Yesterday the UC team were in Manchester running the Public Sector Unplugged event. (Last one in London next week) It turned out to be a great event - well attended with an interactive audience who were keen to learn more about UC.
The last session was all about OCS and what it can do for organisations around the country. Unfortunately when we came to do this last session we lost all Internet connectivity. Mark and I were going to do the session - and although pretty stressful we decided the show must go on. Now there were two options
1. Finish on a low by giving the audience 45 minutes of slideware explaining what it could do and some architecture
2. Just do the demo with whatever means we had.
Obviously we chose option 2.
But what means did we have, well I had my trusty blackjack 3g windows mobile device - but no cable to attach it to my laptop and Mark had a 3g device with a cable.
Firstly I configured the laptop and phone to use Bluetooth pan and then a connected to the internet. Alas I was on the Internet so step one was achieved
The demo involves IMing someone escalating to a voice call and then video.
So off I went - Stephen and Alasdair from Tayside Fire and Rescue were willing volunteers and we started off with IM and went to voice and then video, all was working brilliantly. They were using Roundtable so we could show the active switching and I was really pleased. Then all of a sudden up popped a toast from Neil at POSTCTi responding to an earlier IM , so taking the bull by the horns I responded and asked if he wouldn't mind joining the demo. He willing obliged and so I dragged and dropped him in.
All worked without a hitch - I was basically conducting a three way conference between three different federated organisations over 3g using OCS.We had a few minutes of conversation and then ended the call. I was ecstatic, over the moon.
The purpose of this post - to show what this software is capable of, The codecs just adapt to what bandwidth is given to them and will allow you to have video conferences when most systems wouldn't even try.
Don't get me wrong we love good networks with low latency and no packet loss - but life isn't always that simple and you are not going to get great internet connections wherever you go. But knowing that all is not lost and you can still do this over poor links is great to have as a reserve. QoS is great but QoE in my mind is better.
More on RTAudio can be found here.
Lastly thanks again to Steven, Alasdair, Neil and Mark, without them no matter what network the demo wouldn't have happened.