LifeSize Expands Cloud-Based Video Conferencing Solution
LifeSize unveiled its cloud-based offering in May 2014 and has been adding capabilities to it over the past several months. The latest enhancements continue that trend. Through LifeSize Cloud's support for WebRTC, users can connect to video calls with one click through the use of Web browsers, including Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Android's Chrome or Apple's Safari. In addition, LifeSize is offering integration via an Outlook plug-in and Chrome Extension, enabling users to schedule video meetings and invite people directly from Outlook and Google Calendar without having to open the LifeSize Cloud application. In addition, Microsoft Lync users can join LifeSize Cloud meetings from their Lync client application through a single click. The Icon 400 and Icon Flex systems are designed to bring video collaboration to every conference room, particularly those designed for smaller meetings. The Icon 400 is targeted at what Malloy called "huddle rooms," where small groups of people meet. It's designed to be high performance, low cost (starting at $2,499 and available immediately) and easy to use, he said. The system offers an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to add participants and share content. In addition, it can be connected to the LifeSize Cloud in four steps: The system is connected to power, a display and an IP connection, and then the user enters the LifeSize Cloud username and password. Participants can connect to the meeting through their notebooks, tablets and smartphones, and the system can support up to 25 attendees.Icon Flex will be available in March starting at $1,999.
Icon Flex is designed for businesses that already use another collaboration application—such as Lync, Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco's Jabber and WebEx, or Citrix System's GoToMeeting—as their primary technologies. By plugging a PC or Mac into a USB, the Icon Flex system can take over the video and audio needs of the meeting, improving the quality of the meeting, Malloy said. Businesses can either use a beam-forming table-top microphone for audio or the LifeSize Phone.