R. K. Radhakrishnan

A breakthrough in videoconferencing

  • Each studio costs $425,000
  • Technology enables face-to-face meetings

    PALO ALTO(CALIFORNIA): The days of video conferencing, as we now know it, are over. Gone are the days of freeze frames and voice loss during a video conference.

    Hewlett-Packard (HP) has introduced in the Asia Pacific region a sophisticated video conferencing facility, the HP Halo Collaboration Studio, so that face-to-face business meetings can be held across long distances minus hiteches like freeze frames and voice loss.

    The Halo studio allows, for instance, a multinational company executive or a few executives in one city to hold a virtual conference with his/their counterpart(s) across the globe, real time.

    The HP technology part of which was tested and validated in Bangalore would ensure that a few minutes into the meeting, one forgets the distance part to a great extent. One tends to think that all the participants are in the same room. If testimonials from early users are to be believed, the HP halo studio has revolutionalised workflow and quickened decision-making across organisations.

    Real time demo

    The venture has been undertaken in partnership with DreamWorks Animation SKG. HP held a real time demonstration for a group of journalists from across the world flown in at HP's cost at its Palo Alto facility on Monday. In the demonstration, HP executives from London, New York and Singapore interacted with the team of journalists who were taken to Palo Alto. Customers can connect up to four studios at one time and access interpretation services for more than 150 languages including sign language within two minutes of the request.

    "The Halo Collaboration Studio has already won customers such as AIG Financial Products Corporation, BHP Billiton, Canon and General Electric Commercial Finance, Advanced Micro devices, Novartis and PepsiCo. "To date, 61 Halo Studios have either been deployed on HP's Halo Video Exchange network or are in development," says a HP press note.

    To conduct a meeting via the Halo, an organisation has to purchase at least two Halo studios. Each studio costs $425,000. "A discount is offered on the second and subsequent purchases,'' says Ed Neumann, director of Business development, HP.

    Mark Gorzyuski, Chief Scientist, Halo programme, said the product was an end-to-end solution and the costs covered every aspect of operation of the studio.