Vidyo Takes Video Conferencing Mobile

VidyoMobile can connect users of Apple's iPhones, iPads, and iPods, as well as Android-based smartphones and tablets, with desktop PCs and video conferencing rooms.

Chandler Harris, Contributor

April 22, 2011

3 Min Read

Cisco Umi

Cisco Umi

Slideshow: Cisco Umi Takes Telepresence To The Home (click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Video conferencing got a lot more mobile with the introduction Vidyo's VidyoMobile offering, a software-based system that allows users to conduct multipoint video conferences from mobile devices.

With the VidyoMobile offering, users on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, as well as Android-based smartphones and tablets, can interact by video with other devices such as desktop computers, PCs, and other devices. The company said VidyoMobile is the only mobile conferencing system that allows mobile devices to interact with desktop and room systems.

"We look at our VidyoMobile solution not as independent product," Ofer Shapiro, CEO and co-founder of Vidyo, said in an interview. "We really look at this as the missing piece to our promise to deliver teleconferencing everywhere, on every device, with a good cost structure."

The mobile conferencing system will be available in July for enterprises currently using Vidyo's "VidyoConferencing" portfolio of conferencing products.

Shapiro is quick to dispel any talk that Vidyo is trying to compete with Cisco or Polycom to sell hardware-based video conferencing systems. The company's video conferencing products are entirely software-based, which allows the systems to be easily expanded, upgraded, and customized for individual enterprise and vertical market video conferencing needs.

"We have the combined forces of Apple, HP, Intel, and many other tech companies delivering new hardware and competing with each other for new hardware that help run our application better," Shapiro said.

With Vidyo's platform and APIs, companies are able to modify the software to different fields. Examples Vidyo has seen include modifications by healthcare systems for homebound seniors and telemedicine organizations developing services that enable a patient to video chat from their homes. The Vatican currently uses Vidyo's products to interact with its clergy worldwide.

While Skype could be a notable competitor with its established communication offerings, Shapiro said he believes Vidyo has a distinct advantage through its high-quality resolution and the ability to run on multiple devices simultaneously. Vidyo's teleconferencing software handles each user's video feed based on available bandwidth, which enables the video quality to scale according to network conditions. By reducing bandwidth requirements by an estimated 75%, Vidyo makes it possible to deploy videoconferencing widely, without expensive network upgrades, Shapiro said.

In October, 2010 Vidyo was awarded a patent for VidyoRouter architecture, which uses H.264/SVC video compression technology. This also allows its videoconferencing software to be used over any IP network, including the Internet, LTE, 3G, or 4G networks.

Some of Vidyo's biggest customers include Ricoh, which announced plans to deploy a new unified communications platform that uses Vidyo for conferencing. Also, major carriers KDDI, Chunghwa and Elisa, have announced they're offering Vidyo's telepresence services.

Vidyo is a start-up that has received $75 million in financing since its inception in 2005, including $25 million last March. The company has received numerous accolades, including its most recent award, Best of Interop Finalist 2011.

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