HP Workstation Event: HP targets collaboration with SkyRoom

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Jim Zafarana, Vice President and General Manager, Global Business Unit, Workstations, demonstrates HP’s new SkyRoom collaborative technology running SolidWorks’ eDrawings with a live connection to Jeff Wood, Director, worldwide workstation marketing

#2: For a few years now HP has had an excellent technology for collaboration, but a bit of a problem in communicating that to customers. The name, Remote Graphics Software (RGS), never exactly rolled off the tongue!

But now HP is in the process of re-branding and re-packaging its proprietary compression technology and combining it with its high-end Halo Studio technology to form a product that it is going to call HP SkyRoom.

HP describes SkyRoom as a ‘professional-quality visual collaboration and conferencing solution that preserves the value of highly personal human interaction.’ In short it combines video conferencing in a collaborative design environment where users can share any application on each other’s desktops, but at a much higher quality and frame rates than can be achieved with current generation tools

Jim Zafarana, Vice President and General Manager, Global Business Unit, Workstations, demonstrated the technology with Jeff Wood, Director, worldwide workstation marketing, over a TCP/IP network and the results were superb. The technology also appeared incredibly easy to use. Zafarana simply highlighted the portion of the screen to share (demonstrated using SolidWorks eDrawings). Up to four people can be connected at one time and they can also see what is in the ‘lens’.

The software is being architected to run on multi-core systems and also supports HyperThreading with Jeff Wood stating that the experience would be much richer on these systems. The base line of a Dual Core 2GHz machine was also mentioned. However, HP chose not to talk about bandwidth requirements as the product is still in beta at customer sites. With this in mind I’m a bit skeptical of how good an experience users will get over the Internet, or indeed if this system is designed to work on such bandwidth limited connections. I guess we will find out more when this collaborative design technology is launched later this year, which incidentally will run on all hardware and not just HP’s.

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