SOURCE: Polycom, Inc.

Polycom

Polycom, Inc.

November 03, 2009 08:30 ET

Vivox Uses Polycom HD Voice to Power the World of Online Chat

World's Leading Provider of Online Chat Relies on Polycom HD Voice to Deliver the Ultimate High Definition Audio Experience

PLEASANTON, CA and NATICK, MA--(Marketwire - November 3, 2009) - VoiceCon San Francisco -- Vivox Inc., the market leader in voice services for developers of online games, virtual worlds and the social web, delivers voice chat to over 16 million users and supports billions of minutes of chat per month. Having doubled its number of users in the past year, the company expects to see exponential growth in the next 12 months thanks to a growing customer base and its recent launch of the Vivox Voice on Facebook application. One of Vivox's key differentiators is its high quality voice, which is powered by Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) using the company's high definition (HD), royalty-free Siren™ 14/G 722.1C voice codec.

Since launching in 2005, Vivox has become the clear choice for developers and publishers that require a complete communications solution for its community, and the best for its brand. Recognizing the demand for the clearest communications among the gaming community, Vivox chose the Polycom Siren 14 codec for all of its online voice channels. Vivox HD voice chat brings the deepest level of connection and immersion to any experience where a user is engaged with a community. In a world where the stories within games and virtual worlds rival those of cinema and novels, voice renders emotion and imparts power. Quality voice chat is a game changer for players and developers alike who make these worlds and communities come alive, and Vivox is changing that game.

The move to HD Voice is inevitable

Consumer multimedia relies on state-of-the-art technologies to deliver the best end-user experience, and HD Voice is no exception. With the broadcast industry already standardized on HD technology for radio and television as well as the HD experience of MP3 players, iPods, etc., the next essential need for HD is the human voice. Carriers in Europe have already made strides in deliver HD voice over their networks, as stated in the New York Times article, Sound of Mobile Calls Gets an Upgrade.

Polycom, which first introduced HD Voice in its video conferencing systems more than 15 years ago, is also a visionary in delivering HD for voice communications. Polycom introduced its first HD phone in 2003 and is now delivering its entire lineup of SoundPoint® IP desktop, SoundStation IP® conference and VVX 1500 business media phones with built-in support for Polycom HD Voice and other high definition codecs. Others telephone manufacturers are following suit; business-class phones that don't support HD Voice are rapidly disappearing, and the move to HD Voice across all communications modes is rapidly accelerating.

Highlights / Key Features of the Vivox Solution:

--  Based in Natick, Mass and founded in 2005
--  The leading provider of voice chat services for online games, virtual
    worlds and the social Web
--  Vivox Network is the world's largest voice network for gamers,
    supporting more than 16 million users in more than 180 countries and
    delivering over two billion minutes of voice chat a month
--  Available on multiple platforms - PC, Mac, Web-based and for the
    PlayStation®3 console.
--  Vivox customers include online game and virtual world developers and
    publishers such as CCP Games, Electronic Arts, Gaia Online, Icarus Studios,
    Linden Lab, NCsoft, Realtime Worlds, Sony Online Entertainment and Wizards
    of the Coast.
    

Highlights / Key Features of Polycom's royalty-free Siren 14 (G.722.1C) codec:

--  Delivers four times the fidelity of a conventional voice connection for
    lifelike, vibrant conversations and effects
--  Is a low computing power solution ideal for battery powered devices
    --  Siren 14 requires less than 11 WMOPS (Weighted Million Operations
        Per Second) for encoder + decoder operation, compared to 100 to 200
        WMOPS for competing algorithms
    --  Polycom Siren 14 can be used with lower-cost processors that
        consume less battery power such as PDAs, cell phones, or even
        wristwatches, and saving computing resources for improving video
        performance
--  Low latency results in more natural, spontaneous conversations
    --  Siren 14 offers 40 millisecond algorithmic delay, using 20
        millisecond frame lengths the lowest latency of any super-wideband
        codec, which means that conversations are more natural and
        spontaneous
--  Handles speech, music and natural sounds with ease
    --  Polycom Siren 14 handles speech, music, and natural sounds with
        equal ease - other codecs break up when presented with natural
        sounds or music
    --  Low bandwidth requirements enable better video quality
--  Operates at low bit rates: 24, 32, and 48 kbps rates leave more data
    bandwidth available for improved system performance
    --  Is the only state-of-the-art audio compression with royalty-free
        license terms
    --  All other royalty-free audio codecs use techniques from expired
        patents. Their quality and compression performance is poor compared
        to current standards.

Quotes:

Jim Toga, Vivox Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering

"Providing the best online voice experience is our core focus at Vivox. We realize there is absolutely no comparison between standard definition voice and HD Voice, and so it became a matter of choosing the right technology. Polycom Siren 14 allows us to provide the best voice quality on the Web at a low bit rate so that we're not compromising other multimedia components of our clients' products. We looked at a number of HD codecs, and for our purposes, Polycom's Siren technology is the best alternative out there."

Jeff Rodman, Polycom Co-founder and CTO

"I've been promoting HD Voice for more than five years, so I'm very excited to see it gaining traction in the gaming industry. There are a number of codecs available, and Vivox took all of this into consideration in making their selection. Vivox's use of Siren 14 to host their millions of voice channels is fresh validation of the importance of HD Voice in human communication."

Media Opportunities:

-- Come see Polycom HD Voice in action at VoiceCon San Francisco

-- To learn more about HD Voice, attend the "HD Voice: Hype or Reality?" panel at VoiceCon San Francisco featuring Polycom Co-founder and CTO Jeff Rodman

Moscone Center, Room 120, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2 - 3 p.m.

Useful Links:

-- Polycom HD Voice Overview

-- White Paper - VoIP to 20 kHz: Codec Choices for High Definition Voice Telephony

-- Hear the Difference

-- Sound of Mobile Calls Gets an Upgrade

Videos / Images:

-- Vivox Voice Chat Application for Facebook Tutorial

Tags / Keywords:

Polycom, Vivox, HD Voice, Gaming, Facebook, PlayStation3, Second Life, Electronic Arts (EA), Voice Chat, EVE Online, Football Superstars, Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, Gaia Online

About Vivox, Inc.

Vivox is the leading provider of community-building voice services for online games, virtual worlds and the social web. Supporting over 16 million users in more than 180 countries, and over 2 billion minutes of voice chat per month, the Vivox Network is the world's largest voice network for gamers. Vivox customers include game and virtual world developers and publishers such as CCP Games (EVE Online), EA, Gaia Online, Icarus Studios, Linden Lab (Second Life), NCsoft, Sony Online Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast. For more information on Vivox and the power of voice, visit www.vivox.com.

Follow Vivox news and updates:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Vivox_Inc

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vivox

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

© 2009 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom "Triangles" logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Robin Raulf-Sager
    Polycom, Inc.
    +1.303.583.5342
    Email Contact

    Andrea Schneider/Karen Blondell
    PR for Vivox, Inc.
    917-760-6060/310-922-5838
    Email Contact