lifesizelogoThe HD video equipment innovator introduced earlier in October 2009 their latest new platform for the HD experience, called LifeSize Passport.

This new camera and codec bundle further reduces the cost of entry for the professional quality HD video experience. Styled in two packages with the Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera, codec, remote and mic pod at $3,499 MSRP and the simpler package of codec, remote and manually adjusted Focus camera for $2,499 MSRP the Passport represents a new pricing breakthrough for the business video market.

Performance-wise, the Passport is excellent offering 720p at 30 fps and capability to encode/decode at 1 Mbps. Interestingly this product introduces LifeSize support for Skype (audio) which strikes me as a little unusual. I did ask for clarification (got none), but will surmise that this means the device supports the Skype SILK codec, but not necessarily the Skype IM, audio and video services. The unit can support both H.323 and SIP session management services as well as be integrated into an enterprise-wide network of Passports or other video endpoints.

Speculation on upcoming improvements

  • by-by infrared remotes. More stylish BlueTooth remotes won’t actually require users to point precisely at the camera or codec to get their control message acted on.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi network connectivity options either as an AP or as a client (or both).
  • Codecs built-in to monitors. Everybody else has it, why not LifeSize?
  • Consumer product for use with well-known service provider. This is more about stimulating new channels and new markets something that has to this point, really hurt market penetration of LifeSize’s portfolio.

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