iVisit Agitating for the Evolution of Fixed-mobile Tele-presence and Augmented Reality
Author: Orang Dialameh - CEO iVisit, LLC
A short overview of the history of video conferencing shows the evolution of this technology and its slow adoption…
The Bell system Picturephone, 1964
1964: AT&T introduced the Bell system Picturephone at the World’s Fair in New York
1970: Picture Tel offered their Video Conferencing system for $80,000 and $100 per hour lines.
1980: Picture Tel unveiled a $20,000 black and white Video Conferencing system with $30 per hour lines.
1992: AT&T started selling $1,500 videophones for consumer market
In 1992 Tim Dorcey, now iVisit’s CTO and co-founder, developed CU-SeeMe for Macintosh computers at Cornell University. CU-SeeMe was the first Internet Protocol (IP) based multiparty video conferencing solution. In 1998, Connectix developed the first low cost webcam. These developments soon ushered the availability of video conferencing for the masses. Widespread availability of broadband in the last decade has made low cost or even free one to one desktop video conferencing a reality on most personal computers, or as part of IMs and web conferencing services and software.
In 2001 NTT DoCoMO brought a $570 mobile video phone to market for a limited number of users. Mobile video telephony has since become available to users in Europe and Asia and most phones are sold with both front and rear facing cameras. This initial convergence of video conferencing and mobile telephony however came with significant limitations for users. First generation mobile video conferencing services typically rely on carrier’s circuit switched network infrastructure to establish a phone-to-phone voice call and then initiate a 2-way video data connection between compatible devices. Frequently operators limit such services only for their own subscribers. As such, early adopters of mobile video telephony face critical mass challenges since they have a hard time connecting to others that have the same device and carrier. Add to this expensive data plans in EU and Asia and low battery capacity of smart phones and it had slowed practical application of mobile video communications.
In 2008 new PDA phones that have both the processing and battery capacity required for extended mobile video conferencing arrived on the market. iVisit is one of the first companies that has developed client software that can run on such PDA phones, allowing entirely IP- and data-based video communications. This means that users can now connect with users across carriers or to users on desktop computers and engage in a wide variety of fixed mobile unified communications.
The emergence of mobile PDA camera phones with 3G and upcoming 4G connectivity has set the stage for another big change for converged communications and data services.
Users are no longer tethered to their desktops and fixed internet connections. Now, they have subsidized broadband mobile devices that are computers, have cameras, GPS, accelerometers, wireless connectivity and sensing capabilities.
365 million camera phones were shipped in 2005 and 903 million camera phones are forecast to ship by 2010. This means there are more cameras bundled with phones than sold standalone.
Many questions remain about how mobile video communications will be adopted.
- Who can early adaptors communicate with and for what purposes?
- What sort of communication services will users engage in?
- 1:1 or multiparty, live or store & forward, broadcast/viewer, presenter/participant, asymmetric audio/video/ text, integrated location based services?
- Will users pay enough to justify the costs of mobile services?
- How will the quality of services adapt to mobile data network variations?
New iVisit fixed-mobile Unified Communication & Collaboration
iVisit has released beta versions of its new hi-fidelity, low-cost unified communication software that integrates presence, instant messaging, multi-party audio and video (A/V) conferencing, A/V messaging, desktop and presentation sharing on PCs, MACs and mobile phones. Connected navigation and location-based services are available as optional services.
iVisit also offers client server software which operates on a wide range of desktop and mobile operating systems. This allows users to communicate between devices running Windows OS, Mac OS, Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.X. Support for Linux, Symbian, brew and other operating systems are coming soon.
iVisit’s hybrid distributed-central media transport, adaptive bandwidth management and strong user authentication and encryption enables iVisit’s services to be deployed across all IP networks with high security and scalable performance.
The fixed mobile nature of the iVisit platform enables new use scenarios. By unifying communication across fixed and mobile networks and devices, iVisit is able to address needs of various vertical markets in the consumer, enterprise, and healthcare markets. For example, field workers can use iVisit to communicate with home office/ dispatch through audio and video messaging, making it easier to solve problems in real-time during a call.
iVisit also enables connected location-based services whereby remote desktop users can see the position of mobile users on Google Maps while communicating with them live. During the call, they are able to access a variety of location-based services enabled through Google Internet Services (GIS) databases. These include turn-by-turn navigation to points of interest or addresses entered into Google Maps, live and recorded paths of mobile users and more.
iVisit is taking the range of possibilities much further than just fixed-mobile unified communications, however, and developing vertical applications targeting healthcare and assistive markets under sponsorship of several National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. These solutions demonstrate the possibilities for high value and new converged fixed-mobile services.
iVisit Rx is iVisit’s telemedicine solution, which utilizes its fixed mobile communications combined with simplified and accessible interfaces to enable remote healthcare for elderly patients and assistive solutions for users with visual and other communication impairments. iVisit Rx won first place in the Fourth Annual CTIA Emerging Technologies (E-Tech) Awards in the Healthcare category. The E-Tech Awards are designed to give industry recognition and exposure to the best wireless products and services. Nearly 300 applications were submitted and reviewed by a panel of recognized members of the media, industry analysts and executives.
iVisit Rx enables face-to-face communication between medical practitioners and patients, allowing for remote patient treatment and monitoring. It works across IP and 3G+ networks and allows connectivity between mobile phones, desktops, laptops, and mobile diagnostic devices. Other iVisitRx capabilities include photo sharing and messaging, remote patient monitoring, session recording for medical records, GPS location based services, and soon wireless integration with Blood Pressure Monitors, Glucometers, and other vital sign monitoring devices.
iVisit and its partners are developing iVisit Rx as a telemedicine and assisted living platform that combats soaring healthcare costs. For example, CELLUCARE is helping patients manage their diabetes condition by providing coaching and intervention, which reduces the likelihood of medical events that incur higher costs and improves quality of the patients' mobile lifestyle. Nurse Practitioners talk face-to-face with patients in their homes using 2-way video over mobile phones powered by iVisit Rx.
A second iVisit Rx partner, Wound Technology Network (WTN), offers a distributed wound treatment program where two wound specialists (one on location, one connected remotely) simultaneously assess and treat patient wounds. Through its centralized specialist call center, care management software, and use of iVisit Rx, WTN offers patients a level of wound care expertise, standardized protocols, and quality of care that rivals the best specialty wound care clinics.
Video link to WTN…
Link to Microsoft Case Study of WTN/iVisit application
iVisit is also working with the National Institute of Health (Grant 1R43EY017234-01A1) and Veterans Administration to improve the lives of visually impaired users. iVisit's SeeScan technology, available for Windows Mobile, allows users to quickly detect and recognize objects such as consumer goods and currency. Additionally, iVisit's SeeStar technology, developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Aging and National Eye Institute (Grants 1R43EY016953-01 & 2R44EY016953-02), allows visually impaired users to transmit live images to a remote assistant that can describe their surroundings, provide directions, identify landmarks, or recognize objects.
Real-Time Object Recognition on a Mobile Device
iVisit considers such fixed mobile solution as the basis for a variety of augmented reality applications where information is overlaid on the real world based on real-time object recognition and tapping into users own fixed-mobile devices. iVisit plans to enable a platform or a variety of augmented reality services and will make this available to a limited number of 3rd party developers later this year. Developers interested in iVisit’s real-time fixed-mobile AR platform should contact them.
About the author:
is the Founder & CEO of iVisit LLC. He manages the technology and product development for iVisit as well as the go to market strategy of the Company.
Prior to iVisit Orang was the co-founder & CEO Eyematic Interfaces Inc. 1997-2002. Eyematic's innovative technologies attracted funding, licensing and co-marketing relationships from Deutsche Telekom, Texas Instrument, Sun Microsystems, Qualcomm, Intec, Omron and TRW. Eyematic was credited with a number of best in class technologies:
Continually one of the most accurate face recognition technology based on US government tests (FERET)
The only robust non-invasive facial feature tracking software in the market
Award winning fully automated facial animation system for film as well as consumer applications.
First Java 3D rendering engine for browsers (Shout 3D)
iVisit P2P multiparty video conferencing system
In 2002 Eyematic was restructured into NevenVision and iVisit LLC. NevenVision Inc. focusing on machine vision technologies was acquired by Google Inc. in 2006. iVisit continues its development of communications solutions and human machine interaction R&D.