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Video Calling: My Own Motivation

Video calling has been around for a long, long time. However, it’s yet to become commonplace. There have been studies, some very recent, that suggest that people really don’t want or need it. Yet Skype reports that a substantial amount, around 40% if I recall correctly, of their call traffic involves video. Of course, events like last years volcanic excitement in Iceland highlight how valuable video can be when travel is impossible.

Beyond the more general cases I have my own reasons why video could play an important part in my working life. It happens that I travel a lot in the course of my work. The scope of my working duties is divided three ways; pre-sales demonstrations of hardware/software systems, post-sales commissioning, installations & training, and finally end-user support activity. The demonstration aspect of my travel could be reduced significantly if I were able to deliver the demonstration via online means.

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Review: ClearOne Chat 160 USB Conference Phone

In my travels there have been times when I’ve engaged in some very long phone calls. It may be that I’m speaking to my wife while killing time in some far off hotel, or perhaps consulting with an associate on a tech support matter. In such circumstances I’ve come to believe that a USB attached speakerphone and a soft phone can be a very convenient combination.

USB attached audio devices are handy when you have a computer readily available. Being USB attached they save you the trouble of finding a way to provide network connectivity for a traditional IP conference phone.

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My First Telepresence Experience…kinda

The paradox of my demo this past week was funny, and kind of sad. It was a presentation to a sports network in LA. I was in an uplink facility in Atlanta with some HD graphics gear and a couple of people from the network. The rest of the audience was the creative team in LA. They took the 1080i HD output of my device and a camera (also 1080) pointed at me, running both over a fiber link to the group in LA.

The theory was simple enough; the group in LA had some specific concerns. I could demonstrate conclusively our approach to their issues. They see me operating the equipment as well as the output in real-time, in glorious full-resolution HD. The fact that the uplink facility was involved made the fiber link available. This was a first in my long history in this business.

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