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Dear readers, we have truly anticipated this moment and we would like to use this opportunity to also thank each and every one of you for reading our articles, contributing in the discussion and even guest blogging. It is you, for who we are doing this and it is the exciting moments that we share with you, that keep us going.
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The raffle will happen on Friday the 4th of October and the winner will receive a notification to the same email address, which they have also signed up with.
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I’m sure most of the people working with technology are familiar with the terms IPv4 and IPv6. In a nutshell – every device connected on a network (Internet or private network) requires an IP address in order to “communicate” to other devices. The current standard for these addresses is called IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4), and it forms the foundation of most Internet communication today. IPv4 however suffers from several important shortfalls, most importantly the lack of sufficient address space. For that reason, IPv6 was developed which introduces a number of other improvements especially to QoS (Quality of Service) and Security.
In order to utilize a device for a video conference, regardless whether it is a high end video codec or a smartphone, that device needs to be connected to a network, so naturally it will require an IP address. Without going in too much technical details, but still mentioning the most important terms, let’s see how IPv6 features will affect video communication.
The most important benefit of IPv6 implementations is that it will provide virtually unlimited address space, by introducing 128-bit address, versus the 32-bit address used by IPv4. Just as an analogy, it will be enough to assign IPv6 address to every atom on the earth and still have enough left to do another 100+ earths. This will allow virtually any device in future to be assigned a globally reachable address, which in turn means that NAT (Network Address Translation) will be no longer necessary in the long term, and removing NAT from the equation will solve a lot of the interoperability issues in real-time services such as VoIP and Videoconferencing. It will also be possible to assign multiple network addresses to devices which means they can stay connected to several different networks at the same time.
Quality of Service refers to the ability of the network to prioritize certain traffic to other and is especially important to VoIP (Voice over IP) and Video Communication, since we don’t want to have any delay here. The way data is transmitted in today’s IP networks is in form of network packets. These packets consist of two parts: packet header – containing control information, and payload – containing the used data. IPv6 improves over IPv4 in terms of QoS is by introducing new field in the packet header called “Flow Label”. This “label” is used to identify and prioritize certain packet flow, for eg. video stream and allows devices on the same path (routers, switches…) to read the flow label and take appropriate action based on it.
With IPv6, addresses can be assigned automatically and dynamically by the client device, by getting the network prefix from any router it finds and then generate the full IP address for that network, based on the hardware MAC address. This means there will be no need for DHCP servers like with IPv4, and also less configuration requirements. DHCPv6 will of course still be available for assigning IPv6 addresses.
IPv6 will provide better security than IPv4 when it comes to authentication and encryption of the transmitted data. The main reason for that is IPsec – a security protocol that is mandatory for IPv6 systems, and only optional for IPv4 environments. IPsec is defined as a set of security standards, originally written as part of the IPv6 specifications, and allows data to be secured from the originating to the destination host (through the various network elements such as routers, gateways…) by maintaining data confidentiality, integrity and authentication at the network layer. Another security improvement comes from the fact that IPv6 subnets will be so large so any attempt for hackers to scan them searching for a specific host will be ineffective.
Mobility refers to the ability of a device to move between different IP networks and still maintain the same IP address. This is very important for IP enabled real-time communication services, no one wants to be disconnected from a call while moving from one physical location to another. For that purpose, the Mobile IP protocol was designed by IETF. This protocol was further enhanced with Mobile IPv6 and Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 (HMIPv6) which propose higher level of security and more efficient data transmitting.
Another benefit to visual communications is IPv6 support for very big packet payloads, up to 4 billion bytes (IPv4 supports up to 65535 bytes only). With bandwidth becoming cheaper and the increase in device processing power, supporting big packets delivery will be important when dealing with high quality multimedia content of the future. Even though the packet can be a lot bigger than in IPv4 systems, the actual routing of the information is improved due to the simplified packet header and structured approach to addressing, which reduces the amount of information network routers must store and leads to faster packet forwarding.
When talking about IPv6 impact on the network, it is very important to consider the migration strategy as well, from Ipv4 to IPv6. Basically there are three ways to manage this: dual-stack implementation where all the network components and devices support both IPv4 and IPv6, tunneling – is implementation method where IPv4 packets get encapsulated and transported over IPv6 network backbone, and proxy translation – where network border element performs the mapping of packets from one IP version to another.
Most likely, providers and businesses will opt to upgrade the existing network infrastructure to dual stack in order to support both customers. Some network elements that do not support dual-stack mode will have to be upgraded or replaced and new infrastructure that will be deployed will have to support IPv6 dual stack from the beginning.
Each migration strategy will definitely introduce certain level of latency in the network, so that is just a reason more that all services must be properly tested before a production rollout.
The office of the future. The concept in itself is enticing, but what features will become customary of the modern design and how will it impact on productivity and general wellbeing? Current designs are perfectly good enough for present-day needs, with some embracing some unconventional decor which is thought to stimulate the creative mind. Future designs are however likely to profit from the inevitable technological progression of the future.
The ingenious 3D printer. The technique used involves the production of a three-dimensional object from a digital model. A large growth in their sales has seen a substantial drop in their price and a consequential rise in their commercial use.
3D printers can be used to virtually recreate anything, for example, draft product models for promotional use, and can be very handy if your business deals with the real items rather than virtual sales. It can mean an easier design and testing process, which could decrease the time to market, reducing the overall expenditure as a consequence.
Recent research has shown that being seated for much of the day can increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as having negative effects on your posture. Office desks that require you to stand are a great initiative and are becoming increasingly more popular as more organisations try to fit back against lifestyle of physical inactivity.
There are now a large range of standing workstations in versatile designs for businesses that have shown a willingness to invest in the standing desk trend.
With respect to the prevalence of robots, today’s office is a far cry from the office of the future, which is likely to boast sophisticated robotic technology that will take task automation and productivity to a whole new level. A robotic future will allow employees to work remotely from home whilst still participating in the same human interactions of the office.
Although it is expensive to equip entire offices with technology of this kind, it boasts a highly modern approach to videoconferencing and newer designs are becoming increasingly more adept; automatically docking themselves to nearby charging stations and easily synchronising with employee schedules.
The offices of the future are very likely to incorporate touchscreen panels and interactive displays on tables and walls, completely eliminating the need for dials, keyboards and mouses. It is thought to be more space efficient, faster and to encourage digital productivity.
The simple swipe or tap of a screen will see you using an easier wireless setup to collaborate ideas with clients and co-workers as well as allowing simple adjustments of the office lighting and acoustics. Again, the growing use of touchscreens has led to a decrease in the marginal cost of touchscreen technology and hence its usage is now more viable.
Peculiar as it may sound, living green walls are simply walls that are covered in greenery or vegetation and can be incorporated as office partitions or as an alternative to the conventional unadorned office wall. As well as the foliage being a tasteful visual display, interior green walls offer a number of other benefits.
They are thought to combat Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), where occupants of a building experience acute health discomforts due to poor indoor air quality. It is expected to encourage the rate of fresh air exchange and discourage allergenic mould growth. Green walls are relatively low maintenance with automatic irrigation systems and are far more water-efficient in contrast to conventional ground plant growth. It eliminates the potential for soil-borne pathogens, are cleaner and can also boast beneficial insulating properties. Whatever your office preferences, the vertical garden fad is taking the office design by storm and is becoming ever more prevalent.
The office of the future is sure to contain features that are absent in the traditional office design.
What are your ideas with respect to the modern office of today? Comment below!
We often hear about the use of video conferencing for professional communication and as a modern way to work together. So much sometimes, that we forget how large the potential is even beyond that. For instance it can be used for TeleEducation (a type of Telepresence).
TeleEducation usually replicates a guided way of learning wherein a presenter, expert or teacher speaks to the “class” from a remote location with the use of unified communication technologies such as video conferencing, often with additional content channel for demonstration and data presentation. LifeSize, for instance, is organising great virtual field trips for classes to be connected directly into museums, where their guide can teach them in a way that is exciting for both presenting party and participants.
China is taking this approach one step higher – above stratosphere to be exact. Yesterday we received word that Wang Yaping, in her capacity as Taikonaut, has facilitated such an TeleEducation event from the space station Tiangong-1 together with her team. The space video conference was set up with an auditorium in Beijing, hosting more than 300 students. The three Taikonauts demonstrated the effect of zero gravity and weightlessness to physics and answered questions from the students live.
Another 60 million students followed the live video stream from their classrooms throughout the country. Now that’s a serious audience there! While this event was broadcasted on a state-owned CCTV technology, the next event like this might already be facilitated using IP video streaming solutions. If that was the case, the event could be natively recorded and stored on video-on-demand platforms to be seen by many generations of students to come.
The Tiangong-1 space station was launched September 2011 and mainly has experimental functions and holds three crew members . It is considered a large step towards a Chinese space laboratory, to be completed by about 2020. Tiangong-1 (Chinese: 天宫一号) literally means “Heavenly Palace 1” and is the first space station deployed by the Chinese space program. The module 1 has a planned lifespan of 2 years and is planned to be replaced by larger modules throughout the decade. The Telepresence24.com team wishes best success and hopes for many more TeleEducation events.
Astronauts give science lesson live from space (via ITN)
Earlier today LifeSize, a division of Logitech, has introduced a change in their Smart Video portfolio. Smart Video is designed to simplify the video collaboration experience and usability. After they introduced their first Smart Video hardware endpoint solution, the Icon series, earlier this year, they are now revamping ClearSea to be part of the UVC platform.
ClearSea is a former Mirial solution that found a new home after Mirial was acquired by LifeSize. In the old days it required hardware infrastructure to run the product on licence base. Now LifeSize has turned the desktop, smartphone and tablet video solution into a part of their UVC platform, resulting in the service to be virtualised. This is a great addition to the more and more virtualised unified communications solution portfolio directly out of Austin, Texas.
The UVC ClearSea solution will be available from today, starting at 1,199 USD MSRP. For more information please consult the datasheet, visit the LifeSize blog or go directly to the UVC ClearSea product page for a free 30-day trial.
LifeSize is a pioneer and world leader in high-definition video collaboration. Designed to make video conferencing truly universal, our full range of open standards-based systems offer enterprise-class, IT-friendly technologies that enable genuine human interaction over any distance. Founded in 2003 and acquired by Logitech in 2009, LifeSize, with its commitment to relentless innovation, continues to extend the highest-quality video conferencing capabilities to anyone, anywhere. For more information, visit http://www.lifesize.com.