When you use Google+ Hangouts, you’re using technology developed by a video conferencing company called Vidyo, based largely on a piece of hardware it calls VidyoRouter. For the last few years it has been doing its best to disrupt the in-office videoconferencing business, and it is backed by more than $116 million in venture capital investments.
Today marked the latest step in its campaign to remake the business in its own image. It announced a service called VidyoH2O that can bring Google+ Hangouts sessions to existing videoconferencing systems. If your office has videoconferencing gear from vendors like Cisco Systems, Polycom or Avaya, you’ll be able to use this either via a cloud-based subscription or an on-premise installation.
Central to the effort is WebRTC, a protocol first developed by Google and then offered as an open-source standard for enabling both voice and video communication between two browsers without the need for extra software or plugins. Vidyo has been one of the companies contributing to the standard.
The secret to its technology is that it adapts quickly to whatever conditions it encounters on the network. If bandwidth is constrained, it reduces the stream to a lower quality but one that still allows for a real-time conversation.
It also goes wherever you go — on tablets, smartphones, whatever. As Paul Teich, an analyst with research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, observed in a white paper on the technology out today, its technology “creates the highest possible image at each endpoint, enabling devices with good connections and high resolution displays to achieve better video resolution than many legacy videoconferencing rooms.”
Vidyo CEO Ofer Shapiro promises that this is only the first in a series of collaborations with Google. The company has 47 patents around its video conferencing technology.