Browse Prior Art Database

Simple Multimedia Conferencing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000116125D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Sergeant, RP: AUTHOR

Abstract

Telephone conferences permit anyone with access to a telephone to participate in a multi-party discussion or meeting. However, where image sharing is a fundamental requirement for the participants, the lack of immediate access to sophisticated and compatible equipment, e.g., Multimedia equipped PC with associated software, severely impedes the effectiveness of participation.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 65% of the total text.

Simple Multimedia Conferencing

      Telephone conferences permit anyone with access to a telephone
to participate in a multi-party discussion or meeting.  However,
where image sharing is a fundamental requirement for the
participants, the lack of immediate access to sophisticated and
compatible equipment, e.g., Multimedia equipped PC with associated
software, severely impedes the effectiveness of participation.

      The solution proposed here uses a modified Interactive Voice
Response Unit (VRU) as a participant in the conference call (the
Figure).  Callers are required to have access to just two forms of
communication, Telephone and FAX (with the FAX being available in
many forms from FAX machine in a hotel lobby through to a screen on
their mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant).  They will be able
to listen in to the conference via any telephone and when a vital
image is being viewed by other participants press a touchtone key on
their phone and have the image immediately Faxed to them at the
nearest convenient FAX printer.  The image that they wish to view
could have originated in one of many different data formats including
graphs, diagrams, layouts, text, photograph of a new model, freeze
frame from a video camera showing a failed part, etc.

      Callers telephone into the VRU and as part of the setup to the
conference will input the number of the fax printer to be used during
the conference.  The VRU will act as virtual member of the
confer...