In the desktop videoconferencing space Polycom offers devices such as the ViaVideo II endpoint which integrates with your PC but features built in processing hardware to perform the audio and video compression and handle the communications without draining any of the computer’s resources. Others are approaching the desktop market from a different angle, like UK start-up Visual Nexus (www.visualnexus.com) which offers a software based system that works with cheap, run of the mill web-cams and uses the PC’s processor to perform the compression and other computational work. The system is comprised of client software which sits on the end users desktop computer and a piece of server-side software which can either be run by a third party service provider in[…]

Although videoconferencing technology has been around for quite some time, it has always been viewed as complicated and expensive, and because of this it has failed to make serious inroads into the business world. Until recently, videoconferencing systems are most likely to have been found in the corporate boardroom and used primarily to facilitate high level meetings between two groups of executives. A session would usually be conducted via several ISDN lines and would require a skilled operator to set up and manage. Quite often the session would be managed by a third party videoconferencing service provider and this required that the meeting adhered strictly to a pre-arranged time slot. Clunky, expensive and difficult to justify, it is not hard[…]

Xerox this month unveiled a broad selection of new additions to its printer line up. The popular Phaser range of monochrome laser printers has been expanded with the addition of the new Phaser 3150 and 5500 models. The 3150 is a small, 20ppm desktop device with 32Mb of memory and a 166Mhz processor while the 5500 is a more powerful network printer capable of 50ppm with a 500Mhz processor and 128Mb of memory as standard. The company also announced new additions to its range of monochrome multifunction devices. The WorkCentre 165/175 models provide network printing and copying facilities in a footprint roughly 30 per cent smaller than previous Xerox devices. They also add new finishing options like hole punching, multi-position[…]

Sony has significantly expanded its range of notebook computers with a raft of new Vaio models launched this month. Pitched specifically at the professional market the B1 series comes with a range of features designed for business users, such as removable hard drives, ergonomically designed keyboards and a display which automatically adjusts its resolution when connected to an external device such as a projector. The B1 series ships with Windows XP professional pre-installed. The new S2 series is designed as a crossover machine for those who are likely to use their laptop for work and personal use. The machines feature 13.3 inch wide-screen format displays with high end ATI Radeon 3D graphics chips and built in DVD-RW drives capable of[…]

The latest PDA from Dell offers a top of the range specification certain to make gadget fans’ eyes light up with glee. The Axim X50v features an Intel Xscale processor running at a speed of 624Mhz (faster than many people’s desktop PCs) 128Mb of flash memory, and another 64Mb of volatile memory. A big 3.7inch screen with 640 by 480 resolution is coupled with Intel’s new 2700G multimedia accelerator, which means that the device delivers impressive 3D and video graphics. Admittedly there is not much of a business case for giving a PDA advanced 3D graphics capabilities, but we doubt that too many people will complain. The machine is also the first on the market to use the new Windows[…]

Telecommunications giant BT this month announced that it had agreed deals with npower and British Gas to meet all of the company’s UK energy requirements with power from environmentally friendly sources. BT has some 6,500 installations in the UK, including telephone exchanges, satellite earth stations and depots. The new three year deals mean that all of these locations will be powered by energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, tidal and hydro-electric schemes. The move will reduce BT’s emissions by a claimed 325,000 tonnes a year, or the same amount of CO2 produced by 100,000 cars. Paul Reynolds, chief executive of BT Wholesale said “Energy efficiency is a key element in our purchasing strategy and sustainability is at the[…]

Sales of Bluetooth enabled wireless devices are set to increase significantly over the coming years but, it seems, many users are still too confused by mobile technology to take full advantage of it. According to the latest research from analyst firm Context (www.contextworld.com) Bluetooth technology has successfully overcome its shaky start and entrenched itself firmly in the mainstream. In a new report entitled “Bluetooth, Future Trends and Opportunities in the Worldwide Market’ Context predicts that sales of Bluetooth enabled devices will grow from 65 million devices in 2003 to 1.2 billion in 2009, with the bulk of that growth happening between now and 2006. Despite the clear growth of wireless devices, many business users are still struggling to get to[…]