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The Year Of Video Is Here

Jun 14, 2012 12:08 PM, By Chuck Ansbacher

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If you spent any time in the UCC Pavilion yesterday, you couldn’t turn your head without hearing three topics being discussed: interoperability, mobility, and the cloud. While manufacturers have been grappling with and perfecting these issues for more than a decade, the consensus is that these technologies are finally coming of age in 2012, and have driven video to the forefront at this year’s InfoComm. Mobility gives you more people to videoconference with, interoperability enables discussions with as many people as possible, and the cloud allows you to do all this without spending a dime on servers. This sentiment was undeniable at the IMCCA luncheon held yesterday. Featuring a panel of representatives from Polycom, Cisco, Radvision, an Avaya company, LifeSize, Compunetics and Blue Jeans Network, the discussion served as a barometer for the state of the telepresence and videoconferencing industries. The consensus? This is the year to invest in video. Simon Dudley, video evangelist at LifeSize, said that, while he’s been saying this every year, he “actually thinks video is going to take off this year.” Blue Jeans Network founder Stu Aaron went a bit further, drawing a parallel between 1994—the year that Netscape went public—and 2012. He sees video at the same place that the Web was in the mid ’90s—primed for explosive growth. The panel also highlighted a host of interesting video applications to drive this point home. These included psychiatrists videoconferencing with mental health patients over tablets to save money on hospital beds and travel costs; steakhouses hosting remote cooking classes and wine tasting seminars; remotely evaluating real estate properties; and, most oddly, iPads being installed in cemeteries for families to remotely visit deceased loved ones.

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