/oops/ noun Useful technologies for you
iSee the world, do you?
About Us
the OOPS story -
the iSee story -
one must try to become like a flower: open, frank, equal, generous and kind

-- The Mother

Oh! i See : The iSee Story

Long long ago, so long ago nobody can say how long ago...

Well, it all started over a conversation that happened over 6 years ago - when there was still debate on whether ATM or TCP/IP will succeed as the de-facto networking platform - the conclusion was that if efficient transport of real-time audio/video can be achieved without a guaranteed quality of service, then the simplicity of TCP/IP would succeed.

At that time, other than expensive ISDN-based hardware, there was one commercially available software product that was kind of usable that came out of an academic environment. Since we felt that more could be done, we took that as a challenge, convinced the TeNet group in Indian Institute of Technology
( IIT ) Madras, and started this journey to build videoconferencing solutions over TCP/IP networks, specifically the Internet.

It took us a couple of years to get the first cut working - we were all quite excited to see it working with people across the globe...small grainy picture, choppy audio - to us it was nirvana ;-)

Then we started exploring the commercial possibilities - we didn't have the marketing muscle to tackle retail ; so we explored the option of convincing PC manufacturers to bundle this along with their PCs...they were quite impressed but did not want to take a chance in confronting the monopoly long distance company - since Voice-over-IP was banned at that time.

Around the same time, we also realised that the three factors: a powerful enough PC, (>= a Pentium 100 based system), a good camera (capable of capturing over 5-10 frames per second), and sufficient bandwidth (60+ Kbps for decent video/audio) were not really affordable to the common man.

So our commercial interests took a back-seat, our development efforts slowed down, and we started to focus on other less exciting things to feed ourselves ;-!

It was around then that we started to seriously look at making it work on the CorDECT WiLL (wireless in local loop) system - we knew it was being deployed in villages to empower them with telephone and internet connection...and the vision of "Indian villages using videoconferencing" was quite enticing.

By this time we had already dabbled with H323 compatibility, developed our own audio and video codecs, networking algorithms, and Graphical User Interface ( GUI ) stuff; but we realised that if this was going to work - it needed to work reliably in "low bandwidth" (sub 20 Kbps) conditions. Also, the saying "if you can't see somebody, you wait; if you can't hear anybody you leave" made us focus on ensuring that delivering audio was given a higher priority.

fast forward to today...and we have iSee

...that's about all the time the author is willing to spend for now - so in the interest of getting the web-site up and running, he's gonna pause and continue this some other day ;-)