Last October, Polycom unveiled RealPresence Mobile, an application which allows users to turn their existing consumer tablet devices into business ready communication platforms. Back then, Polycom took a software only approach while several others chose the hardware route, with Cisco developing the Cius business tablet and Motorola Solutions developing the ET1 enterprise ready tablet.
Fast forward to now, Cisco’s Cius tablet doesn’t exist anymore and no one knows what happened to Motorola’s ET1 tablet. In hindsight, Avaya has been making news with the Flare Communicator app for the iPad. Therefore, Polycom’s move to bring many of those same enterprise-ready features to the very tablet many of us are holding in our hands, seems to be paying off.
Earlier this week, Polycom announced a set of APIs across its RealPresence video collaboration platform and software development kits (SDKs) that enable third-party software developers to create applications that will integrate with Polycom’s platform, and extend the reach of it into a wider range of industries. The updated RealPresence includes an innovative camera control feature to remotely control the camera on the other end of a video meeting allowing users to zoom in, pan, or tilt the camera to get a better look at the subject or the environment.
Polycom says the new Open APIs are aimed at both third-party developers as well as partners engaged in developing applications for enterprise use. The new APIs support the Acme Packet protocol as well as offer integrating the network security platform with SIP protocol, thereby allowing users to bypass firewalls and connect directly with conferencing systems.
The new RealPresence software adds support for the HTC One and HTC Jetstream smartphones in addition to the new iPad. It is backward compatible with older devices such as older iPads, the iPhone 4S, Motorola Xoom, Droid Xyboard, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1.
Polycom says there’re several business use cases for the new camera control feature – a doctor can zoom in the video to better see a patient, a professor can interactively teach students all over the world etc.
“Video collaboration is the language of business and many small- to medium-sized businesses are increasingly looking to have video collaboration delivered as a service, moving it from a cap-ex to op-ex model,” said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Polycom President of Products and Services. “Service providers are in a unique position to capitalize on this opportunity to increase their revenues and market presence in UC collaboration. Polycom’s platform, solutions, and APIs meet the specific needs of service providers and provide them the flexibility to accelerate time to market with unique, customized applications and services for customers across vertical industries. In addition, we’ve also upgraded our RealPresence Platform to provide the scale and manageability required for service providers to deliver robust, carrier-class VaaS offerings. Polycom’s vision is to make video collaboration ubiquitous, and we believe we’re delivering on that vision with software-led innovations that brings video collaboration to new platforms such as cloud, mobile, and social platforms.”