Series Introduction: Webcams & 21st Century UC


Webcams have come along way in the past decade. They’ve gone from a geek-inspiring novelty, producing puny pictures to, in some cases, inexpensive sources of real HD video. Moreover, as their capabilities have improved they have gained acceptance as serious business tools, taking on a significant role in unified communications suites from all the major UC vendors.

All of this implies that a better understanding of webcams can help us to more optimally leverage their capabilities. It can help us to discern the bad from the good, or even great products offered. This can improve how we use video in our daily lives.

So I have set about an exploration of webcams and their ilk, from past experience to present day, and across a variety of use-cases. As always, I approach this with the reckless abandon of an enthusiastic early-adapter.

Dave Michel’s Notable News Feed

TalkingPointz300To paraphrase Douglas Adams, “The internet is big. Really, really big. I mean it’s just mind-bogglingly big. ” It’s amazing that we can find anything at all. It’s especially nice when smart people help us to find things.

Over the past number of months Dave Michels has evolved his Pin Drop Soup blog into something more. It’s now just one aspect of his TalkingPointz web site. Dave has started offering his keen insight into the world of telecom in the form of reports detailing the product offerings and strategies of various large telecom vendors. Dave’s reports present the kind of info that you’d expect from a large consulting firm, but priced to be accessible to a small business.

Another part of the evolution of the site has been the development of a really smart news feed. Beyond the traditional blog roll, Dave has gone to a lot of trouble to aggregate RSS feeds from a myriad of Telecom and UC sources.

Dave’s news feed is a fine example of what you can do using Yahoo Pipes. I wish I’d thought to do it, but then I wouldn’t have known about much of the enterprise UC content that Dave brings to the table.

Go now. Subscribe. You’ll be glad that you did.

Revisiting The Plantronics Voyager Pro UC

Plantronics-Voyager-Pro-UC-MDA-300px I’d like to thank William for pointing out the relatively new Plantronics MDA200 interface device. Introduced in October of this year the MDA200
is a device intended to “UC enable” existing USB connected Plantronics headsets.

In the case of a wired headset, like the .Audio or Blackwire series, it allows a headset to be easily switched between use with a desk phone and a soft phone on a computer.

In the case of a Bluetooth headset with a USB interface it allows three-way connectivity between a desk phone, computer and cell phone. That’s very interesting indeed.

Continue reading “Revisiting The Plantronics Voyager Pro UC”

Cisco’s TechWiseTV Videos on UC & VoIP

From a Tweet received this morning I clicked through a few links to find a downloadable video series called TechWiseTV from Cisco. The shows are very polished and cover a variety of topics including VoIP and UC.

Looking at the full length videos requires that you create a login to Cisco’s web site, which is a pain but at least it’s free.