Friday, 6 November 2009

Hewlett-Packard Introduces SkyRoom Videoconferencing Suite Live Videoconferencing for Up to Four People Simultaneously, Share Rich Media Content, Sub-100ms Latency

There is something to be said for videoconferencing. It s cheap compared
to the alternative of sending groups of people from all over the world
to one place for a meeting, it s relatively easy to do, and anything
that can save me from having to go through the agonizing peril that
often accompanies air travel I am all for. OK, that last one was more of
a personal thing, but still, it gets a vote for videoconferencing. Into
what has been a world dominated by the likes of WebEX and GoToMeeting,
HP has decided to land and they re bringing the big guns with their new
SkyRoom videoconferencing software.
HP announced today that they will formally enter the videoconferencing
arena with a piece of software it has dubbed SkyRoom (sounds like a
frequent flyer perk to me). What s so special about HP SkyRoom? Well,
for starters it is based on the same technology that NASA used when it
was chatting back and forth with the Mars lander. That should be enough,
shouldn t it? Joining the never-ending search for the holy grail of
videoconferencing, zero latency communication amongst multiple persons,
HP claims to have gotten as close as anyone thus far.
As long as the minimum system requirements are met (Core 2 Duo 2.33-GHz
or equivalent processor with 2GB RAM, a webcam and Microsoft Windowsยฎ
XP or Vistaยฎ) HP SkyRoom promises simultaneous live interaction between
up to four people with near zero " more like 100ms, actually "
latency. This means less waiting for the screens to refresh and less of
those creepy, Max Headroom-like jumpy video feeds.
HP SkyRoom supports both 2D and 3D graphics as well as full-motion video
and multiple displays. So how is HP able to obtain near-zero delay in
its transmissions with SkyRoom? The main reason is that the software
doesn t send an entire screenshot over the wire like some others we
know. Instead, it transmits only those bits of information that have
changed on the screen. Fewer redundant bits means less latency. Another
cool feature of SkyRoom is the software s ability to both compress and
encrypt the data before it sends it on its way.
HP SkyRoom is earmarked with an MSRP of $149 and it will come preloaded
on all HP Z800, Z600, Z400 and xw4600 workstations. It will also come
loaded as a 90-day trial on certain HP business desktops and notebooks.
Along with the SkyRoom software, HP is toting a hardware bundle as
well.ย The HP SkyRoom Standard Accessory Kit, which is set to retail
for around $120, comes with a high-resolution webcam and a set of
headphones or speakers. Still want more info? Head on over to
www.hp.com/go/hpskyroom.
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