Mobile Video Conferencing
During a panel at the recent “Streaming Media East” conference in New York City, Wall Street Journal and New York Times reporters stated that mobile phones and streaming video advancements are changing the way reporters gather and distribute their news. The portability of the phone means that it can easily go where a full camera crew can't, resulting in print reporters shooting video.
Kevin Delaney, managing editor for the Wall Street Journal, also explained “that IPTV and tablet platforms and things like that, are real opportunities, there is a real business here, there is a real business today, and there is a real business which we expect to be much larger down the line.”
The acquisition of Italy-based Mirial by Logitech was a reaction to customer requests for a mobile video conferencing platform. LifeSize Communications Inc. an Austin Texas base company was acquired by Logitech in December 2009.
According to LifeSize senior manager of product management Rafi Anuar, LifeSize became aware of “a lot of demand in the marketplace for mobile video calling applications.” Through the acquisition, LifeSize added two new products to its video teleconferencing offerings: Mirial ClearSea, a powerful video conferencing desktop client and mobile teleconferencing multi-point solution and Mirial Softphone, a client software application supporting both H.323 and SIP on Microsoft and Apple desktops.
Anuar calls the mobile teleconferencing platform both incredibly flexible and “the best capability mobile video calling in the world.” He also said that what drew LifeSize to Mirial, and what sets them apart from competing video conferencing software and hardware makers, Cisco and Polycom, is “not just the mobile offerings, but the (fact that the) desktop offerings also are higher quality. Mirial can do up to 1080p resolution.
The good thing for existing LifeSize and Mirial customers is that upgrading is relatively easy, thanks to the interoperability inherent in the Mirial system. From day one, Anuar said Mirial products can call LifeSize products and vice versa, as well as they can interact with competing brands too.
Anuar said every company has some interest in video conferencing as “once you’ve used video conferencing and you go back to teleconferencing, you feel like you’re missing something, because you are.”
Ira Weinstein, senior analyst and partner at Boston Mass.-based Wainhouse Research LLC, said “this is a very interesting and strong move for LifeSize,” which “essentially, fills in the product portfolio. It fills those gaps.”Weinstein said buying Mirial will “jumpstart (its) efforts into desktop and mobile” and “address an area of weakness that LifeSize needed to address.”
Weinstein also said that the move is a really fantastic one for Mirial as, “traditionally, Mirial has been OEMed through others.” This is the first time it will be recognized as a name in the video conferencing market and not just be used to background-power existing devices and solutions.
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