Cisco IP DECT Solutions

Cisco IP DECT Solutions

Cisco has introduced IP DECT Solutions, which have been developed to meet the need for wireless telephony. Until now Cisco didn’t have a DECT phone solution in its product family and this situation being complemented by Wi-Fi or 3rd party DECT products.

Cisco IP DECT products operate in the USA and Canada in the frequency band range of 1920 – 1930 MHz and 1880 – 1900 MHz frequency band in other countries. The IP DECT series currently consists of 210 series base station and the 6825 series handheld terminal.

Let’s take a closer look at these products:

Cisco 6825 IP DECT Handset

Cisco 6825 IP DECT Handset
Cisco 6825 IP DECT Handset
  • 2 Inches 240 × 320 Pixels 65K Color Display
  • Up to 17 Hours of Talk, 200 Hours of Standby Time
  • 2 Lines Supported
  • Narrow Band (G.726) and Wide Band (G.722) Codec Support
  • Bluetooth and 3.5mm Wired Headset Support
  • Waist Clip
  • Dimensions: 117 mm x 46 mm x 20 mm
  • Weight: 86 gr.

Cisco 210 IP DECT Base Station

Cisco 210 IP DECT Base Station
Cisco 210 IP DECT Base Station
  • 30 Handheld Terminal Registration Per Single Base Station
  • 5 Simultaneous Calls With Broadband Codecs and 10 Simultaneous Calls With Narrowband Codecs in Single Base Station
  • Multicell Technology
  • Scalability Up To 254 Base Stations
  • Total 1,000 SIP Device Registrations
  • Total 1,000 Simultaneous Calls with Broadband Codec, 2,000 Simultaneous Calls with Narrow Band Codec
  • G.711 (A-law & mu-law), G.722.2, G.726, G.729 (a & ab) Codec Support
  • PoE Class 2
You Can Use Multiple Cisco 210 Base Stations In Your Network (source cisco.com)
You Can Use Multiple Cisco 210 Base Stations In Your Network (source cisco.com)

In the Multicell concept, there is no central mechanism to control base stations. When deployed, one base station becomes the master station, and the other stations connect to master with the “Chain ID” defined on the base station and start their data synchronization. Yeah, that’s all.

Supported Platforms

Since the IP DECT series is a multiplatform product, it supports almost all PBXs using the standard SIP protocol. Here are Cisco’s officially supported platforms:

  • Asterisk
  • Cisco BroadSoft BroadWorks
  • Cisco BroadCloud
  • Centile
  • Metaswitch

Even looking at this list, you can actually understand Cisco’s strategy in unified communications solutions. 🙂

Last Words

Although Cisco has always put WiFi phones in the foreground, DECT phones -which have a soft belly in the projects- have started to meet the need. As I wrote in my previous article, we will see if Cisco can surpass its competitors in this field with OpEx oriented solutions such as UCaaS and HaaS.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Review

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Review

Cisco announced Webex Desk Pro at its 2019 Partner Summit event on November 6th, 2019.

During the event, they announced the collaboration solutions as a solution that can be installed together under a single infrastructure of systems that can be installed both in the cloud and in the organization. The name of this single infrastructure that includes call, messaging, meetings, devices and call center will be called as Webex.

Webex infrastructure, which has become quite flexible in terms of integration, will also be able to work integrated with the business tools such as Microsoft, Google, Slack and Salesforce.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro
Cisco Webex Desk Pro Introduction

After the launch of the infrastructure, two products, Webex Desk Pro and Webex Panorama, were launched in the device category. (I want to explore Webex Panorama in more detail, so I am saving it for another post)

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Features

Cisco Webex Desk Pro is a personal collaboration device with a structure similar to current DX80. Of course there are new features that distinguish it from the DX80. Let’s summarize them briefly:

  • 27 ″ 4K Touch Screen
  • 71 Degree View Angle HD Camera
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
  • Microphone Array with Noise Canceling Mechanism
  • Premium Sound System
  • USB-C Connection
  • Support for Web Applications
Webex Desk Pro Has a Touchscreen

Compared to previous models, Webex Desk Pro has new features like face recognition and artificial intelligence. In this way, it knows who is in front of the device and can address the person by it’s name. It can also adjust the camera according to your posture. You can blur the background of the camera image or replace it with another image. I have to add that personal assistant Webex Assistant is also in it.

The Cisco Webex Desk Pro can also be used as a docking station and a touchscreen monitor with a USB-C connection.

Cisco – Microsoft Collaboration

In addition to these innovations and products, Cisco-Microsoft cooperation was also introduced. Microsoft Teams, which initially seemed to be Webex’s competitor, will now be able to work directly with Webex rooms. (hello to those who are trying to integrate Skype for Business with CUCM in the past🙂)

Hardware as a Service (HaaS)

Cisco has also announced the option of Hardware as a Service (HaaS) as a service for IP telephony, desktop and room collaboration devices. In this service, institutions can have the equipments with long turm subscription contracts instead of buying them.

HaaS combined with Flex Plan, turns into a model that can be owned with fully operational costs, with no investment costs for enterprises, which is good news for many businesses from SMEs to large enterprises. Who wouldn’t want to own a Cisco IP phone for $5 or a Webex video conferencing system for $60 a month?

In the HaaS method, if you proceed with a 3-year membership model, at the end of 3 years you can continue the service on an annual basis or if you extend your membership for 3 more years, the devices are replaced with new ones. If the devices have become EoS at the end of 3 years, you can also replace them with new models.

For now, HaaS is only offered in the US, but many countries are considering providing this service in a short time.

Last Words

Cisco, which has developed many pioneering technologies and concepts in the field of collaboration, has produced an exciting product. Webex Desk Pro, a personal collaboration and productivity product, will be available for purchase on February 2020.

What Is WebRTC?

What Is WebRTC?

We’ve been hearing the name WebRTC a lot lately. In fact, WebRTC, which has been in use since 2011, is not a new technology but is a technology that provides simultaneous media communication (audio and video). The most important feature of WebRTC, which has many advantages, is that it can work directly on many popular browsers without requiring additional software.

WebRTC stands for Web Based Real Time Communication. Multimedia applications can be designed using HTML5 and Javascript APIs.

We can define the communication format used in WebRTC as peer-to-peer. This communication is directly between peers, so you don’t need any media servers. WebRTC is free and has a BSD license, so you can develop WebRTC applications for free. (For example, you can experience a video conference virtual room with WebRTC at this link)

WebRTC Supported Browsers

Nowadays, the following browsers support WebRTC:

  • PC & MAC
    • Microsoft Edge 12+
    • Google Chrome 28+
    • Mozilla Firefox 22+
    • Safari 11+
    • Opera 18+
    • Vivaldi 1.9+
  • Android
    • Google Chrome 28+
    • Mozilla Firefox 24+
    • Opera Mobile 12+
  • iOS
    • MobileSafari / WebKit (iOS 11+)
  • Chrome OS
  • Firefox OS
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Tizen 3.0

WebRTC Components

There are 3 main components in WebRTC:

1. MediaStream API

The MediaStream API provides user access to the camera, microphone or screen using javascript.

2. RTCPeerConnection API

The RTCPeerConnection API provides NAT traversal, codec processing, mutual SDP negotiation, media transmission, and secure connection functions between peers.

3. RTCDataChannel API

The RTCDataChannel API provides the functionality of establishing bidirectional data transfer channels between peers.

Establishing Peer-to-Peer Connection

Signaling is a process that forms the connection between peers. It can be achieved by WebSocket, XMPP, SIP or any other mechanism. WebRTC technology utilizes protocols such as RTP, STUN, SIP and ICE.

WebRTC Signaling Process

Session Description Protocol (SDP)

Also known as SDP, it is a protocol used to communicate media capabilities (voice codecs, IP and port information, etc.) between peers before establishing a connection and to meet each peer at a common point.

Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE)

ICE is a framework for the NAT traversal mechanism. ICE collects all available candidates (local IP addresses, STUN return IP addresses, and transmitted IP addresses – TURN). All collected addresses are then sent to remote peers via SDP.

STUN Server

The STUN server enables peers to find public IP addresses, the types of NAT they use, and the relationship between the Internet-side port information associated with the local port information specified by NAT.

TURN Server

When STUN usage is not possible, it is used to transmit media streams over a TURN server (you may think of it as a proxy).

WebRTC is not always peer-to-peer (P2P), but in multiple communication situations (eg video conferencing), different solutions are available. Let’s take a look at these.

Multi-Point Communication Types

1. Mesh

In the mesh network, all peers send their streams separately to other connected peers directly on the network.

All Peers Communicate With Each Other in Mesh Topology

Since this structure is completely distributed, there is no need to have any media servers in the center. The disadvantage of the mesh structure is the use of high bandwidth. In a multi-video call using a mesh structure, if each user generates a 1 Mbps stream, the amount of data sent and received per user will be 4 Mbps in each direction.

2. SFU

SFU stands for Selective Forwarding Unit. An SFU receives incoming media streams from all users and then decides which users to send to.

SFU Transfers Media To All Peers Separately

In this model, each user transmits their own generated media stream to the SFU server. The SFU server can send whoever wants the stream. In this way, bandwidth is used more effectively. Similar with the mesh example above, if each user generates a 1 Mbps stream, the total outgoing data amount per user will be 1 Mbps and the total incoming data amount will be a maximum of 4 Mbps.

3. MCU

MCU stands for Multipoint Conferencing Unit. An MCU receives incoming media streams from all users, decodes them, creates a new layout, and sends it to all users as a single stream.

MCU Combines Media of All Peers & Sends a Single Stream to Peers

The difference of this structure from SFU is that a single combined stream will be sent to each user and the total transmission and reception amount per user will be 1 Mbps in each direction. The disadvantage of this structure, as you can imagine, is the high cost of the MCU with a high processing power in the center.

Jabra Panacast Review

Jabra Panacast Review

Video conferencing is now a method of communication used in many organizations. Many vendors release many new technology products in their hardware and software portfolio. In this article, you can find a detailed review of Jabra Panacast, a 3-camera video conferencing product.

Panacast History

Panacast adventure begins in 2007 with the idea of ​​“synchronized camera array”. Stanford-based Aurangzeb Khan and his team formed Altia Systems to develop Panacast in 2011. The first prototype of Panacast was released in 2012 and followed by Panacast 2 at the beginning of 2015. Altia Systems made such a great developments in image processing area and their products are used in more than 1600 companies. In February 2019, Altia Systems was acquired by GN Group (Jabra) for 129 million USD and Panacast is added to Jabra product line. Now we are seeing Jabra as a player in the video products also.

Jabra Panacast Specifications

Here are some of the highlights of Jabra Panacast:

  • 3 pcs. 4K Resolution 13MP Camera
  • 2 Microphones
  • USB 3.0 Plug and Play
  • Windows, MacOS and Linux Compatible
  • 180 Degree Horizontal, 54 Degree Vertical Viewing Angle
  • Live HDR
  • Smart Zoom
  • Whiteboard

The Jabra Panacast is quite small in size despite what it can do. The device measures 10cm x 7cm and weighs 100 grams, smaller and lighter than the average smartphone. The box contents are also quite simple; device, USB cable, booklet and warranty certificate.

Panoramic Image – How?

Panacast uses three 13 MP resolution 4K video cameras to produce 180-degree images.

Panacast Combines 3 Videos From Cameras to Create a Panoramic Vision

Camera images are overlapped and combined by using a special image processing algorithm which runs on XILINX Artix-7 FPGA. The final image has a resolution of 3840×1080 pixels which covers a 180 degree vision. Since all this is done in less than 5 milliseconds, the user does not feel any delays during this process.

Panacast Combines Images from Cameras Through Special Algorithm (source: panacast.com)

A similar solution has already been made with Huawei 3-screen Telepresence products. By using 3 downward facing cameras and prisms, the images were superimposed to achieve a continuous image. I have to inform you that the list price of such a system is worth 300K USD. 🙂

Camera Cluster Used in Huawei Telepresence Products

The advantage of the 180-degree image is it can fit more people on a single screen. In addition, another advantage is it provides this wide angle in smaller rooms, preventing dead spaces in the meeting room. You can see what I mean better in the image below:

No Dead Spaces in Meeting Rooms with Jabra Panacast (source: intermedia-cs.co.uk)

Intelligent Zoom

Thanks to Jabra Panacast’s PC software (Panacast Vision), the camera can achieve intelligent zoom (ePTZ). This allows the camera to zoom in (or crop the image) to accommodate the speakers in front of the camera, and transmit the image as much as the people in the meeting room. This process is done dynamically according to the person entering and leaving the room to provide an optimized image.

You can see intelligent zoom feature in more detail in the following video:

Jabra Panacaast Intelligent Zoom

Whiteboard

Another innovative feature of Panacast is the whiteboard application. After you have marked the corners of your whiteboard in your meeting room with the Panacast Vision software, you can now transmit your content on the board properly. In the following video you can find out how to do this in detail:

Jabra Panacast Whiteboard Feature Allows You to Use Whiteboard in Meeting Rooms

Compatibility with Video Conferencing Systems

Since Panacast is a plug and play camera, it is compatible with most video conferencing software. You can use this product which is approved by Microsoft Teams and with many video conferencing software such as Cisco Webex, Zoom, Hangouts, Slack.

Jabra Panacast Price

You can find Jabra Panacast around 900 USD. Although it may seem high for a webcam at first, it can be a wise choice to add video conferencing to your meeting rooms when you consider what it can provide and it’s return on investment.

Windows 10X Review

Windows 10X Review

On 2nd October 2019, Microsoft announced the new operating system, Windows 10X, in its Surface event.

Launched as a more modular version of the Windows 10 operating system, Windows 10X is not reported as a new version of 10, but rather as a variation for dual-screen hardware. The main objective of 10X is to use with touch screen devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Windows 10X Features

The biggest feature of the 10X is its dual display support, which allows two applications to run at the same time (if I remember correctly, the first company did this is Samsung with Note series smartphones). It also provides a different experience to the user as it can interact between these screens. In fact, the dual screen is a practice that has been used by people who have been using multiple monitors for a long time. Microsoft has now brought this vision to laptops and tablets.

Windows 10X is an Operating System Designed for Dual Display Hardwares (source: windows.com)

In addition, Microsoft explained that the system resources are used more efficiently in Windows 10X (as they always state in their new OS releases).

10X offers a start screen just like in 10. In this menu,there are the installed applications, recently used files, and search features as you are familiar with. It is possible to go back to the desktop with the Windows logo at the bottom of the screen.

Surface Neo

The first device to use the Windows 10X operating system was announced as Surface Neo. The Surface Neo is a laptop that basically combines two 9 inches touch screen displays with two hinges. Surface Neo with Intel processor can be used as a notebook with the Surface Pen. The externally mounted magnetic keyboard also offers a complete laptop experience.

Surface Neo Can Be Used As A Laptop With Magnetic Keyboard (source: microsoft.com)

The first hardware announced that will use Windows 10X operating system is Surface Neo. Other companies that will also produce such hardwares with dual screens are such as Asus, Lenovo, Dell and HP.

Will Existing PCs Work with Windows 10X?

Microsoft announced that 10X can be used on dual-screen devices such as Surface Neo. This means that this operating system cannot be used on existing PCs. In addition, 10X can be used only on devices with Intel processors. I think 10X can also be used (somehow) by plugging two screens into your existing equipment in the future.

Last Words

We will see more clearly how Microsoft’s vision of this new operating system and hardware will make a sound in summer 2020. I hope that 10X will not share similar fate with previous Microsoft hardware and initiatives (like Zune and Windows Mobile).