Race is on for HD video on-the-go

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Race is on for HD video on-the-go
This article first appeared on Best in UC. With the sales of video conference equipment increasing by double digits, companies in the unified communications (UC) and video conferencing spaces are hustling to put their best new offerings forward. This has generated a race to great technology, with vendors attempting to impress the fertile business market that enterprise-level products can offer the kind of quality and consistency that businesses need – even in a handheld situation. Mobile video conferencing is poised for significant growth, driven by the demand for video communications, an increasingly remote workforce, and a convergence of technical advances. Today, organizations tend to be more geographically dispersed and virtual, with more than 1 billion teleworkers globally. At the same time, technology advancements are driving the visual mobile society, including the proliferation of camera-equipped mobile tablets and smartphones; the advent of 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi networks; and cloud delivered services. In fact, Gartner remains bullish on the opportunity for the media tablet market forecasting over 320 million units sold in 2015, with cumulatively over 900 million sold by the end of that year. And by 2015, the number of people participating in video chats is forecast to grow 14 times to more than 140 million. This month, two companies have launched high-end mobile video conferencing applications and claimed they were first to put a stake in this critical technology. First, LifeSize announced that its ClearSea enterprise-class desktop and mobile video conferencing platform has been upgraded to support iOS5, and soon will feature support for the new iPhone 4S. This means that users will be able to instantly connect from any iPhone, including iPhone 4S, to any standards-based video conferencing system. Since Logitech’s acquisition of Mirial in July, LifeSize has been working to extend open, interoperable video collaboration solutions to anyone, anywhere, on any device. The company has launched video calling apps for several iOS and Android-based mobile devices from Apple, Dell, Google, HTC, Motorola and Samsung. “For years the market has struggled to deliver interoperable video conferencing solutions to mobile devices – the experience has been far from the simplicity of a voice call,” said Craig Malloy, chief executive officer of LifeSize and Logitech senior vice president. “At LifeSize, driving relentless innovation is in our DNA. We know enterprise users, ourselves included, want the ease of making a video call anywhere at any time on any device. With today’s iPhone 4S announcement, we’re making that possible and changing the video calling landscape – all while maintaining enterprise-class quality.” Just a week after the LifeSize announcement, UC vendor Polycom unveiled its RealPresence Mobile product, an HD video software solution for tablets that is available on the Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The solution extends Polycom’s HD video collaboration technology beyond the office and conference room to deliver to tablets the same high-quality, secure, reliable video experience customers are accustomed to inside the office. Mobile professionals can use their tablet of choice to collaborate face-to-face with other colleagues joining via desktop and immersive video room systems, tablets, or laptops. The RealPresence Mobile software application is available via a free download from the Apple App Store and Android Market. Delivering Polycom video to mobile platforms is a key component of the company’s recently announced software strategy to bring secure HD video collaboration to the broadest range of business, video, mobile, and social networking applications. “RealPresence Mobile is a significant step toward achieving our vision to make it possible for millions of people to use video collaboration as their preferred method of communicating – easily, reliably, and securely – no matter what network, carrier, protocol, application, or device they use,” said Andy Miller, president and CEO of Polycom. “I’ve met with a hundred customers the past few months, and nearly every executive I talk with is looking to embrace mobility and tablets to improve business productivity. Customers who have seen our mobile applications running on Apple, Motorola, and Samsung tablets are truly inspired by the possibilities Polycom is enabling by extending video collaboration beyond the traditional boundaries of the conference room and desktop.”

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