Blue Jeans Networks is bringing real-time video sharing to its cloud-based conferencing services.
With the new feature, participants in a Blue Jeans conference can share everything from training videos and product vignettes to movies, trailers and commercials in real time across any platform being used in the meeting, including PCs, smartphones, tablets and conference room systems.
The real-time video feature, announced July 17, dovetails with larger trends in the online meeting space, according to Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer for Blue Jeans.
“Online video is a big part of this trend as the fastest growing media platform in history,” Aaron said in a statement. “By enabling people to quickly and easily upload video files, and then to share and synchronously watch them with participants during a meeting, Blue Jeans real time video sharing adds a powerful communication and storytelling tool to the modern meeting.”
Overall, video is increasingly becoming the dominant component in Internet traffic. According to Blue Jeans officials, 89 million people in the United States watch 1.2 billion online videos every day. Those figures dovetail with what Cisco Systems has found in its annual Visual Networking Index, which was released in February.
In that survey, Cisco officials said that by 2017, mobile video will represent 66 percent of global mobile data traffic. In 2012, it represented 51 percent.
Given all this, being able to share video in real time in online conferences—similar to how other content is shared—will be increasingly important, according to Blue Jeans officials.
Blue Jeans’ technology leverages the cloud to create online meeting environments where people can collaborate regardless of the endpoints they use. The solution can support various video and audio protocols, and the bridging capabilities enable businesses to have more than a couple of people join the meeting without relying on expensive hardware-based multipoint control units (MCUs).
The company is one of several vendors—such as Vidyo—that have entered the video conferencing market in recent years with the goal of offering software- and cloud-based solutions that are easier to use and less costly than traditional offerings from the likes of Cisco and Polycom.
In June, the vendor unveiled Blue Jeans 2.0, the second generation of its video conferencing service that included a redesigned user interface, improved content-sharing features and enhanced in-meeting controls. Now the company is adding better video-sharing capabilities.
The new video-sharing feature includes a new “sharing tab” that enables users to upload and share videos before and during meetings and make those videos available to all account holders. The videos can be played back simultaneously across all endpoints in the meeting, and include play, pause, fast-forward and rewind controls.
There also is automatic muting of the audio in the conference when the video is being shared, and participants can use a “push to talk” capability to lower the volume on the video when they want to talk over it.
Blue Jeans also includes a “slider” functionality that adjusts the relative sizes of the video being played and the video of other conference participants, and up to 50 Gigabytes of storage for video files, with more capacity available if needed.