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April 27, 2012

TMCnet Conferencing Week in Review


By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

With gas prices still disturbingly high, conferencing is making great strides in bringing us closer together, whether for business or for personal use, and we saw a lot of great news this week in the conferencing sector. So let's take a quick look at the week that was in conferencing.


InterCall (News - Alert) and Blue Jeans Network made our first news item of the week, getting together to offer a cloud-based conferencing service that allows for video and audio conferencing together in one platform. While there's still quite a bit of division between video and audio conferencing, the new service looks to narrow the gap by making video conferencing simpler to use, and simpler to use with various kinds of technology, as opposed to just proprietary systems.

Next, the Director General of Police for Kerala recently placed a complaint to the Kerala High Court, saying that lesser courts in the nation aren't using a recently-installed video conferencing system installed by the government of Kerala, thus leading to the system's overall failure. Originally designed to allow cases to be prosecuted without the requirement of moving prisoners and giving them the potential to access contraband, the system cost $2.6 million to establish, and the Director General is hoping for a court order to get more courts to use the system.

Voxeet stepped in next with a new product, which they introduced at the 2012 DEMO Spring conference. Voxeet's new product improves audio quality in conferencing for better and more productive conversations, and also provides a more intuitive interface to help manage some of the more advanced functions, including a section of the interface that shows who's speaking at any given time. The product includes a screen and 3D sound technology, and at last report does a solid job of presenting the calls for quality conferencing.

Next came the question of whether online communications systems were helping or hurting our ability to communicate with people in the “real world”. The answer to that question, as it turns out, varies with each person's perspective, and depends on which set of circumstances is considered. Each side of the equation has positive and negative aspects, like much of life itself, so an actual answer isn't so easy to obtain.

We then heard from RHUB (News - Alert) Communications, who made the announcement that they were putting their support behind the Children's Health Fund, and were doing so in the form of offering up their TurboMeeting software to the charity. The TurboMeeting software would allow the Children's Health Fund to save substantial amounts of money by reducing administrative costs, and, according to Children's Health Fund CIO Dr. Jeb Weisman, allowing the organization to function “as if it were two to three times” its current size.

Lastly, Skype (News - Alert) made its way to PlayStation's Vita portable gaming system, allowing portable access to Skype's audio and video conferencing capabilities, as well as video calling and free Skype calling to other users. The service was meant to work with both 3G and Wi-Fi calling, so both 3G-enabled Vita devices and Wi-Fi only Vita device will be able to use the service. Also included is a little extra utility that will allow users to play a game, pause it to receive a Skype call, and then revert back to the game in progress when the call is concluded.

It was a huge week for conferencing, and our global online community is keeping its eyes open for every bit of news in this sector. Keep it right here for all the latest!




Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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