iocom Review

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Rating: 4 WaterTowers

Several years ago I met with Jerry and the folks at InSORs.  We had an interest at ESnet for a desktop version of the Access Grid (see my previous post on the AG) but also needed H.323 interoperability.  InSORs was at the beginning stages of development and we advised them on what we needed.  After all, ESnet is the center of the videoconferencing universe…..NOT.  But we were, at the time, advancing the state-of-the-art and InSORs was right there with us.

Fast forward several years and this Blog entry talks about the result of years of effort…you will be impressed!

I really am a geek when it comes to videoconferencing and I spent the past few days totally geeking out with iocom.

Objective

After my not so successful adventure in geekdom with the Access Grid application, I wanted to test a product that would work on the Access Grid, but, would maybe be easier to install and use.  iocom, formally inSORs, was still around so I dug up some old contacts and Jerry answered the call.

The next day, Jerry sent me all the information I would need to download and install the iocom application on my Toshba laptop (which now has a cool Logitech 9000 and Chat 50 USB mic / speaker thanks to my benefactor).

Installation

A breeze.

The software downloaded and installed without a hitch.  I then let the application know about my brand new Logitech 9000 and super cool Chat 50.  I adjusted the Chat 50 to a “comfortable” speaker level and adjusted the mic volume.

It finished installing and I was ready to make a call!

Features

Before I go too far, here is a list of features that Jerry showed me while we were on the call (see Figure 1).

Figure 1:  iocom Control Panel
Figure 1: iocom Control Panel

Dial is used to dial a telephone, cell phone, or H.323 client into the meeting

Files means you can upload and download files (I did not test this..arrghh).  For security, the server deletes the files after the meeting ends.

Whiteboard means you can all work on a common whiteboard (See Fig 2)

Figure 2: iocom Whiteboard
Figure 2: iocom Whiteboard

Chat means you can chat with the entire group or privately (but, be careful to select “Private Chat” before replying to a private chat, it is not automatic and you could be embarrassed)

Record means you can record the meeting on your computer

IGPix is a feature where you can capture the screen so others can see.  Jerry showed a PowerPoint presentation using this feature (the quality was very good).

There are lots of options in Settings and Moderator (including the ability to mute or boot an offending participant).  There is a nice Help feature and you can mute your mic and / or speaker.

There is an Email / Scheduling capability that allows to to schedule a meeting and send an email.  Interestingly, it work fine with Thunderbird even though it was designed to support the more corporate email apps like Outlook.  The meeting is ready for you when the time comes to meet.  Very cool.

iocom works in HD as well.

There are many more features…contact iocom for the full list or a really cool demo.

Making a Call

I’ll let the video do my talking…whew, I get to rest.  :-)   But, before I start, iocom is “presence” based.  It is very easy to pull up a list of people who are on and ready to be called.   Now…the movie.

Another Oscar nomination….I can feel it.  ;-)

Here are a couple of screen shots that show the quality much better than my little digital camera can.

Figure 3:  Jerry in 720p
Figure 3: Jerry in 720p
Figure 4: iocom HD Endpoint
Figure 4: iocom HD Endpoint

If you click in the middle of the picture you can control the camera.  Not surprisingly, when I did that my DSL line barfed big time.

TelBitConsulting remembers: DSL (at least the flavor I currently have) is not good for HD.

Here is a screen shot (Figure 5) Jerry sent me of a heavy duty meeting they were having.

Figure 5: Screen Shot of a Meeting
Figure 5: Screen Shot of a Meeting

I can also select a number of iocom rooms.  Here is one (Figure 6) where I could, should I so desire, meet with the folks at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab…the home of ESnet.

Figure 6:  Select LBL
Figure 6: Select LBL

Here is a still shot (Figure 7) of Jerry and I in the meeting.  You may be better able to tell the quality of the meeting with this….I hope.

Figure 7: Still Shot
Figure 7: Still Shot

Summary

iocom has come a long way!

This is a very impressive videoconferencing capability that ranges from the desktop to unbelievable room (rivaling, if not beating, a “Telepresence” room) that integrates multiple cameras with data collaboration in a most unique and effective package.

I really love it when videoconferencing is done right…and it is even better when I may have had some (very) small part in it.  VERY COOL.

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Published by

Mike Pihlman

Owner of AltamontCowork, a coworking location in Tracy, CA. I am the Director of ForCarol.com a 501c3 non-profit that awards college scholarships to local scholars in honor of my daughter's best friend, and our part-time daughter, Carol Phan who we lost on Sept 18, 2010, Book Review blogger (TracyReaderDad.com).

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