HP Reminds Us that It Does Video Conferencing Too

HP today announced it’s releasing a new line of high-definition videoconferencing products. These new Visual Collaboration products provide a solution that not only works via hardware installed in conference rooms, but can also be accessed on desktop and laptop computers.

EspressoHD: Industrial-Strength 1080p Telepresence at a Lower Cost

One way to bridge the gap between remote workers and aid remote collaboration is to invest in telepresence technology. These systems have traditionally been expensive, but that cost is coming down all the time. XVD Corporation launched its low-cost EspressoHD system in North America today.

Cisco Umi: An HD Telepresence System for SMBs?

Yesterday, Cisco launched its consumer telepresence offering, Umi, which will provide high definition video calling in the home. At $599, plus an additional $24.95 per month for unlimited calls, it seems a little pricey for its target consumer market, but could it work for SMBs?

At $599, Cisco’s Umi Telepresence Is a Non-Starter

Cisco rolled out its consumer telepresence offering this morning, unveiled under the Umi brand. The offering, which can be used with existing HDTVs, is available for pre-order today — but the $599 price tag will probably be a little out of reach for Umi’s target market.

Cisco To Take On Skype With Consumer Telepresence

Cisco is looking to make its move into the consumer video chat market, with the introduction of new telepresence products for everyday users. But Cisco may have lost the consumer video chat battle before it’s even begun; worse yet, it could undercut its own enterprise business.

Even Politicians Want to Use Skype

It’s rare to see our political leaders use common sense when making decisions, so when they do, we should celebrate. House Republican leaders led have reportedly sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to allow the use of Skype for video conferencing purposes.

Vidyo Takes Telepresence to the Desktop

Vidyo, in a bid to widen its market share, is launching a line of video conferencing solutions priced under $1,000. The VidyoDesktop Executive combines low-cost touchscreen computers with the VidyoDesktop 2.0 software to enable video conferencing at one-tenth the price of other dedicated solutions.
The Executive offering is meant to complement Vidyo’s full-room HD systems, which are positioned against competing telepresence systems from the likes of Cisco (s CSCO) and Polycom (s PLCM). The product can be run on Mac or Windows operating systems, and since it’s based on software it can be used as either a dedicated video conferencing endpoint, or just as an application available on a user’s personal computer. With built-in application sharing, Vidyo users can use simple graphics tools as whiteboard applications, or they can share presentations or documents that are available on the desktop. Read More about Vidyo Takes Telepresence to the Desktop

Vidyo Scores Monster $25M Funding Round

Just so you know, this is not an April Fool’s joke: video conferencing startup Vidyo — the same company that powers the ultra-popular Google (s GOOG) Talk video chat client — has raised a $25 million Series C round of financing, it announced today. With the new cash, Vidyo plans to aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts to take on networking giants like Cisco (s CSCO) in the desktop and room-based telepresence market.

All of Vidyo’s existing investors, including Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and Star Ventures, came out for the financing round, which was led by Four Rivers Group. The new cash follows a $15 million funding round that Vidyo closed just over a year ago. With the latest round, the video conferencing firm has now raised a total of $63 million since being founded in 2005.

At a time when financing is hard to come by, a $25 million investment is virtually unheard of. So how did Vidyo manage to raise so much cash, and what does it plan to do with it all? Read More about Vidyo Scores Monster $25M Funding Round

Logitech Takes on Cisco, to Buy LifeSize for $405M

LifeSize_logoLogitech, a Swiss maker of peripherals for computers and digital consumer devices, is buying 6-year-old Austin, Texas-based video conferencing device maker LifeSize Communications for $405 million in cash. LifeSize has raised $80 million in funding from Norwest, Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Pinnacle Ventures. It makes high-definition video conferencing systems that use standard broadband connections and IP technologies to connect distributed offices and locations. The deal will put Logitech (s logi) in direct competition with Cisco Systems (s csco) in the hotly contested video conferencing equipment market. Read More about Logitech Takes on Cisco, to Buy LifeSize for $405M