December 09, 2016

TOZO iPhone 6s Plus cover review

Or: How to make it seem like you got a new phone.

I would rather not have a case for my iPhone, but it's way too slick. Typically, I don't drop phones, but I don't need them trying to help by being really slick. Enter the "worlds thinnest iPhone case".

December 08, 2016

BroadSoft Announces One-Click Video Conference Room Experience

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BroadSoft, Inc. (NASDAQ:BSFT), a global unified communication software as a service (UCaaS) leader, today announced the commercial availability of BroadSoft UC-One® Conference Room – a one-click conference room system experience that enables businesses to easily and affordably connect existing conference rooms to any UC-One virtual conference.

Today’s conference room system experience is not only cost-prohibitive for most businesses, but complex to install and use. Meeting organizers and participants navigate TVs and video cameras that don’t work together properly, requiring different remote controls for each individual component. These legacy systems make it difficult to add remote participants or share content. It is no wonder that 47%1 of employees view meetings as the number one time-waster at the office.



BlueJeans Network unveils Huddle

BlueJeans Network unveils Huddle for simpler business video communications


On the list of frustrating office technologies, videoconferencing surely ranks near the top. BlueJeans Network Inc. aims to change that with a new service it’s announcing today.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s service, called Huddle, is a cloud video system that BlueJeans promises will add easy videoconferencing to any room at a relatively low cost. Huddle’s software can work with standard gear that customers already have on hand: Windows personal computers, iPads or NUC mini-PCs from Intel Corp., cameras such as those from Logitech International S.A., and speakerphones. Technology retailer CDW Corp. also is expected to provide a package of hardware that works with Huddle.


November 23, 2016

Another bad advice article

Read it HERE


***

  • Keep your camera well positioned to avoid strange camera angles. Being too low or hooked into a different monitor can create distorted, distracting views.
  • Look into the camera when you’re speaking.  It’s easy to look at yourself on the screen, but you need to maintain eye contact with the camera.  Eye contact with the camera equals eye contact with your audience.

  • ***
    Number one: If your camera is well positioned there's no need to stare at it

    Number two: Looking at the camera is the worst advice that I continue to see being suggested. If you look at the camera, you render the whole point of video conferencing worthless. It's about seeing people. Put your camera in the right spot and look at the person you're talking to.

    Number three: Turn your self view off.


    November 18, 2016

    Hey Apple - Aren't glasses already wearable?

    Apple Considers Wearables Expansion With Digital Glasses

    Apple Inc. is weighing an expansion into digital glasses, a risky but potentially lucrative area of wearable computing, according to people familiar with the matter.

    While still in an exploration phase, the device would connect wirelessly to iPhones, show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision, and may use augmented reality, the people said. They asked not to be identified speaking about a secret project.

     

    Comparison: WhatsApp Video Call vs Skype

    WhatsApp joined the likes of Skype, FaceTime, Messenger, Viber and Google Duo when it announced video calling feature on Monday. 

    The app, which was created by former Yahoo engineers and acquired by Facebook in 2014 for a reported fee of $19 billion, currently has over a billion users. The feature rollout is staged and will be hitting different parts of the globe at different times. It’s not yet clear which parts will receive the function first but everyone should be able to use it soon. The function aligns alongside Voice Call option when you hit the call button whose position depends on your device.

    Read more of this "article" HERE

     

    November 07, 2016

    Top 5 best videoconferencing services of 2016


    Video is a great way to enhance communications across a business with colleagues and clients. And adopting more videoconferencing can save your business money. According to research from LyteSpark, businesses across the UK could save (on average) £27,000 per year (around $33,000, AU$43,000) on business trips.

    Says Alex Hunte, co-founder, online meeting platform, LyteSpark: “Videoconferencing is a key tool that can ensure businesses remain profitable, maximise their resources, maintain productivity and contribute towards health and wellbeing of employees.

     Read more of this at:
    http://www.techradar.com/news/top-5-best-videoconferencing-services-of-2016


    November 03, 2016

    TrueConf Announces the Release of New Free Video Conferencing Software Room Endpoint

    TrueConf has released TrueConf Terminal 2.0, a new free software room endpoint designed for meeting and conference rooms. The program is installed on Windows PCs and controlled through a web browser.

    TrueConf Terminal 2.0 is the first free video conferencing software designed for use with meeting rooms. Users can assemble their own video conferencing terminal on a Windows-based PC or laptop. TrueConf Terminal 2.0 users are free to choose any peripheral AV devices. To achieve perfect sound and video quality, all you need to do is connect your terminal to a speakerphone, PTZ-camera via USB, and a screen or a TV-panel via HDMI. You can set up and manage your terminal through any browser. TrueĞ¡onf Terminal 2.0 can also run multipoint conferences for up to 120 participants in Ultra HD resolution.

    Read more

    https://trueconf.com/products/tcsf/trueconf-server-free.html

    October 26, 2016

    Always-on group video chat arrives

    Two innovative startups figured out all-day video chat sessions, without making it weird


    Question: Why not launch video sessions with family, friends or co-workers and leave them running all the time?

    Answer: Because if feels weird to be on camera all day.

    Now, a new generation of video chat apps offers flexible new ways to maintain always-ready video chat sessions without making people feel like they're always on display.

    The secret is to be "always on" and available, but not "always live."


    CONTINUE READING

    October 13, 2016

    The User Experience - who is the user and what is the experience

    Sorry for the long title but I hope to explain what I'm referring to.

    Many articles, talking points and marketing documents in our industry are revolved around the user experience. Too many times though the conversation (d)evolves into a discussion on how products need to be simplified in order for the user to have a better "experience". An easy button does not necessarily make for a good user experience, if you're taking into account the entire experience itself. Not everything can be solved by making an easier product. They can be resolved, however, with integration and support staff whose job it is to make everything seem easy to the end user and also create a better overall experience.

    In video conferencing, the experience is not about how hard or how easy it was to install the software, plug in the codec or make a call. Of course as a product tester I harp on those issues, but it really has little to do with a user's overall takeaway from the video conference. Consideration must be taken beforehand by all parties involved to make the experience better, it's not just up to product vendors to make something easy for you or your IT staff.

     While not "easy" my rack of stuff makes the experience better

    The following is a short list on how you can make the video conferencing experience better, not just for you but for everyone:

    Don't be an idiot
    Yeah, it's hard sometimes, but you have to put yourself in the other participant's shoes every now and then. Think about how the other person is seeing your image on screen when you're walking through the airport, smartphone camera pointed up your nose in an area with a bad internet connect. No easy button fixes that. There are many other examples of what not to do to look like an idiot and I can't possibly cover them all here but at the very least be conscious of the image you are transmitting and the sound coming from your location.


    If this article made you think or you simply think I'm wrong I welcome any and all comments. If you liked the article, I would encourage you to share it. Your involvement is greatly appreciated.



    Room conditions
    Have your room, wherever it is, set up correctly for meetings. The typical, yet often overlooked, rules apply. Good lighting, good audio, correctly set up equipment, etc. The list goes on.

    Distractions
    Don't be the video conferencing wizard that does anything in the blog I wrote HERE.

    Where is your camera and/or other necessary pieces of equipment.
    Another day, another video conference with someone who has their camera "up there". I get to have a meeting with #1, his conference room and #2, the top of his head. The worse the location of the camera, the worse your experience will be. Your microphone should be close to you so the other participants can hear what you're saying. Be mindful though of clicking your keyboard, tapping your fingers or shuffling paper too close to the mics.

    The user is everyone in the meeting.  For everyone to have a better overall experience it requires effort. Sure a one-button push meeting sounds good, but if it negatively affects other parts of the meeting you're not going to have a good experience. The user is not the reseller, not the installer and certainly not the IT department.

    The experience is what all the participants take away from a video conference. The best experience is when you don't realize that you were in a video conference, just a meeting. You interacted, you got your business done and could look your colleagues in the eye.

    A better overall user experience starts with you. So smile, you'll look better.