely check them out.  A few small companies like Google and Cisco are already licensing their technology.

To (finally) get to the point here, I predict that Videoconferencing is no longer going to be about having the best hardware and QoS Networks.  Instead, Videoconferencing is going to begin to be built right in to our everyday software applications we use.   Your CRM Tools, Social Networks, iPhone applications, website and more will all have video built right inside or connected in some way.  Instead of traditional AV Equipment and large projection screens, your video account is going to be just like your Instant Messenger accounts.  Wherever you can get web chat (Computer, iPhone, etc…) you can get your video chat as well.  All you need is a microphone, speaker and video camera integrated or plugged in to the device you happen to be working on at the time.

Of course, if you really want to talk about the future of Videoconferencing, check out this post here to really go down the rabbit hole……

2 responses to “Changing the world for Videoconferencing

  1. James Conyers

    i like vidyo's stuff for sure and Lifesize is also making a mark in the business arena. However, a lot of people are going to want to do this from home and instead of buying some hardware for 8grand they will probably be more likely to buy some software online or upgrade their internet to a faster connection for this to be possible. The telepresence by Cisco is impressive but overall not that good of a product because of scalability and also cost. ANyways, just a few thoughts.

  2. I completely agree James. In the corporate world, Vidyo is going to come in an steal the show. You can get a full HD room setup for under $4,000. That is unheard of right now. And for corporations that want to control their own networks, I see people moving in this direction. For consumers at home, people are going to start using services like Google VideoChat & Skype more and more. Since Google is licensing the technology from Vidyo, they will have the ability to offer full HD video transmission (with the proper camera and bandwidth) right on your Gmail page. Pretty cool!

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