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3D Visual Communication From Your Cell Phone: The Future is Near

According to Timothy Brick, a researcher at the University of VA, a new low-bandwidth, high-frame-rate video conferencing technology may make video conferencing readily and inexpensively available to nearly anyone with small, portable communication devices, possibly within two to three years. If this is true, will anyone communicate via audio three years from now if video communication is readily available? I know I won’t.

The new technology, developed by a team of psychologists and computer programmers to inform psychology research on how people interact during conversation, uses motion parallax, a 3-D simulation created by rotating a 3-D model of a user’s face based on the angle of the person viewing the image.

See how it works:

Next week DoDIIS is the place to be

May 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm PST

At next week’s DoDIIS Worldwide Conference, “Empowering Decision Advantage,” in Orlando, attendees will get to experience first-hand Tandberg’s New Way of Working.

With our immersive Telepresence T3 solution shown in Booth #405, participants will see how video teleconferencing (VTC) allows for accelerated decision-making and creates an environment in which real-time sharing of intelligence can take place between constituents in the field with strategy planners and policymakers.

In today’s increasingly global environment, that accelerated decision-making and real-time sharing of intelligence are key to the success of every mission. Here are some considerations you should discuss with your VTC provider to ensure your system will meet your needs today and tomorrow:

Interoperability — a great videoconferencing system is only as great as its ability to connect you with whom you need to connect– if your technology doesn’t work with the person you need to communicate with, then what’s the point? Make sure your VTC system is standards-based so that you can connect with anyone, anytime, and in any way. Don’t let disparate networks, multi-vendor systems, inconsistent quality and functional complexity keep your agency from completing its mission.

Scalability — big problems can require large groups of people to solve them. Make sure your VTC provider has an offering that can scale to accommodate multiple participants, so you can take high-definition or standard video systems into large interconnected conferences with a call from a desk system, to a PC, to a mobile device, to an immersive room-system for a true-to-life experience.

Ease of Use/Manageability — once you’ve installed a VTC system, you need to make sure that you understand how to use and manage it to ensure that you get the full benefit of your investment. Choosing a vendor includes picking a company that will support you from installation through deployment and can supply continued support. Don’t get left with a system that you can’t use effectively and easily.

Visit TANDBERG at DoDIIS (Booth #405) to see how close VTC can be to “real life.”

The benefits of video teleconferencing

May 6, 2009 at 8:59 am PST

An obvious benefit of an agency’s use of video teleconferencing (VTC) is the opportunity to provide “face-to-face communication” with colleagues, managers and support teams wherever they may be. That can be crucial, according to the Journal of Business Research, which reports that people who work apart often have increased conflict and reduced trust. A Roper study shows that VTC can build trust among colleagues and reduce the confusion/misunderstandings that come from communicating without the value of non-verbal clues.

There are even more benefits of VTC for an agency, particularly with all that we face today. From a World Health Organization call for restricted travel as they attempt to curb the H1N1/swine flu outbreak, to an aging workforce that could potentially leave your agency with a dearth of institutional knowledge and cuts in funding, agency leaders have a myriad of concerns to weigh when making everyday decisions.

Consider the following benefits VTC can create for an agency that must be successful in its mission on an ever-scrutinized budget:

Institutional knowledge – Instead of allowing a knowledge vacuum to be created when your expert resources retire, an agency can instead utilize VTC to have them share their years of experience with younger or newer agency workers.

Dispersed knowledge – Has your agency ever wanted to access knowledge of experts who live and work in dispersed locations? What about wanting to hire an expert who doesn’t want to relocate? VTC allows you to tap into that knowledge – and possibly attract that expert hire – easily and effectively without incurring travel and relocation expenses or other hiring fees.

Workforce incentives – VTC creates a desirable workplace by showing a tech-savvy workforce that your agency employs cutting edge technology and is environmentally conscious. It also allows your agency to offer incentives, such as telework and being part of a green organization, which are increasingly attractive to those who want a better work-life balance. An article produced by the Telework Coalition states that the positive effect of teleworking on an organization’s bottom line includes reduced real estate requirements, increased employee productivity, and reduced absenteeism.

Training/distance learning – When your workforce needs to keep up with certifications or advancements in science and technology, or your employees want to advance their careers, it often requires training that can be difficult to schedule or even fund. VTC allows training and distance learning opportunities that overcome funding issues by eliminating travel and hotel expenses, etc. It also creates an important opportunity by allowing for increased student attendance – where an-person class might only accommodate 100 attendees, a VTC class enables a virtual classroom environment limited only by bandwidth and student interest in attending.

Real-time Collaboration with the Field – Imagine that some of your workforce needs to travel to other countries for everything from supporting the warfighter to attending high-level government conferences. The opportunity to share not only voice, but also visual information, during these types of events could exponentially increase your agency’s effectiveness. For example, an agency supports the care of vehicles in the field, but can’t send an engineer to address a problem in a timely manner. Visually exchange critical information with remote engineering or home office support to assess and resolve issues in real time. Reduce downtime and equipment failure, survey construction sites and report critical medical information directly from the scene.

What benefits is your agency experiencing from the use of VTC? Share your best practices with us.

The Importance of Video Conferencing in Healthcare was the Focus of the Annual Telemedicine Association Meeting

May 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm PST

medical_laptop_imageIn spite of worldwide economic challenges, the 14th Annual American Telemedicine Association Annual Meeting held its largest event ever on April 26-28 in Las Vegas. Almost 3,000 attendees from over 40 countries and approximately 200 exhibitors convened to discuss trends and the growing importance of telemedicine.

Buzz abounded about the Obama Administration’s proposed “stimulus” package and new policies around telemedicine and electronic healthcare records. Additionally, a growing belief that video conferencing and telemedicine are staged to have significant impact on healthcare delivery – not only in the U.S., but around the world. -- was evidenced by the proliferation of video across the event.

Hear more from Joe D’Iorio, TANDBERG’s healthcare market manager as he discusses video conferencing and hot topics at the American Telemedicine Association Annual Meeting.

We're live with a public sector perspective

May 1, 2009 at 5:34 pm PST

Ongoing economic challenges have made all of us stop and take a good, long, discriminating look at our budgets and spending projections. And, hopefully, this will also be a time when good decisions are made, not just for today, but for tomorrow and for years to come.

This blog is designed to provide the government worker with tools and insight to help make those good choices for agencies and for constituents.

TANDBERG has been working with the U.S. government for decades – longer than any other video teleconferencing provider. We understand the challenges facing government workers, who are required to maintain mission-critical operations with limited budgets and resources.

Those limited resources shouldn’t stand in the way of innovation and collaboration and should never keep an agency from completing its mission -- and they don’t most of the time. We have many stories of the hard work and ingenuity shown by government workers as they go about their daily task of keeping our great country running smoothly.

We’ll highlight how videoconferencing can be used to save money, increase productivity and maximize efficiencies and enable interoperability,. We’ll also share stories of how agencies and organizations across the country are using videoconferencing, and share with you the ways that your agency can keep pace with our new technology-focused administration, maintaining collaboration and communication at the forefront without straining your budget.

Welcome. Please join in the conversation, ask us questions, or tell us the story of how your agency uses videoconferencing to achieve mission-critical objectives.

The TANDBERG Public Sector team looks forward to engaging with you and hopes you visit often.

Joel Brunson, President, TANDBERG Public Sector