Unified Communications Featured Article

Stampede & Vidyo Collaborate to Make Videoconferencing a Drone-Based Endeavor

June 19, 2015

Some of the most exciting concepts come about from bringing together two seemingly separate technologies. The telepresence robot is one great example, putting together robotics and videoconferencing systems to bring together a new option for people who can't physically be in a place, but want to establish a presence all the same. One new example is Stampede and Vidyo’s combined efforts to produce a drone for videoconferencing.

The reports suggest that the two companies will be showing off this development at the upcoming InfoComm 2015 event, and will combine several different systems together to make this unusual package possible. Featuring Vidyo's software, like management systems, displays and connections with a set of consulting services and training, as well as Stampede's line of ProAV solutions, the end result is a drone unit that can be part of a videoconferencing system. The drone unit can work essentially in the same way a telepresence robot can, but with more options, including the ability to move upward and provide an “eye in the sky” sort of view.

A recent study from Munich RE, meanwhile, detailed that drone use could be common practice for around 40 percent of businesses by 2020, so tools like the Vidyo/Stampede co-production could be very big indeed. It's been suggested that the drones could be useful for building inspection tasks, for police actions, or in other ways as well. Reports suggest the drone system is actually already in use by a national fire brigade, so that's another example.

Kevin Kelly, who serves as president and chief operations officer of Stampede, commented on the co-production, saying, “Drones connected to Vidyo endpoint software will now be able to feed live images into a video conference, providing up-to-the-minute video content for participants who need real-time information during a fast changing event or situation.”

This could indeed be useful, and beyond the police/fire approach. Think about what would happen with Amazon's drone delivery systems if they included videoconferencing capabilities. You'd have people on the ground, receiving products, and receipt could be confirmed by conference. If there was an issue with the product on arrival, it could be brought up in conference while the drone was on the ground. That's just for starters; Vidyo's already well-known in the field for great conferencing options—it was only recently seen giving GENBAND a leg up in videoconferencing—and with the proper drone behind it, a whole new breed of telepresence robot could be afoot.

The Vidyo/Stampede drone videoconferencing system could be downright amazing, and the number of use cases this could fit into are equally so. Future developments in this sector should be worth watching, as two great technologies combine to produce a new and exciting whole. 


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