Logitech looks to iPhone 5 for video meetings

The company's LifeSize ClearSea software is being updated for iOS 5

The Apple iPhone 5, expected to be announced on Tuesday, should be able to use Logitech's ClearSea videoconferencing software to tie mobile users into meetings alongside high-end telepresence systems and other platforms, according to Logitech.

Logitech's LifeSize videoconferencing division acquired ClearSea earlier this year by buying Mirial, a video software company based in Milan. ClearSea is videoconferencing software that works on a variety of endpoints and lets mobile devices interface with other endpoints through industry standards.

LifeSize has been updating ClearSea for iOS 5, the next version of Apple's iPhone and iPad software, as part of Apple's beta program, said Michael Helmbrecht, vice president of product marketing at LifeSize. ClearSea should be ready to run on the iPhone 5 as soon as the phone is available, he said.

"Unless they move to a completely new processor type that they haven't put in any kind of device before, we don't anticipate any issues," Helmbrecht said.

To be safe, because it doesn't know anything about the rollout schedule for the new iPhone, Logitech estimated that ClearSea would be available for the iPhone 5 by November.

Because it uses standards such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and the H.264 encoding specification, ClearSea can interoperate with videoconferencing systems from major vendors including Cisco Systems, Polycom and Radvision, the company said. ClearSea is also available for version 2.1 and later of Google's Android OS.

On smartphones, ClearSea can send and receive standard-definition video, and on the iPad 2, it can receive 720p high-definition video. Users can participate in meetings with a good 3G cellular connection or Wi-Fi, Helmbrecht said.

It's unlikely the iPhone 5 will have enough processing power to encode or decode high-definition video for use in ClearSea meetings, Helmbrecht said. On the iPhone 4, the software can send video of the caller at 352 by 188 pixels at 15 frames per second, and receive the same resolution at 30 frames per second, he said.

"If the power's there, we can do HD," Helmbrecht said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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