Welcome back to our monthly news wrap where we bring you the latest news, views and developments in the world of live video, WebRTC and real-time communications.
Looking back on October, Facebook unveiled its AI-powered video chat device for living rooms with reports a video calling product for TVs is on the way; Apple doubled down on AR with the acquisition of a real-time video editing startup; Verizon looked into the future of communication with live holographic video calling; and executives explored how video meetings are powering the remote work revolution.
Since 2004, Facebook has said it wants to bring the world closer together. To accomplish that goal, the company has relied mostly on the web and smartphone apps. But software is no longer enough. On Monday, Facebook introduced a pair of video-calling devices — Portal and Portal Plus — to help expand its reach into people’s living rooms. Portal and Portal Plus, which have a 12-megapixel camera with high-definition video and artificial intelligence software, can be used to do video chats. The A.I.-powered camera follows users as they move, letting them converse without sitting stiffly…read more
If you look at the use of computer vision in video calling, you’ll see a distinct difference between consumer and business examples. With consumers, computer vision is about additions to the video, whereas in the enterprise it’s about subtracting from the video. And still. There are things you can do with video for enterprise. One thing we immediately identified is the machine learning-based filters you have today in messaging services. As fun as this is, it isn’t something you’ll likely see when trying to work with a business partner in an important video conference. What would work then?…read more
Apple has doubled down on AR by acquiring Danish machine learning company Spektral, whose software erases backgrounds from videos instantly. The deal closed in December 2017 for a cool $30 million. Spektral uses spectral graph theory and deep neural networks to create what is essentially green screen video editing, but in real time. Spektral takes what was once a painstaking editing process and reduces the heavy lifting to a simple command. The implications are many for the iPhone, but perhaps more interestingly for Apple’s anticipated AR hardware…read more
At Mobile World Congress Americas in September, Voxon Photonics showed off the world’s first 3D holographic call made possible by Verizon 5G. Using Verizon’s 5G network on the Los Angeles Convention Center show floor, Voxon Photonics sent medical data from the Verizon booth to the Ericsson booth – a distance of about 200 feet – and conducted the first-ever real-time video conference where the caller’s holographic face appeared using an Intel RealSense depth camera…read more
Clark Valberg is staring into his computer’s webcam. As the CEO of InVision, a 750-person software company where every employee works remotely, video conferences are the norm for him. But there’s one peculiarity about the meeting Valberg is currently in with his chief operating officer. They’re sitting in the same room. To hear Valberg tell it, the future of all business meetings is video. “Getting together in-person doesn’t scale,” he says. “We get together to fortify our personal relationships, build rapport, and create intimacy… but real work happens online”…read more
A few days ago, Facebook launched a device called Portal, which lets you make video calls to others via the company’s Messenger platform. Now, a new report suggests that the social networking company is working on a companion product for TVs that’s also designed for video calling, as well as tuning into Facebook Watch. The device, codenamed “Ripley“, is slated to launch in 2019, and combine a camera for calls, as well as components to support streaming video. It could represent a major step for Facebook to delve into the world of hardware – separate from its VR entity, Oculus…read more
You can catch up on September’s live video and real-time communications news here