Videoconferencing | News

Internet2 Adds New Video Service to Net+

Internet2, a technology community formed by research institutions, will soon be adding a new vendor to its video service offerings for use in research, virtual classrooms, telemedicine, and business communications. Starting in May Vidyo will be part of the organization's NET+ services to provide member schools with an inexpensive option for video collaboration and telepresence. Internet2 has teamed up with ID Solutions, an IP video solution provider, to deploy and host the service.

Users will be able to access the new service on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Linux platforms running on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, as well as H.323 and SIP devices. Deployment can be provided on premise, in a private cloud, or through a public cloud.

"Simple, high performance, personalized video-based interactions have long been a goal for the education community. The Internet2 NET+ Vidyo service will enable participating institutions to work in simple, effective, and collaborative manner," said Shelton Waggener, Internet2 senior vice president.

The service has already been tested out in three higher ed settings--at Arizona State University, Emory, and Northwestern. However, it is also being made available to K-12 members.

"We've used Vidyo products and technology at Arizona State University for the past few years, and we continue to see a significant increase in the number of downloads of the Vidyo client; over 2,000, which is double from this time last year--just from 'word of mouth,'" said CIO Gordon Wishon. "We sponsored Vidyo as a NET+ Service for the very reasons that make us champions of this video communications solution. We needed something very flexible, portable, and high quality, even under the worst bandwidth conditions. We've pushed Vidyo to the edge many times and its performance has been outstanding under the most extreme circumstances."

For example, Arizona State's School of Life Sciences has used Vidyo in order to connect researchers in the field with students and faculty in the classroom. "With Vidyo, pretty much the only equipment the classroom needs is a laptop and a webcam," said Sunshine Van Bael, an associate scientist from Tulane University who has used the service while doing research in the jungles of Panama. Speaking in a video demonstrating her work, Van Bael noted that instead of investing "thousands of dollars" for a video setup "that might or might not work, we're talking about a couple of hundred dollars of equipment that most classrooms will be able to afford."

Added Arizona State Vice Provost Robert Page, Jr., Vidyo "has eliminated the need for me to travel. I can sit down at the screen of my desktop computer, and in a minute or two of a conference, it's just like the person is sitting in front of me. There's no delay. It's not like you're talking to a screen."

Internet2 said that schools interested in learning more about the service can email netplus@internet2.edu or visit vidyo.com/internet2.

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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