During the course of my regular briefings with industry professionals I often come across information that I find newsworthy. We have created this recurring feature as a way of sharing these items with you. Below, in alphabetical order, are notes and thoughts from a few of my most recent briefings.
I received a demo unit of the new and improved HD Illuminator mobile and desktop lighting solution while at InfoComm. Good lighting is crucial in video and it seems like every meeting includes a few poorly lit participants. The HD Illuminator is a little light that clips on to your mobile device or desktop monitor. In low lighting conditions, this little device makes a dramatic difference to your appearance, and your ability to fully interact over video. It also has a nice form factor, and long battery life. I briefed with Founder/Inventor Mike Jarchow and VP of Business Development Michael Baker who let me know that they are officially shipping product and have customers lined up.
Business video users are demanding more and more flexibility from their video software. Cloud video providers have stepped up in many ways. For example, many cloud video services now support meetings, streaming, and recording. This is great for users, but it can be a problem for IT if the CEO suddenly wants to stream live video to 50k employees over the company network. While this problem has been solvable for some time, the solutions were often complicated and expensive. For example, network managers might deploy mini servers to act as “nodes” throughout the organization to cache and resend streaming content to specific users. Today things are much easier. As Kollective President Todd Johnson explained in a recent briefing, this can now all be handled through software. Without deploying any nodes or configuring local servers, the Kollective service can extend your existing cloud service (whether it be BlueJeans, Pexip, Skype, Zoom, etc), to a massive audience in a network friendly way.
I spoke with CoFounder and CEO Amir Zmora about this interesting offering focusing on providing massively scalable video for powering partner applications. I recently gave a presentation about the power of APIs in our industry at InfoComm this year. One of the points I made in that session is that APIs can be used by app developers to basically offload some of the work. For example, your Uber app has a fully functional map working inside it. Uber did not internally develop GPS and map the world. It would be too expensive. Instead they use Google Map’s API. When you use the map in Uber, you are using Google Maps. The processing of those maps is being done on Google’s servers, not Ubers. SwitchRTC offers a similar model with video. Let’s say you are creating a healthcare application, or banking, or business meetings, or whatever, and you want to have video as part of that application. You can develop your own video software, or you can use a service like SwitchRTC. You build your app however you want, and let them shoulder the burden of supporting your video, whether it be one-to-one meetings or broadcasts to large audiences.
Speaking of API’s, the team at Vidyo has been working hard to position themselves as leaders in enterprise video APIs. I briefed with Director of Product Marketing Ben Pinkerton, and new CMO Elana Anderson, about the capabilities of Vidyo’s APIs and their forward strategy. They continue to share new use cases, and new partners. Again, my recent presentation explained the value of API powered video. However, Vidyo’s unique architecture has particular scalability and quality benefits. Therefore, any developer interested in including video in their applications, but wanting to avoid the development costs, should be looking at the Vidyo.io API offering.