Featured Article from Conferencing

Vidyo Brings Video Conferencing to the Masses with Wii U Chat

November 19, 2012

Wii U is now quickly making its way to living rooms everywhere with built-in high video conferencing technology, the basis for a content delivery platform that may be a billion-dollar opportunity.

Vidyo, Inc., the first company to deliver personal telepresence, has unveiled that Vidyo’s software platform will power Wii U Chat, a video communication service that is included with every Wii U console. This move represents a giant step towards consumer adoption of mainstream video communication modality and the validation of Vidyo’s software platform as the fabric of visual communication.

Nintendo required a technology solution that was resilient to changing network conditions and that worked ubiquitously from homes on mobile devices over the Internet. And, Vidyo’s platform delivers quality and is easily integrated into Nintendo’s technology.

“Vidyo provided Nintendo with a video solution that adapts to changing network conditions while being easy for consumers to use from the comfort of their living rooms,” said Genyo Takeda, general manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd, in a statement.

Vidyo’s architecture and software platform have changed the usage models for visual communications. Markets where video was seen as economically or technically unfeasible are now reachable using Vidyo’s platform. Integrating Vidyo into the Wii U console is the first time visual communications has been delivered to the existing television and multi-purpose device, at an affordable price.

“Through this collaboration, we’ll be adding Wii U consoles to the pool of Vidyo enabled systems which will build mass around Vidyo’s scalable architecture and software platform. With major players in a variety of industries selecting Vidyo’s software platform, including Google, Ricoh and Philips, we are changing the way people communicate visually in every facet of their lives,” said Ofer Shapiro, CEO and co-founder at Vidyo.

The Vidyo platform is flexible and can be easily customized for enterprise and vertical market video conferencing needs. The VidyoRouter is based on the company’s Adaptive Video Layering architecture and leverages the standard based Scalable Video Coding (SVC)  technology. It eliminates the MCU and offers error resiliency, low latency and rate matching enabling natural, affordable, high quality video to work over the Internet, LTE, 3G and 4G networks.

Vidyo’s software platform is changing the way people communicate visually in every facet of their lives. “Vidyo’s focus, up until now, has been on changing visual communications primarily in business and vertical markets such as healthcare, education, government, etc.  We have not been considered a player in the ‘consumer’ market. Although Google has been using Vidyo technology since 2008 – first with its Google video chat and recently as the underlying technology of Google+ Hangouts , this fact has been extremely underpublicized,” Marty Hollander, Vidyo SVP of market development, told TMCnet in an exclusive interview.  

In order to use Wii U Chat, the user selects a person from the buddy list (Miiverse users) and initiates a call. Then, the call will then ring on the Home button of the other user and the other user(s) answers the call by clicking on that Home button. 

Wii U Chat capabilities include:

  • The ability to use the supplied stylus to draw on the Wii U console screen while in a video session. The drawing shows up on the console and TV screens at both ends. 
  • The ability to choose to hold the Wii U console while on the Vidyo call if they want to be able to walk around, move the camera, or get a close up view.
  • If the TV input is changed to another input during the video call, the Vidyo call will still remain up and be visible on the Wii U console.
  • The Wii U unit has parental controls so that parents can monitor and manage who their children are allowed to connect with in the Miiverse.

“End users who have used Vidyo’s visual collaboration platform in business, healthcare, education, and more,  communications have been greatly enhanced in terms of quality, price and access.  This has been detailed and demonstrated in all of our customer announcements since we launched in 2008,” Hollander told TMCnet.

This partnership confirms Vidyo’s unique ability to open new markets for visual communications and applications into the home. Through this collaboration, Vidyo will be adding Wii U consoles to the pool of Vidyo enabled systems which will build mass around the platform.

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Edited by Rich Steeves