Tely Labs - Board Room Video for the Rest of Us?
Video conferencing seems to be going through a major change. Over the past year, the focus has moved from expensive board and conference room systems to end user device implementations and peer-to-peer video. From the popularity of Skype video, Apple's FaceTime, Lync video, and WebRTC, much of the focus is now on how to deliver video across a variety of devices. Even companies like Vidtel and Blue Jeans, who have focused on integrating a variety of room systems, have even more focus on devices. And BYOD promises to extend that to all of our devices.
However, for most of companies, video still needs to be added into a few (or all) conference rooms for it to be truly impactful. For a small business with only one location, using the conference room as a location for a video that includes multiple employees may provide a better feeling for a client or better collaboration. For larger companies, having video in every conference room is akin to the conference phone explosion of the last millennium. However, the high cost of room video systems has generally dampened the enthusiasm for this. While a PC with a USB camera on a tripod and a 50-inch video monitor can be used, the set-up and operational complexity makes it impracticable for most businesses.
Entering into the fray is Tely Labs, a relatively new company focused on delivering low-cost, high-quality room systems. The new telyHD Pro has a 720p camera and output along with all of the necessary interfaces to be a room system for a small to medium size room (or larger if camera shift is not critical). The telyHD Pro is priced well under $1,000. In fact a quick web search showed prices as low as $650. When combined with a 50-inch HDTV monitor (as low as $630 at Costco), a room system is now available for just a little over a thousand dollars. The connections are simple: only power, Ethernet, and an HDMI cable to the monitor. The telyHD ProAnd the telyHD Pro is integrated with services like Blue Jeans as well as popular video systems from Polycom and Cisco. However, Tely Labs is non-committal on WebRTC, preferring to wait and see how the technology comes out.
According to the SpotCheck Group Video Conferencing Q2-2013 report by Wainhouse Research, Tely Labs accounted for 14.6 percent share of the North American videoconferencing market. This shows that there exists a large part of the market that has been underserved, both small business and smaller conference rooms. In talks with Sreekanth Ravi, CEO of Telelabs, he indicated they are in talks with a top five financial company about using the telyHD Pro in thousands of conference rooms. And Tely Labs is not alone in recognizing this potential; companies like AVer are developing their own sub-$1000 systems. With Tely Labs predicting a 25 percent share in 2014, it appears that the room video market is not going away, but growing, albeit at a price point that was unthinkable just last year.
And Tely Labs may have even higher goals. The company is financed by Comcast Ventures and Rogers Ventures, representing the investments of two of the largest North American cable and internet providers. It is certainly not a long shot to imagine Tely Labs offers that give Comcast and Rogers customers video conferencing in their family rooms. While the market for low-cost video conferencing in business is fueling the sub-$1,000 room system growth today, the number of home family rooms is at least one or two orders of magnitude greater. While the $650 price point may still be too high for the home, the volume and cost reduction focus of that market will carry over to business, assuring that video-based communications will become even more pervasive over the next couple of years.
Here's looking forward to looking at you, kid!!!!