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August 13, 2014

Video Conferencing Developer Releases New Whole-room System

By Casey Houser
Contributing Writer

Video conferencing products are taking the business world by storm, and one group of engineers that was once part of a prominent video communications development company has launched a new product that will address conferencing across all manner of devices.

Zoom founder, Eric Yuan, is part of a group of engineers who left Cisco (News - Alert) three years ago to start the new company and launch a video conferencing product of the same name. Now, Yuan and company have announced the release of Zoom Presence -- a product that they reportedly feel is better than Cisco WebEx which they helped construct in the first place. According to recent analysis at IT Businesses, the new product has been released to compete not only with WebEx but also with the likes of Google (News - Alert) Chromebox and Microsoft Lync.

Zoom Presence, the company website says, is a full room setup that allows an organization to begin video conferences from a meeting room location and connect with participants who may be located in remote areas on any other type of device. Employees with smartphones, tablet, PCs, laptops, or other room systems can join. It allows users to control the functionality of the room system with an iPad, and it allows up to 100 active participants in a single meeting. It can also support up to 1,000 "view-only" attendees.

Meeting attendees can view live audio and video of people who are speaking from the room or from their devices, and anyone with permission to complete a screen share can show all other participants changes he or she is making on drawings, graphs, spreadsheets, or any other documents he or she makes available.

Nick Chong, head of product marketing at Zoom, reportedly left Cisco to join Zoom about nine months after the project had started.

"In the post-PC era, which is where we are right now, video is in your phone, video is in your tablet, video is in your computer - everything has a video camera built in it ... People expect real dialogue and to talk face-to-face," he said about the capability of the Zoom system. It can bring people together no matter which devices they use, and it can support many more participants than some of its competitors with additional functionality and ease of use that organizations expect.

Edited by Adam Brandt


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