National Geographic, one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world, selected LifeSize Communications, the global leader in high definition video communications, to provide high definition video conference & telepresence solutions to connect the Society’s offices and reduce the environmental impact of inter-office air travel.
“National Geographic chose LifeSize because they delivered on the promise of video: a true to life experience that is an effective travel replacement,” said Eddie Dornack, National Geographic’s Manager of Presentation Facilities. “Our goal is to inspire people to care about the planet, and our environmental principles are of the upmost importance to the scores of writers, producers, editors, photographers, and staff members who make the Society what it is today. LifeSize helps us meet our operational needs in an environmentally friendly way.”
“LifeSize is honored to be chosen by the National Geographic Society, an institution whose work is known around the world for uncompromising quality,” said Craig Malloy, CEO, LifeSize Communications. “We believe that HD video conferencing has the power to change the way people live and work, and that it can have a positive impact on the planet by reducing the energy consumption and pollution of unnecessary air travel.”
The Society had used video conferencing systems in the past, mainly as a means to converse internally with colleagues in field offices, but the perception around the office was negative. The systems were old and clunky, and the poor quality left them almost completely unused. After seeing demonstrations of different video manufacturer’s products, the video conferencing equipment by LifeSize was the clear choice.
“The quality of the LifeSize systems simply blew the other guys away, even at low bandwidths like 384k,” Dornack said. “People expect Tom Brokaw, Nightly News-like calls. If it doesn’t have that level of quality, no one will use it. This is like you’re sitting in the same room with the person on the other side.“
National Geographic deployed a combination of more than 15 LifeSize® Room™, LifeSize® Team MP™ and LifeSize® Express™ systems across the globe, with plans to increase the number of LifeSize endpoints over the coming months. The LifeSize® Networker™ product was also selected for seamless ISDN to IP connectivity in those locations using ISDN connections.
“The next phase of implementation will be a set of portable systems in cases, which will be shipped to photographers and editors working on stories in remote locations. As long as they have internet connectivity, they can easily share images and data and collaborate real-time with colleagues back in the U.S. “Being green is more important to us than money or travel savings,“ Dornack said, “and HD video is a green technology. LifeSize was a win, win, win situation for us.”
A complete case study detailing National Geographic’s implementation of LifeSize high definition video can be found here.
About National Geographic
National Geographic is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Established in 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. Today, the Society reaches more than 325 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and six other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; school publishing and children’s education programs; interactive media; and merchandise. Headquartered in Washington D.C., the Society also has offices in California, Connecticut, New York, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado and London.