Mobile Video Series – Radvision Scopia Mobile V3

Back in May, I was arguing about the true meani

ng of Telepresence. An analyst named Rob Bamforth from Quocirca wrote an article saying that the true meaning of Telepresence isn’t big screens and costly systems – it’s the illusion of being there – and for that he argued that low-lantancy is enough. I for the other hand, thought that low-lantency is only a part of the picture, and that for total immersion one must need eyesight level cameras and all the technical mumbo-jumbo.

Room Systems – anything less isn’t ‘Telepresence’?

But putting aside the exact semantics regarding the *videoconferencing* term called Telepresence, let’s talk about the general concept of tele-presence:
Lets say for a second that I own a business that relays heavily on out-of-office workers – and from all I concern, those workers are just as available in terms of communications, as people that work inside the office – isn’t that telepresence? Isn’t that the notion of having those people ‘here with me’?

From a business, and practical point of view – that is telepresence.

Cisco’s Cius – good for remote workers, but not as widespread as an iPhone

A few years ago, achieving that goal was costly and sometimes impossible. It is mainly because of the work of vendors such as RADVISION and Vidyo that this situation has changed. Scalable Video Coding is the key behind recent developments in both low-cost HD video systems and mobile video conferencing. This relatively new technology allows for high quality video communication over the unmanaged connections, such as the Internet. If the codec couldn’t have the ability to adapt to unstable bandwidth it would be impossible to connect remote workers reliably to a conference call. But now with SVC and broadband – it’s possible. These days, EVERYONE has smartphones that are capable of video communication – so wouldn’t it just make sense to turn them into a small video-conferencing device?One of the first companies to introduce a mobile client for it’s video-conferencing platform was RADVISION. When they released the first version the mobile client, it only had the ability to manage the video conference, not to be a part of it as a video client – effectively making an iPad a neat remote control pad. Today both iPhones and iPads has cameras and the latest version of Scopia Mobile is a fully functioning one – at last, the ability to connect to a conference call when on the go.

RADVISION’s Scopia Mobile – high-quality videoconferencing for iDevices

Just like the desktop client, Scopia mobile support video-conference with multiple participants (up to 28) and data sharing via h.329 (which is super important for out-of-office workers). But what’s really special about it that it just work well. IMTC is using Scopia internally for meetings and webinars, and in the latest meeting, the VP marketing of IMTC – Kfir Pravda, had to call in while driving, from his iPhone, over a 3G connection. That was a conference call with multiple people around the world, Kfir himself was in Israel!

3G-enabled conference with an iPhone – Amazing!

The call just worked. This is in my view, amazing, knowing how difficult it is to get a decent video-call quality from a 2-way call in a non-commercial system such as Skype (at least here, in Israel). In terms of features, again – that’s a fully functioning Scopia – and on the iPad2 it supports full 720P video.

I think that mobile video clients will create a revolution in video-conferencing, the form-factor is there (tablets), the technology is there (H.264) and the out-of-office situation will probably grew larger and require businesses to adapt accordingly.
Maybe Rob was right and the true meaning of Telepresence is just mobile video-conferencing that actually works.

Here on the IMTC blog we plan to compare a few mobile solutions over the next months, Scopia included. So stay tuned.

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IMTC News – CTO Slides & IMTC President Interview



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Polycom & TIP

A few days ago, Polycom announced support for the Cisco/IMTC - Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) standard.
The Telepresence Interoperability Protocol was developed by Cisco to allow multi-screen interoperability between Telepresence systems from different vendors. The protocol was transferred to IMTC for on-going development and is offered in a royalty-free license.

The announcement was promoted in PR channels of both Polycom and Cisco, a rather unique sight:

David Benham, IMTC TIP Activity Group Co-Chair responded to the announcement, indicating the importance of the protocol to the industry:
“We are pleased to hear that Polycom is joining other companies in adopting the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), the only open, multi-screen interoperability protocol available today.   In mid 2010, Cisco transferred ownership of TIP to IMTC so it can provide stewardship of the protocol, offer TIP royalty-free to anyone as well as manage the TIP open source project.   We look forward to Polycom implementing TIP, which helps improve overall market acceptance of Telepresence systems and services.”

TIP support will allow Polycom Telepresence equipment to participate in a HD video-conference with Cisco products. Polycom UC Intelligent Core MCU will support Cisco’s TIP from Q2 2011.
Polycom isn’t the first Company outside Cisco to support TIP – The protocol is licensed by many companies including Radvision, LifeSize (Logitech) and Tandberg (now a part of Cisco).

For more info about TIP, check our TIP Page.

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CTO Technology Session – Interoperability & UC Event

Register Here

IMTC has scheduled its first ever CTO Technology Session on March 8-9, 2011 at the AT&T Offices in Middletown, New Jersey. This is a forward looking session that will provide you will analyst information of the key technologies, markets and growth rates for UC, Video and Collaboration solutions. It is also intended, that the group will look at how all these technologies come together with a seamless, interoperable solution.

Historically IMTC has been at the center of communication industry technology changes as noted by our work with H.323, H.264, SIP Parity, IMS, T120, H.320 and PSS, 3G-324M, and other profiles for standard telephony protocols. Communications industry is changing rapidly, and IMTC is helping its members to embrace the change.

In addition to Keynote Speakers from AT&T, Cisco and Polycom, below is a list of confirmed speakers:

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Ronald Gruia, Principal Analyst ~ Frost & Sullivan
  • Phil Karcher, Principal Analyst ~ Forrester Research
  • Ginger Arnold, Manager, LMAC IT Infrastructure & Operations ~ Liberty Mutual
  • Russ Cary, Senior IT Manager ~ SAS Global Communications Services
  • Phil Edholm, VP Technology Strategy & Innovation ~ Avaya
  • Casey King, CTO ~ LifeSize  Communications

The IMTC is pleased to invite all IMTC member companies to this FREE event.  We’ll strive to provide you with information and answers to the following questions:

1. What is the current state of the communications industry?

2. What defines video communications today (Skype, Google, Apple, H.323 and SIP) and how it plays into Unified Communications?

3. How do these various video and unified communication solutions come together into a seamless cloud or enterprise implementation?

4. Where should your company spend its resources in order to solve our customers key pain points?

5. What are the key enterprise customer use cases?

6. Where do telepresence solutions fit?

7. What do I need to know about SVC? How does it impact the above?

8. What are the key dependencies impeding interoperability between equipment, network and cloud services?

9. What is the role of devices such as tablets and smart phones in the unified communication mix and specifically with video communications and how do they affect enterprise implementations?

Together with our member companies, the IMTC would like to build a roadmap of key industry technology initiatives to be addressed in order for the seamless communications cloud to work.

This IMTC event is closed to only IMTC member companies. You can send as many representatives from a member company as you like, however we encourage you to invite senior product management and CTO types of individuals.


AT&T Offices
200 Laurel Avenue South
Middletown, New Jersey 07748

Closest Airport:

EWR (Newark)

Nearby Hotels:

Register Here:

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