Videoconferencing Stories August 17, 2012

USPTO publishes Google patent for 3D video conferencing on a laptop

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Google that illustrates the search giant is developing technology for a computing device, such a laptop, that will boast dual cameras with 3D video conferencing as the main function.

Patent Bolt explained:

  • Google’s specific example goes like this: the computing notebook with the dual cameras could be used by a first user to produce a stereoscopic image of, for example, the first user during a video conference session when while in the notebook’s stereoscopic mode. In some instances, the stereoscopic image could be displayed locally and/or sent to a remote computing device via the video conference session.
  • If a second user joins the video conferencing session in the same room as the first user, the notebook could be changed from a stereoscopic mode to that of a multi-image mode so that separate images of the first user and the second user could be used during the video conferencing session.

It is worth noting stereoscopy is otherwise known as 3D imaging. Most stereoscopic techniques present two offset images independently to the left and right eye of the viewer, but the brain combines them to give the perception of 3D depth.

Patent Bolt further contextualized the multi-image mode:

  • In Google’s example of this invention used in a video conferencing context, two people in one office could be both using the same notebook during the conference for the sake of simple communications. They could be sitting across the table from each other with one camera facing one participant and the other camera pointed to the back of the notebook to view the second participant. The party on the other end of the conference would simply see two side-by-side boxes on their screen as if the individuals were actually sitting side by side. For home users it could be handy application when there’s only one household notebook.

Get the full report and more images at Patent Bolt.

Videoconferencing Stories May 7, 2012

Google launched Hangouts On Air last year to select broadcasters, which allows recorded or live conversations with friends to broadcast, but today the search engine made the popular feature available to Google+ users worldwide.

Engineering Director Chee Chew explained the option’s functions on the Official Google Blog:

Today we’re excited to launch Hangouts On Air to Google+ users worldwide. So if you have something to say—as an aspiring artist, a global celebrity, or a concerned citizen—you can now go live in front of a global audience. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to:

  • Broadcast publicly. By checking “Enable Hangouts On Air,” you can broadcast your live hangout—from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website—to the entire world.
  • See how many viewers you’ve got. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live.
  • Record and re-share. Once you’re off the air, we’ll upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post. This way it’s easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it’s over.

expand full story

Videoconferencing Stories October 27, 2011

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Interesting move here by Amazon.  By dropping the nicely-specced Vizio VTab eight inch tablet to $199, they’ve created a competitor to their own Amazon Kindle Fire tablet which at 7 inches is also priced at $199.

The VTab runs Android 2.3, has 4GB of built in storage and an SD card slot for additional storage and 512MB of RAM.  It bests the Kindle Fire with a bigger, higher resolution 1024 x 768 display, front facing camera for video conferencing (with Google Talk and Skype), built in IR blaster, an SRS 3 speaker sound system as well as an internal GPS.

It lacks the Kindle’s Dual Core processor.

For my money, this beats a Kindle Fire. expand full story

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