By Jim Lundy
The last two days at our Aragon Research offsite, we had a need for video sharing with a remote colleague and we did not have a room based or dedicated video conferencing system. To make a long story short, we ended up using an Apple iPad 2 as a video capture device for seeing people and sharing the display screen and whiteboard in the room. In essence, this blog post is about the iPad as an ideal UCC device.
iPad: Putting it to work at an offsite
On two separate days, the iPad performed its duties quietly and with no interruptions; its camera was on and it was broadcasting over the wireless channel. On top of that the the iPad ran off battery power for the 9 hours we were in the room.
Putting aside this example, we are seeing a trend that more technology providers are providing video sharing and viewing from the iPad. Apple, Cisco, Citrix, Fuze, Google, Polycom, and Skype (Microsoft) are some of the vendors who support video on iPad now. There are others who we expect to offer native video support in their iPad apps soon.
iPad and Video
Some of the things that jump out on using a Tablet like the iPad for web and video conferencing:
- the app launches and connects the user to the meeting very quickly, far faster than most PCs
- there is no need to reboot the iPad, even after multiple meetings. Most PCs and Macs perform better by doing a reboot after multiple meetings.
- ability to run the meeting while launching other apps. For some of the web conferencing and video conferencing apps, this is becoming a common feature.
- native support for video. The iPad and other tablets have support for video built-in. Apple describes the process of how this works in this and other documents.
All in all, thanks to built-in cameras and video streaming support, the iPad has evolved to become a great device for a web or video meeting. It is also proving itself to be a capable business machine. For the worker on the go, when coupled with an optional keyboard, the iPad is evolving to become a more efficient and less expensive option.
Note, see our Special Report on Tablets in the Enterprise.