Telepresence: Polycom’s Big Plan for Small Business
Unified communications vendor Polycom is thinking small with its latest telepresence system — small environments and a small price tag.
Its latest offering, the HDX 6000, is slated for announcement Feb. 16. The new telepresence system targets small-office and remote-office environments as well as “huddle rooms” – any place where a regular-sized conferencing system would be too big, said John Antanaitis, vice president of marketing at Polycom.
“This is a well-featured HDX with an EagleEye (eds: stet) view camera but sized for smaller environments,” he said. “We’ve continued to enhance voice, video, packet loss management technology with this offering.”
What’s more, the HDX 6000 will be list-priced at less than $5,000.
Polycom also this week will be taking the wraps off new standards-based video compression technology across its telepresence systems that reduces the bandwidth requirements for HD and SD experiences by as much as 50 percent.
“This technology enables us to move away from the H.264 profile (the standard for video compression), which cuts the bandwidth requirements in half,” Antanaitis said. “With this new technology you can get 30 frames of standard depth at 128kbps, and 1080 from 1mbps.
“Companies can leverage that technology to extend new applications or double the quality of their video experience,” he added. “That’s true innovation.”
Indeed, it’s pretty neat when technology barriers are broken. But what’s truly cool about this technology is it can save companies serious dollars on their bandwidth expenses each year. For solution providers pushing unified communications, such a new technology is definitely worth a talking point or two.
No doubt, many unified communications and telepresence companies are pushing into small business. Vu Technologies, a Zenith Infotech sister company, demonstrated low-cost telepresence offeringss at the January 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. Logitech purchased Lifesize Communications in November 2009 to make a run at the low-cost telepresence market. HP has been taking its Halo and SkyRoom video conferencing technologies into lower cost markets. And Cisco Systems in August 2009 detailed its small business TelePresence moves.
Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri