FuzeBox Aims for Telepresence Interoperability, Mobility

FuzeBox is rolling out Fuze Telepresence, which is designed to enhance interoperability between systems from Cisco, Polycom and others, and to extend video conferencing to smartphones and tablets.

Interoperability between room-based telepresence systems continues to be a focus of such top-tier vendors as Cisco Systems and Polycom. Now a smaller company, FuzeBox, is introducing a product aimed, not only at ensuring interoperability between such systems, but also extending such telepresence conferences to other endpoints, including mobile devices like tablets.

FuzeBox's Fuze Telepresence Connect technology integrates with telepresence systems from such vendors as Polycom, Cisco (via its Tandberg offerings) and LifeSize Communications. It works as a gateway, leveraging such standards as H.323, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and H.264, and through the company's Fuze Meeting Web conferencing and video conferencing platform, can extend video conferencing to any computer or mobile devices, including Apple's iPad and tablets powered by Google's Android mobile-operating system.

Through the integration of Fuze Telepresence with the Fuze Meeting SAAS (software as a service) platform, users on telepresence conferences also will have access to a range of collaboration tools and an intuitive UI, FuzeBox officials said.

The goal is to take high-end video conferencing, which FuzeBox officials said has been limited to telepresence suites and executive boardrooms, and make it available to people using traditional desktops and laptops, as well as tablets.

The technology, announced June 15, will extend the benefits of high-end video collaboration-from reduced expenses and greater productivity-to the increasing numbers of remote and mobile workers, according to FuzeBox officials. The expensive, high-end telepresence capabilities can now be in the hands of more employees, they said.

"We're bringing down the barriers in business collaboration," FuzeBox CEO Jeff Cavins said in a statement. "The telepresence industry has thrived with proprietary multi-million-dollar systems, which do not scale economically, and are unusable for most everyone other than executive staff. Today, the telepresence landscape changes, and for the first time, organizations can fully realize the ROI from their existing telepresence systems by enabling sales and operations teams to have video telepresence meetings with partners, suppliers and remote teams utilizing virtually any mobile tablet, MAC or PC."

Features include high-resolution, frame-rate encoding and decoding at multiple-frame rates, standards-based coding technology support H.264, AVC (Advanced Video Coding) and SVC (Scalable Video Coding), error resilience, dynamic rate control, firewall and other security offerings, and personal video layout.

FuzeBox in February entered into an OEM relationship with video collaboration technology vendor Vidyo, in which FuseBox licenses Vidyo's video conferencing technology.

Interoperability and extending the reach of video conferencing to other endpoints have been key drivers for vendors like Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize and Vidyo. At the InfoComm 2011 show this week, Cisco and Polycom-which this month announced plans to buy Hewlett-Packard's visual communications business, including its Halo telepresence products-both unveiled new offerings designed to bring high-end video conferencing capabilities to midmarket and smaller businesses, as well as increase interoperability between systems.

Both also have embraced TIP (Telepresence Interoperability Protocol), introduced last year by Cisco and adopted by a range of vendors.

Vidyo on June 8 unveiled its VidyoPanorama telepresence technology, which is designed to bring high-end video collaboration on a wide range of endpoints, from high-definition wall displays to desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.