Logitech's LifeSize buy bewilders

LifeSize video gear ranges from a desktop video client that supports HD up to a three-screen telepresence system that approximates a live meeting

Logitech's only video products are commodity Web cams, but that will change when the company closes a deal to buy high-definition videoconferencing vendor LifeSize Communications.

You might not need telepresence for HD videoconferencing

The acquisition, announced Tuesday, will put Logitech in competition with Cisco, HP, Polycom and Tandberg, among others -- a high-powered group Logitech has never faced while selling its array of mice, keyboards, speakers, earphones, game controllers and other PC peripherals.

But if the purchase closes, it won't change the competitive landscape much, says Henry Dewing, an analyst with Forrester Research. Logitech plans to operate LifeSize as a separate business unit that will continue to compete against the same group of players.

LifeSize video gear ranges from a desktop video client that supports HD up to a three-screen telepresence system that approximates a live meeting with remote participants seeming to sit across a conference table. The company has a reseller deal with Siemens, which sells LifeSize gear as part of its OpenScape unified communications line.

Logitech says in a press release that it plans to pursue more such deals with other UC vendors.

Logitech's interest took industry observers by surprise. "It seems odd because Logitech is so consumer oriented," Dewing says. "LifeSize has been more of a kit-focused videoconferencing vendor."

The telepresence and HD video market has been in flux since Cisco announced its plan to buy Tandberg, which would broaden Cisco's offerings toward the low end of the line, but not so low as LifeSize, whose desktop client is compatible with third-party video cameras.

The Cisco-Tandberg deal is up in the air after Tandberg stockholders balked, hoping to increase the $US3 billion offer. Cisco has given them until Nov. 18 to consider its offer.

The Cisco-Tandberg deal may have influenced LifeSize's decision to accept Logitech's offer of $US405 million, Dewing says. That offer may have prompted Logitech to go after LifeSize at a price its investors could not ignore. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is running on $US80 million in venture funding, so the sale price is five times the investment.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags logitechvideoconferencing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?