Telepresence Technology Is Getting Even More Advanced

Cisco is in the process of acquiring rival Norwegian manufacturer Tandberg, in a $3.4 billion deal that has already been approved by the European Commission and not contended by the U.S Department of Justice.

As a result of the EC’s approval, Cisco agreed to improve the interoperability between the multi-screen video conferencing options and those of competitors. Regulators in Europe and the US expressed concern over a lack of focus in telepresence technology, which is a form of technology that enables teleconferencing to feel like the person is actually present.

Cisco is required to divest to its TelePresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), an independent body, and the open source software used by those who implement TIP. Cisco is also required to provide royalty-free information on how it executed the protocol to enhance interoperability between its systems and the systems of their competitors. The EC is also requesting that Cisco appoint a nonaligned monitor to regulate company commitments.

The acquisition abides by the U.S.’s anti-trust laws and is still competitive because of the “evolving nature of the videoconferencing market”, said the Justice Department. Videoconferencing product vendors will deploy more products as a result of greater use of open standards and greater interoperability.

Cisco announced that it will be partnering with Bank of America to deploy 200 conferencing units worldwide this year to optimize team-wide communication. Cisco is pioneering a new frontier for TelePresence and starting off strong; the Bank of America association will be their largest TelePresence system to date.

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