Vidyo's mobile videoconferencing app showcased on iPad 2

12.05.2011

A demonstration at Vidyo's booth shows an iPad 2 with four participants in a live link. The video is 720p high-definition, with resolution up to VGA on mobile devices. Turn the tablet sideways, and the screen re-orientates. Faces can be changed in size and location with touches. (You can see a from the vendor.)

In general, mobile clients download the appropriate VidyoMobile app, which links automatically via a URL through the appliance-based VidyoPortal application to a company's VidyoRouter, which interconnects the participants. The eliminates the need for conventional multi-point conferencing units (MCU). Both the portal and router boxes connect to the existing enterprise network via Ethernet. There's also a proxy application to support the connection through a corporate firewall.

VidyoRouter is the server software that makes it possible to sustain high-definition, low latency video over existing corporate networks. The software uses what the vendor calls Adaptive Video Layering (AVL), which constantly optimizes the video quality and resolution for each individual endpoint, and the network connection for each endpoint. This approach is based on the H.264 Scaleable Video Coding standard, an extension to H.264/MPEG4 video compression standard. (Wikipedia has a short but .)

VidyoMobile extends this over cellular and Wi-Fi connections to iOS and Android mobile devices. It's free to download, but as an enterprise-focused product, it requires an endpoint license of $5 per person. With the licenses for the associated Vidyo infrastructure components, the price per user is about $100, according to the company. It is due to ship in July.

IOS supports 's FaceTime video chat, a one-to-one video call. But extending that to multiple parties is hard work, according to Vidyo's Song. Skype offers one-to-one video calls on mobile devices, but not group videoconferences. Google's Gmail video chat also is one-to-one, but it uses Vidyo's software so it could be group-enabled in the future, Song says.