Digital Media

New Cisco Media Server Performs Speech-to-Text Conversion

Cisco Systems is reaching deeper into the education segment with the launch of two new products, one a video media processor that adds the ability to convert audio to text for captioning and the other a social video system for creating "video communities." The announcement comes on the heels of a Cisco-sponsored survey that has found that more than half of administrators and IT decision-makers in education expect to invest in video technology over the next year.

The Cisco Media Experience Engine (MXE) 3500 is a network device that allows users to share file-based and live video across a network from any source to any endpoint, including laptops, digital signs, and mobile devices such as Smart phones. This new addition to the MXE media server product line provides media processing, video encoding to convert the video for transmission and playback, and video analytics. The appliance also includes post-production capabilities such as video editing, color correction, and layering on of customized graphics such as logos and PowerPoint slides.

A new speech-to-text feature in the media server can convert audio in a video to text. Once the conversion is complete, the text can be scrolled across the screen as a caption or it can be exported as a text file.

Cisco's Show and Share is a social video system that helps schools create secure video communities to share ideas and expertise, optimize collaboration, and personalize the connection among students with user-generated content. The social video system allows students to locate videos, search for specific content using tag clouds and RSS feeds, add comments, and rate the content.

Clarus Research Group conducted a survey in February and March 2010 among 600 education administrators and IT professionals working in K-12, community college, and four-year college and university environments. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they're likely to invest in video technology over the next year to make their schools "more effective and efficient."

Among other survey findings, 84 percent of respondents believe that technology will play a large role in "improving how students learn," and 82 percent believe that technology will play a large role in "helping prepare students for the workforce of the future."

"When technology meets learning, dynamic learning societies are formed, and great things happen to students, communities and societies," said Michael Stevenson, vice president of Global Education for Cisco. "Integrating video into the classroom environment can play a key role in improving collaboration, security, and interactive learning."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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