Revolabs Unified Communications Will Help Bring the World Together, Once We Decide How to Communicate
Note: This is a guest post by Tim Root, Chief Technology Officer of Revolabs, Inc.
What does UC Mean?
Recently, someone asked me how Revolabs defines “Unified Communications” (UC) and the technologies that term encompasses. As you might imagine, UC is a very broad term; at the highest level, it means the ability to combine data, audio, and video within a single application and to share it among a variety of users in different locations using multiple types of interface technologies; laptops, smartphones, pads, VC equipment.
On the technology side, the core of the infrastructure is the call manager or the web-based server that enables everybody to connect to one another. That’s really where it all starts; that infrastructure has to be able to support all of the media involved, the different types of data, video, and audio, as well as presence which enables connectivity at all times. It also has to address each user’s specific needs in terms of support for peripherals. For example, imagine being in a conference room, which might require a camera able to capture a wider field of view or to zoom into specific areas to identify individuals. This is requirement is not needed when using a smartphone, where a fixed focus camera is typically all one needs This is just a small example of the challenges IT managers face when providing complete solutions for their entire workforce.
FOCUS ON MICROPHONE PICKUP
Because we’re in the audio business, Revolabs believes the full unified communications experience depends greatly on superior audio pickup quality. That’s why we focus so heavily on microphone pickup, using
wireless technology so you can locate microphones wherever they’re needed, such as wearable microphones for individuals or tabletop microphones for small groups. But it’s also essential to plug into all the other parts of the UC experience, such as data-sharing components that can leverage mobile phones, laptops, tablets, any of the peripherals associated with PowerPoint presentations, even smart whiteboards, which allow people to collaborate remotely.
Our job is to create the audio communication tools organizations need to plug into all those different use models without compromising on providing the best audio quality possible. This is why Revolabs offers such a wide array of microphone and speakerphone solutions, to enable any user model to still experience great audio.
THE CHALLENGES OF UNITING COMMUNICATIONS DEVICES
As you can probably imagine, with communication technologies evolving so rapidly, manufacturers of UC devices face some significant challenges. From my perspective, the biggest of them is the lack of a common infrastructure. Every vendor seems to have a different approach, whether it’s a server-based, on-premise, or cloud model, and all of them are pushing their own solutions.
Now, if we look back to the land-line phone system, there wasn’t this problem; the telephone became ubiquitous because it offered a simple user interface with a basic dialer, and the government subsidized the development of the three-digit area code and seven-digit phone number infrastructure. But that’s just not what’s happening with UC; there’s no single model that’s been adopted worldwide to allow anyone with virtually any kind of device to communicate with somebody else with a different device using a common application. Until we solve that problem, either through setting international standards or to settle on a common interface such as Web RTC, we won’t be able to realize the full potential of sharing a common communication experience as well as connectivity.