Alcatel-Lucent lets iPads go from IM to voice and video without hanging up

The company hopes to make unified communications more popular among enterprises

Alcatel-Lucent's OpenTouch Conversation software will allow enterprise users to switch among different ways of communicating -- including instant messaging, voice calls and video conferencing -- without interrupting their conversations. The software will first be available on Apple's iPad, the company said on Monday.

The concept of integrating different ways of communicating is far from new, and is often called unified communications in the enterprise market. But products need to become much simpler for the sector to take off on a grander scale, according to Craig Walker, director of product marketing at Alcatel-Lucent's enterprise group.

That ease-of-use is what Alcatel-Lucent hopes it will achieve with OpenTouch Conversation.

On the iPad screen, a user can see a graphical timeline of recent, current and future conversations, pictures of their current key contacts and a "stage" where their current conversations takes place, according to Alcatel-Lucent. Presence information on the availability of their contacts is also visible, it said.

By clicking on the screen, users will be able to switch from a chat session to a voice conversation or a video conference.

Users will eventually also be able to start a voice call on an office phone, move the conversation to a video conference on a PC or tablet and then conclude it on a mobile phone, according to Alcatel-Lucent.

Alcatel-Lucent intends to make the OpenTouch Conversation client app available on iPhones, Macs, Windows PCs as well as Android-based tablets and smartphones based on both Android and BlackBerry OS.

"We were hoping to use just HTML5, so the client would be immediately portable between different operating systems, but it isn't ready yet," said Walker.

The plan is now to make the iPad client -- which will be compatible with the 2048-by-1536 pixel resolution on the new iPad -- available in June, followed by clients for PCs, Macs later during the year.

A client compatible with Android-tablets and Android-based smartphones will arrive in the beginning of next year, according to Walker. The application for the iPhone will be available for download at the end of the year or in the beginning of 2013.

All the clients will have the same design, Walker said.

For the OpenTouch Conversation clients to work, an enterprise would also need an OpenTouch server, which, in turn, can be integrated with telephony switches from other vendors.

The company didn't announce any pricing, but enterprises will pay per user and communications technology. For example, a company may have a thousand employees, but only pay for 200 of them to be able to use video conferencing, Walker said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?