Apple QuickTime Conferencing

Thomas Diessel (diessel@informatik.unibw-muenchen.de)
Thu, 9 Feb 1995 08:19:54 -0500


This is Apple's PR about its new video conferecning system:

Apple Announces QuickTime Conferencing
Open, Cross Platform Conferencing, Collaboration and Multimedia
Communications Technology

SAN FRANCISCO, California--February 7, 1995--Apple Computer today
announced a cross platform conferencing, collaboration and
multimedia communications technology that allows personal computer
users to share real-time information, images and sound anywhere in
the world. Apple is currently making the technology, called
QuickTime Conferencing, available to corporate allies who plan to
create or have announced they are creating end user applications
based on the technology. QuickTime Conferencing is a standards-
based architecture that allows users to:

-- video conference and collaborate--to share and annotate text,J
images, screen capture, sound, video and virtual scenes real-time
among fellowJconference participants in a variety of locations
worldwide. QuickTime Conferencing allows users to record
conversations and transform those conversations into QuickTime
movies. All of this can be done on a variety of networks such as
an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), the worldwide
internet, local area and wide area networksJand Asynchronous
Transfer Mode (ATM) networks. QuickTime Conferencing can be used
by a number of simultaneous users, the total number being only by
available network bandwidth.

-- conduct cross platform video conferencing connectivity
between Macintosh computers, PCs, UNIX systems and room-based
conferencing systems through the use of the H.320 worldwide
teleconferencing standard.

-- broadcast and view multimedia content--digital audio, music
and video on a local or wide area network.

Through alliances QuickTime Conferencing technology is expected to
yield product bundles such as:
-- Apple Media Conference Kit--Consisting of the QuickTime
Conferencing system extension, the Apple Media Conference
application and a high quality, color video camera.J
-- Apple Media Conference Pro Kit--Consisting of the QuickTime
Conferencing system extension, the Apple Media Conference
application, a color video camera and an H.320 codec/ISDN adapter
board. Being developedJby Sagem/SAT, a leading international
communications product company, the board is designed to allow
interoperability between platforms (Power Macintosh to Macintosh,
PC, UNIX and room systems) and full-screen image sharing.
--Complete Media Conference System--Consisting of an Apple Media
Conference Kit, a Power Macintosh 7100 AV, a 17 inch color
monitor, external speakers and a keyboard.

Because QuickTime Conferencing is software-based, it is easily
incorporated into new and existing third party products. As such,
Apple believes that QuickTime-compatible products could yield
extremely affordable prices:
-- Apple Media Conference Kit--under $200
-- Apple Media Conference Pro Kit--under $1,750
-- Complete Media Conferencing System--under $6,000

Apple is working with a wide range of companies including telcos,
network, software and hardware providers and developers to provide
a range of solutions that take advantage of the benefits of
QuickTime Conferencing (see associatedJreleases). These allies
have announced that they expect to make products available in the
second quarter of 1995.
From the home office to university campuses to the multinational
enterpriseJnetwork, QuickTime Conferencing will allow users to
communicate with peopleJacross the country or across the world.
Users won't have to worry about whether theirJhardware equipment,
networking equipment and applications are compatibleJwith the
solutions being used on the other end of the network line.J
QuickTime Conferencing is designed to be fully operational with
H.320 standards-based systems.
"The introduction of QuickTime Conferencing will not only extend
Apple's leadership in multimedia, but will make an important
difference in the video conferencing and collaboration market,"
said Rick Shriner, vice president of Apple'sJCore Technologies
Group. "Our goal in designing QuickTime Conferencing was to
develop a solution thatJallowed people the opportunity to
communicate and collaborate. By making it open in every sense of
the word, our users canJmetaphorically break down the walls of
their homes, schools and offices and expand theJboundaries of
their lives."
QuickTime Conferencing users can have access to people,
information, sights andJsounds that could never be combined
before. For example:J
-- An author in Tokyo, Japan and her publisher in San Francisco,
California can view andJdiscuss cover art for a new novel. They
can each view the design at severalJdifferent angles, change
the visual perspective of the artwork, and annotate the image and
accompanying text for the other to see.J
-- A sixth grade class in Dallas, Texas can discuss and view the
effects ofJglobal warming with an environmental scientist at U.C.
Berkeley's Lawrence Labs in California by using QuickTime
Conferencing over the internet.J
-- A special effects producer in Hollywood, California can take a
movie director on the East Coast through a virtual tour of a
proposed set design. While the producer records their discussion
as a QuickTime movie, the director can pan around the scene, zoomJ
in to look at props and view the set design from a variety of
angles.J
-- A breast cancer patient and her doctor in Fargo, North Dakota
can consultJwith a leading oncologist in Boston, Massachusetts on
her prognosis and course of treatment. The Boston physician can
view her mammograms and annotate her medical chart asJthey
converse.J
-- A CEO's company-wide address can be broadcast for easy viewing
by all employees at their personal desktop.

Because QuickTime Conferencing allows for sharing of multimedia
data andJreduces the time and expense of travel, it allows people
to be more productive than everJbefore.J
"In the past people found video conferencing easy to resist
because prices wereJhigh and the number of people they couldJ
communicate with was extremely limited," said Rick LeFaivre,
senior viceJpresident of the Apple Technology Group. "Now for
what we expect to be very aggressive prices, people can conduct a
media conference with virtually anyone, anywhere in the world. A
Power Macintosh QuickTime Conferencing user can share QuickTime VR
(virtual reality) images,Jannotate text documents and share digital
music over networks from basic rateJISDN to the internet to ATM."
Because QuickTime Conferencing is a software-based architecture,
applicationJdevelopers, communications providers and hardware
vendors can easily developJcompatible solutions. For example,
Crosswise Corporation, the maker of Face to Face, aJcross-platform
document conferencing application, developed a QuickTime
Conferencing-compatible version of their software in just one
month. A QuickTime Conferencing compatible application shares the
interface of other QuickTime Conferencing-enabled third party
applications, so customers can begin using applications quickly
and easily.J
QuickTime Conferencing is based on Apple's award winning QuickTime
technology. It is a conferencing architecture which allows
support for both industryJstandards such as H.320, as well as
proprietary architectures, and codecs such as Indeo by Intel
Corporation. QuickTime Conferencing is transport, compression and
media-device independent. Apple's built-in AV capabilities
combined with the performance of the PowerPC RISC architecture,
make it easy for users to make multimedia connections with others
on the information superhighway almost as soon as they pull
QuickTime Conferencing out of the box.J
"Having QuickTime Conferencing available in my home, office, and
studioJliterally allows me to be in multiple locations at one
time--it's the nextJbest thing to having a Star Trek transporter,"
said Los Angeles-basedJscreenwriter and multimedia special effects
consultant Michael Backes, co-author of the screenplay for
Jurassic Park and other motion pictures. "WithinJthe next few
months, I'll be counting on QuickTime Conferencing as the backbone
for my business."J
"The short and sweet of QuickTime Conferencing is that it requires
less networkJbandwidth and uses innovative technology," says Matt
Ghourdjian, NationalJDirector of Technology at Howrey & Simon, a
300-lawyer law firm serving Fortune 50 clients. Howrey & Simon
intends to use the product to send QuickTime movies ofJdepositions
and re-enactments for lawyers to use in court; for live documentJsharing;
for consultation between partners; and to conduct tours of the firm's
Washington, DC office from Los Angeles. "It'sJsimply outstanding," says
Chris Masten, Howrey & Simon's Technical LitigationJSupport Manager.J
To use the Apple Media Conference Kit on the Macintosh, users need
at least 16JMegabytes of RAM, a 68040 or PowerPC-based Macintosh,
System 7.5, a networkJinterface such as Ethernet, ISDN, Token
Ring, and optionally theJability to digitize audio and video using
the built-in AV subsystem or a thirdJparty digitizer card. To use
the Apple Media Conference Pro Kit on Macintosh,Jusers need at
least 16 Megabytes of RAM, an AV PowerPC-based Macintosh and anJ
ISDN connection. To communicate with QuickTime Conferencing users
from the PCJand other platforms, users will need an H.320
compatible codec on theirJmachine, available from a variety of
vendors. QuickTime Conferencing technology is currently under
development and products using the technology have not yet been
completed. Apple will provide pricing and availability
information when products are completed and ready for release.
Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized pioneer and innovator in the
information industry, creates powerful solutions based on easy to
use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, online
services, and personal digital assistants. Headquartered in
Cupertino, California, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) develops, manufactures,
licenses and markets products, technologies and services for the
business, education, consumer, scientific & engineering and
government markets in over 140 countries.


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Apple, the Apple logo, QuickTime and Macintosh are registered
trademarks and Power Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Computer,
Inc. Additional company and product names may be trademarks or
registered trademarks of the individual companies and are
respectfully acknowledged.

END

-- 
Thomas Diessel
University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich
Computer Science Department
D-85577 Neubiberg, Germany