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Please Adjust Your Vidyo

Friday’s announcement by Vidyo reveals the company is executing on its original vision, the Internet of Things - sort of.

Vidyo announced that it just raised $20 million from current investors, bringing the total capital raised to $139 million. The funds will be used to address "the growth of visual communications as new 'Internet of Things' applications and devices emerge."

Over the past few years, video communications have exploded on desktops, tablets, smartphones, and laptops. But there's an even larger network of devices emerging. The catch-all term for a connected planet is 'The Internet of Things.'

Videoconferencing/UC vendors have been working to facilitate workgroup collaboration, but the larger market opportunity may be to facilitate interactions across applications and workflows beyond groups. As the Internet of Things grows exponentially, so will the opportunities to embed human interaction into devices. That was the potential that drove this round of funding.

The new investment is a reminder that Vidyo isn't just a room system or UC vendor. In fact, neither of those was within Vidyo's initial goals. The company entered the video communications market in 2007 with a visual SDK. Its plan was to license its H.264 SVC tools to enable others to create video-enabled solutions such as enterprise video rooms or UC solutions.

A year or so later, it pivoted to using its own SDK to create its Vidyo-branded conferencing architecture that included room systems. It proved to be a good move as the company experienced rapid growth. Over several years, the video conferencing market morphed together with UC and desktop solutions. Vidyo continues to be active in these markets, though it is shifting away from hardware. Last May, Vidyo released its VidyoRoom SE software application that utilizes customer-provided PC hardware, USB cameras, and HD displays to create a 4K-capable PTZ room system.

Vidyo is mostly known for these enterprise products, but its toolkit never went away. It's called VidyoWorks, and several partners such as Fuze and Mitel have used it to power their own video conferencing solutions. It also powers video with codecs and/or infrastructure in products such as the Wii U, Philips eCare Manager, American Well's Online Care, and Google Hangouts.

"Every day there are announcements of new connected solutions or applications in healthcare, banking, government or enterprise solutions visually connecting people at work," said Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo's CEO. "While the focus of the 'Internet of Things' up until now has been on machine-to-machine applications, we are seeing strong demand to visually connect people into workflows for person-to-person applications."

The VidyoWorks platform and APIs allow developers and solution providers to integrate video communications into workflows and relevant devices. Vidyo intends to power what it calls the Internet of People--the human interaction side of the Internet of Things. Gaming and healthcare systems are just the tip of the iceberg. To Vidyo, The 'Internet of Things' represents a new ocean of visual communications opportunity.

One example is the high-growth market of drones, which are increasingly equipped for surveillance with a bolt-on camera and DVR. With VidyoWorks, drone manufacturers can integrate a camera directly into the design and offer live video streaming with Vidyo's SVC technology. Banking and financial applications are another vertical already integrating Vidyo directly into its applications and devices.

Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and Analyst at TalkingPointz.

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