Nortel to Acquire 3-D Voice Provider DiamondWare
On the same day last week that Nortel announced that a group of in-house R&D technologists was developing a prototype to harness the power of Web 2.0 and 3-D audio-visual virtual world technology to bring new dimensions to business collaboration, the communications giant acquired DiamondWare, a pioneer in high-definition, proximity-based 3D positional voice technology. The deal is reportedly worth about $10 million.
Nortel will leverage DiamondWare's technology across its Carrier and Enterprise portfolios to enhance its multimedia voice conferencing and VoIP solutions. In addition, it will be used for a variety of new advanced research projects that are part of Nortel's Incubation Program. One of these projects, dubbed web.alive, is a 3D Web networking solution that will allow users to collaborate, socialize, and conduct business in a virtual environment with life-like visual and audio features, within the security of their own corporate networks.
web.alive will leverage voice, HD audio, presence, identity, and corporate security technologies to bring boring conference calls to life.
DiamondWare's technology has been deployed in gaming environments and in U.S. military tactical intercom systems, and by a broad range of carriers and equipment manufacturers. DiamondWare's technology uses wideband, stereo capability and custom spatial positioning that can deliver real-time interactions in 3D virtual worlds and meetings, online gaming systems, and multimedia applications.
"DiamondWare's 3D voice technology will help give Nortel's customers a more natural and immersive communication experience, whether they're using it for traditional telephony and conferencing applications, mobile unified communications, or for Web 2.0 virtual world environments," said Keith Weiner, CEO of DiamondWare.
"A key goal of Nortel has always been to use technology to replicate the richness of a real-world communications experience," said John Roese, Nortel's chief technology officer. "The acquisition of DiamondWare strengthens Nortel's position in the converging telecommunications and IT landscapes and gives us another building block to create the ultimate communications experience for our customers."