Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Better way to videoconference

SPH is part of a pilot trying out a very innovative service called BlueJeans. This service lives in the "cloud" so no investment in hardware or software is required - only paying the subscription fee. It is very simple to use and allows connecting multiple parties in a videoconferencing session, regardless (well, almost) of the devices they are using. One party in the session may be using a room-based videoconferencing system (e.g. Lifesize, Tandberg, Polycom), while others may be connecting via Skype, Google Talk, from phones, or simply via a web browser. Up to 20 connections can be accommodated that way, although BlueJeans uses the public Internet, so audio and video quality will deteriorate, the more connections there are.
It is very simple to use, requiring that a session be setup by the administrator, and participants will receive easy-to-use instructions on connecting to the session. There is no cost associated with this.
The trial period will end on April 30, after which we hope we will become party to the campus-wide license of this very useful service.
If you are interested in trying it out, contact wlodek@umich.edu or sph.informatics@umich.edu

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