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UC briefs: Cisco developing new video codec

In UC news this week, Cisco is developing a new video codec following licensing issues with H.265, while wearable technology is making its way into the enterprise.

Cisco is developing a video codec following licensing concerns with the industry standard H.265 codec. In a blog post, Jonathan Rosenberg, CTO of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, said the codec, Thor, is under development to meet the business needs that aren't being met with H.265's licensing.

Rosenberg wrote that patent licensing for H.265 is significantly more expensive than its predecessor, H.264, and prohibits use for open source and freely distributed software applications, such as Web browsers and the free versions of Cisco Spark and WebEx. Cisco's new codec could be used as a universal codec across hardware and software, and can work around patent licensing issues, Rosenberg wrote.

Cisco has also open sourced the code to allow for community development. Additionally, Cisco contributed the codec to the Internet Engineering Task Force, as its NetVC workgroup looks to develop a royalty-free video codec.

Enterprise wearables just scratching the surface

A new white paper from market research firm Tractica LLC, based in Boulder, Colo., found that organizations are just beginning to scratch the surface of enterprise applications for wearable technology. Organizations that deploy wearable technology range from large enterprises, such as hospitals and Fortune 500 companies, to smaller organizations, such as private clinics. The technologies they use include fitness trackers, voice-controlled headsets and wearable cameras.

"Wearable technologies have touched almost every enterprise vertical market," said Aditya Kaul, research director at Tractica. The white paper covered the use of wearable technology in verticals, such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality and healthcare. Kaul said organizations are evaluating how wearable technology can improve workflows and lower costs.

NEC's new content management service for collaboration

NEC Corporation of America announced a new collaborative content management service aimed at team-centric workplaces, where employees work on the same project at different times and places. The content management service is a cloud-based platform that integrates with multiple collaboration tools.

With the integration, the content management service offers a single point of access for employees to schedule and create meetings, store and search content, and enable remote desktop control. The service creates a platform for use cases like project management and employee training. The service is powered by the integration of cloud-based platform PassTheNotes and NEC's Univerge 3C Collaborative Meeting Manager.

Next Steps

Web browser changes expected from IETF video codec decision

Plantronics predicts wearable technology will unify UC  

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