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HP taking Halo video-conferencing to desktops

Thu, 06/10/2010 - 3:05am
The Associated Press

Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to deploy new technologies that will make its Halo video-conferencing service work over desktop computers and standard Internet connections inside corporations.

Halo customers have previously had to buy life-sized monitors, which start at $125,000 for a two-seat studio, and dedicated Internet hookups from HP, which can cost more than $10,000 per month.

Halo, and competitors such as Cisco Systems Inc.'s Telepresence, use life-sized screens to make it look like everyone on a call is in the same room together, even if they are scattered around the world.

HP and Cisco are interested in conferencing technologies in large part because the services use lots of bandwidth, which means they require additional computing infrastructure such as new servers and routers, products both companies make.

For the upgrade announced Wednesday, HP is using technology from Vidyo Inc., a privately held company based in Hackensack, N.J. HP and Vidyo said the partnership will lower the cost of using the Halo service. They added that the new products will work with traditional video-conferencing devices and current Halo studios.

HP and Vidyo said they will begin selling the new products later this year.

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