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Google Enters Commercial Video Conferencing: What You Should Know

Google has made a move to strengthen its already formidable standing in the world of business productivity tools by expanding its Hangout video conferencing feature. In a blog post from July 30, Google Vice President of Product Development Clay Bavor announced that Hangouts will now be open to users without a Google+ account. Hangouts is also going to be added to the existing suite of Google Apps for business, meaning Google is now covering Hangouts with around the clock support and a 99.9% guaranteed uptime. The fact that it offers commercial video conferencing means that other players in the video conferencing market must take notice and work on methods of staying competitive.

Google’s Move To Secure More Commercial Business

Google Apps is already one of the most well-known suites of productivity tools for businesses. Companies can use the Google Calendar to set appointments, Google Drive to share documents, and Google Talk to communicate with colleagues. Until this point, Google’s Hangout video conference feature was considered more of a casual tool that could be used by friends on Google+ to stay in touch with each other. Google’s recent announcement will force people to change the way that they think about Hangouts.

In addition to the news that Google offers commercial video conferencing through Hangouts, the company also announced that it would be improving its Chromebox, a hardware tool that can be used to hold meetings on almost any kind of device. Google has promised that they will soon roll out the ability to connect two displays to a single Chromebox as well as Chromebox support for calendar integration, which makes hosting meetings at home much easier.

What Google’s Announcement Means For The Industry

These recent reports that Google offers commercial video […]

By |August 12th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Why Great Digital Signage Starts With Great Content

Digital signage is a field that has taken off in recent years, thanks in part to the advancement of display technology and the increasing need for facilities to be able to deliver information to people in a timely fashion. According to some industry experts, there will be 22 million digital signs by 2015. However, in order for signage to be as effective as possible, there must be something for the sign to display and an audience interested in the sign’s content. There are a few digital signage content best practices that all users of digital signage should keep in mind whether they are looking to set up new signage or change their existing signage.

The Kind Of Content Available On Digital Signage

Digital signage can fulfill a wide variety of informational needs depending on the kind of facility the sign is in and the audience that the sign is targeted towards. Some of the more common types of information displayed on digital signage include:

Maps: maps that are placed on digital signage are very important to allow visitors to a facility to find the rooms and locations that they are looking for. The advantage of digital signage is that these maps can be interactive depending on where the viewer is looking to go, which means visitors can choose what kind of maps they are specifically looking for
News updates: getting news updates such as departmental closures or information about traffic or weather is very useful for people looking to stay current on the latest stories that will impact their lives
Company messages: some of the other helpful kinds of digital signage content include announcements, video messages, and other communications that a company or organization wants to convey to customers or […]

By |August 6th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

5 ways of Using Streaming Video For Corporate Communications

Video technology has expanded greatly in recent years. Streaming video is a technique that allows video to be sent in real-time to a variety of machines including tablets, computers, and mobile devices. Here are five ways that businesses are taking advantage of the power of new video technology by using streaming video for corporate communications.

Holding Conferences And Meetings Without More Participants

In business, the development of technology like the Internet has made the world a smaller place. This means that companies are sending more staff members to offices in various locations to get work done. If you or someone at your team needs to hold a meeting with another person that is not physically present, streaming video is a great way to still get a relatively intimate interaction with them.

Broadcasting Public Company Statements

Companies frequently need to send out a message to their audience at large. A good example of this method of using streaming video for corporate communications can be found in the way that Apple broadcasts their conferences and developer events. Last year, Apple broadcasted their Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on the Internet so that people around the world could learn about the announcements the company would be making at the event.

Improving The Quality Of Company Training

What happens if some of the best trainers in your particular field are not located close to where your office is? Use streaming video to host an interactive training session. Your team can still see and interact with the trainer and vice versa. Streaming video can also be recorded and archived so that employees can refer back to it when they need to reinforce the lessons they learned during the training.

Making Customer Service More Responsive

The most prominent example […]

By |July 30th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

5 Great Ways To Use Streaming Video In Higher Education

For many years, videos have been used in higher education as a way to complement traditional educational methods like lectures and group activities. Streaming video is a type of video technology that can facilitate interaction in a higher education setting. There are some great ways streaming video is being used in higher education today.

1. Remote Learning

In a remote learning class, students receive instruction from a professor in a centralized location. This means that classes can be held for students all over the world. Remote or distance learning is becoming extremely popular: according to Anuli Akanegbu at EdTech, 64% of full-time faculty who teach classes at community colleges also teach distance education classes.

2. More Flexibility In Group Work

Group work is an integral part of most higher education curriculum. Streaming video will allow groups to work more flexibly by allowing students to stream each other’s feeds so that they can talk about the work they are doing and exchange ideas that will help them attain more success with their collaborative efforts.

3. Massive Open Online Courses

Also known as MOOCs, massive open online courses are becoming very popular with people who want to continue their education without the traditional financial investment required to take college classes. One of the ways streaming video is being used in higher education is for people to take MOOCs and receive evaluations on the work that they are doing or collaborate with others taking the same course.

4. Parent Monitoring

For parents heavily involved in their children’s progress at higher education institutions, streaming video is very helpful. Streaming video can help parents understand what their kids are doing in class and why it might be effective, which will help them better appreciate their child’s education in […]

By |July 15th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

How MOOC’s Are Driving New Technology Into Higher Education

MOOCs, also known as massive open online courses, are growing quickly in popularity for those who want to gain college-level knowledge without having to pay a college-level price for it. In a New York Times article from 2012 about MOOCs, it was reported that nonprofit MOOC provider edX had 370,000 students signed up for its first official courses. Because of the way they are delivered, MOOCs require a different technological approach than traditional higher education classes. There are several points to consider when thinking about how MOOCs are driving new technology into higher education.

An Increase In Online Collaboration

One of the ways in which MOOCs are driving new technology into higher education is by increasing the amount of collaboration that takes place between students. In the digital age, collaboration frequently occurs through technological tools, which are even more important when it comes to MOOCs. This is because students enrolled in MOOCs are often not in the same town or even the same state. MOOCs allow higher education students to use social media and powerful information and document sharing platforms to help them with their education.

Unique Learning Tools

Another point to think about when you consider how MOOCs are driving new technology into higher education is the unique learning tools that are specifically designed to be used by people taking MOOCs. edX offers virtual labs and tools that can be used by students together to enhance learning.

Another prominent MOOC provider, Coursera, offers a Global Translator Community program to help students across the world access content, even if it is not in their native language. Coursera’s GTC community brings technology into higher education in a way that helps more people than ever before learn the things that they are […]

By |July 9th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Why Skype Isn’t A Business Video Solution

Skype is a very popular audio and video conferencing program that has helped many companies improve the way that they communicate. It is true that Skype has been beneficial for companies that want to save money on communication, but there are also some downsides to using Skype that not everyone is aware of.

Call Quality

Some people who use Skype complain of pixelated images and laggy audio that is hard to understand. In a piece written for Small Business Computing, Gerry Blackwell reports that voices can break up and calls sometimes have a high level of latency, which can negatively impact a conversation. In small doses these issues can be a minor annoyance, but in the worst scenarios these problems can make Skype unusable. This is a major setback for businesses that depend on Skype to make important calls that need to take place to move projects forward and is one of the main reasons why Skype is not best for business.

Network Reliability

Another of the big reasons why Skype is not best for business is the reliability of its network. In an article for The Inquirer, Lawrence Latif writes about a major Skype crash that occurred very soon after Microsoft decided to buy the program for over $8 billion. The article also features quotes from Ashish Gupta, a CMO and SVP of Vidyo, a New Jersey-based video communications company. Gupta praises Skype for making video conferencing more popular, but warns businesses that they must invest in a reliable, enterprise-grade platform for their communications if they want to avoid the consequences of a major Skype network crash.

Security

Many businesses have video conferences that deal with very sensitive information. If this information was compromised, it could lead to a disastrous […]

By |July 1st, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

5 Innovative Ways To Use AV Technology In Higher Education

Higher education prepares today’s young adults to become contributing members of society. Because of the importance of the learning that occurs at these institutions, advanced technology is often employed in unique ways to help both students and faculty.

In the past several years we have seen the emergence of streaming technology as a way to bring the world into the classroom. Another hot trend has been the “MOOC” also known as the Massive Open Online Classroom. While both of these are undoubtedly innovative, in the education community they have already picked up steam.

In this article we are going to go beyond what is hot, and think about a few innovative ways education institutions can utilize technology. So…If you are looking to learn about some new ways that you can incorporate visual technology at a college or university, here are five innovative ideas to consider.

Multimedia Artwork Displays

Are you looking to turn a classroom or conference room into a virtual art museum? Displaying art is one of the most innovative ways to use AV technology in higher education. Thanks to integration with audio, you can even play music or commentary to help viewers learn about the piece’s meaning, the life of the artist, and the time in which it was created. This information gives viewers a more thorough understanding of the art that they view with AV technology, thereby enhancing their experience.

Collaborative Projects Across Long Distances

Just because students and staff members at a higher education institution are not physically together, there is no reason why they can’t work together on projects that must be completed in a given window of time. However, there are some important considerations when videoconferencing to work on a project. According to an article by […]

By |June 24th, 2014|Blog|2 Comments

4 Ways To Drive Employee Adoption Of Video Communication

Video communication can provide a number of potential benefits for your business. By allowing people to talk face to face across great distances, it can improve productivity, save money, allow better collaboration on projects, and much more. But the benefits will only happen if your employees actually start using video communication as part of their workflow from day to day. And since it’s a newer technology and perhaps even foreign technology to many of them, getting them to the level of regular use can be a challenge. Here are 4 ways to drive employees to adopt video communication.

Provide the Tools. The first step in encouraging video adoption is simply to make sure that the tools are available to all of your employees. If video is being done on the desktop, make sure that each computer is equipped with a hi-definition camera for video chat, as well as the latest and most efficient videoconferencing software applications. A number of professional videoconferencing tools allow for seamless integration with the programs that they’re already using, such as IM. If the conferencing solution is room based, make sure those that have access to the technology know it is available as well as how to use it. Having the right tools and being aware of what is available may sound a bit simple, but if you are trying to drive adoption this is an important first step.
Explain the Benefits. Of course, you’re fully aware of all the reasons why adopting video communication will benefit both you and your employees. But do your employees know? For instance, the comprehension of information (Per HP Study) can improve up to 8x when video is used for a conference versus phone.  This is why it […]

By |June 18th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons To Consider Video Content Management

In today’s fast pace world people are busy. We are more mobile than ever and due to this it can be increasingly hard to get all of the people you want in a meeting in a room at one time.

Over the years this has led to teleconferencing, web conferencing and telepresence as an alternative, but even to make those types of calls happen everyone still has to be available at the same time AND they need to be somewhere with good internet and ideally not too much noise.

Sometimes, the message being shared doesn’t require all to be in the same room or even available at the same time. In fact, sometimes a meeting is more of a one way communication and the important thing is the ability for the audience to see and hear the content within a certain period when it is convenient for all parties. This is why video content management is key to the future of business communication. Here are 5 more reasons why Video Content Management may be a great solution for your business or organization.

Convenience: No matter what the message is, with a video content management system your employees, customers or suppliers can visit and consume the content when it is convenient for them and the creator can make the video when it works for them. This allows people to spend their days out of meetings and busy producing, which is key for most businesses.
Training: It turns out most people are much more visual learners and this is why a video content system can really make a difference. Capture and record how-to videos or important educational content and employees can go back and view the videos on-demand. Also new employees […]

By |June 10th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

4 Non-Traditional Applications For Video Walls

A video wall is a set of multiple screens or displays, tiled together in the form of a wall. They can be used to display multiple sets of information concurrently, or to assemble all of the smaller screens into one larger image. Typically, video walls are being used as digital signage that can be seen clearly from a distance, or as part of ultra-lavish entertainment systems, enjoyed by the very rich. However, that’s only the beginning of what they’re capable of. Here are 4 non-traditional applications for video walls.

Collaborative Projects. One of the major uses for video walls is providing multiple data streams alongside one another to gain a wider perspective in a particular field, such as in control rooms. This can be carried a step further, however, to allow two or more people to work side by side on a project, using the same interface. As opposed to the split screen or picture-in-picture effect that comes with using a single monitor, a video wall can display high definition mock-ups side by side for in-depth comparison. It doesn’t have to be an important work project, either. One popular use for video walls is gaming, and the display lends itself perfectly to multiplayer games.
Exhibits and Educational Displays. In addition to giant concert display screens and home entertainment centers for the very rich, video walls can be used to bring education to life in a way that regular screens can’t. For instance, they can be used to create multimedia exhibits in museums. An otherwise dry display could catch the attention of museum patrons with the addition of a giant video screen that can be seen from the moment you enter the room. A string of display screens laid out […]

By |June 3rd, 2014|Blog|0 Comments
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