by Ron Riesenbach and Tabatha Holtz

May 26, 1994

This is number 16 in a series of electronic newletters for participants of the Ontario Telepresence Project


We are Pleased to welcome two new firms as Industrial Partners of the project:

Applied Silicon Inc. Canada

Applied Silicon Inc. Canada is an Ottawa high-tech firm specializing in custom hardware and software solutions for government and commercial clients. They provide various consulting services and also build board-level systems and sub-systems for data/audio/video acquisition, processing and logging. Founded by Mr. Eli Fathi (President) in the mid-1980's, Applied Silicon is staffed by 65 engineering and computer professionals with expertise in the following areas:

Applied Silicon is affiliated with COMVERSE Technology, Inc., Woodbury, NY, an $80M company which manufactures and markets a line of multi-media communications processing and recording products world-wide.

After several months of discussions, we have identified a number of areas where the research and development interests of ASI and the Telepresence Project overlap. One of these areas involve the application of some of the ideas pioneered in the "voice server" prototype to experimental video-acquisition systems being built by Applied Silicon. Another area we will explore together is novel applications of Applied Silicon's high-speed video CODECs in the Telepresence media space environment.

To facilitate our collaboration, Ross Jacobs and Dominic Richens will be working on-site at Applied Silicon for several weeks over the summer to transfer ideas and prototypes between us. For more information on Applied Silicon, contact Jean Caseault, VP. Engineering or Eli Fathi, President at (613) 738-2434.

Corel Systems Corporation

Corel manufactures and distributes a variety of PC products including CorelDRAW, CorelSCSI and a wide variety of CD-ROM titles. CorelDRAW is the world's top selling PC illustration software running on Windows, OS/2 and UNIX platforms. Incorporated in 1985, Corel currently employs over 250 people in their Ottawa head-quarters and currently grosses about $140M in annual sales.

In order to develop new products for the desk-top video marketplace Corel is conducting extensive in-house field trials. Corel intends to be the world's first company to implement video on every desk by the end of 1994.

Pat Beirne, Chief Engineer of Corel, has had comprehensive discussions with us over the last 4-months. We have developed a framework for collaboration which will see Corel engineers and designers work closely with us to exchange hardware/software and system design expertise in a program of prototyping and evaluation of systems to support group collaboration. Together, we will research several issues including the design and use real-time video conferencing systems and tools for asynchronous communication (such as video-mail).

For more information on Corel, click hereor contact Pat Beirne (


Bob Rae visited the Telepresence booth at a Centres of Excellence event at the ROM on May 3rd. Ron explained the active desk and the hydra units while Susan Sims, Alex Mitchell and Kevin Schleuter worked the magic. The Premier was interested in the details of the Hydra operation and asked questions about the industrial impact the project has had and the status of our relationship with the 4-Motors of Europe. Besides the demonstration, the prototypes were featured on CFTO-TV news 3-times that day.

Although the Active Desk got broken during the event, it was well worth it...


We are pleased to announce the imminent installation of a high-speed broad-band network between our Toronto and Ottawa Sites. The 45-MBit link, to be installed over the next few weeks, will provide a vital test-bed onto which we will port the Telepresence Media Space. The service will enable us to prototype a number of exciting new applications that can run only on bandwidth on-demand networks.

Newbridge Networks will contribute ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) switching equipment and Bell Canada will contribute a dedicated telecommunications network. Richard Zwiep, Jamie Hutcheon, Ken Weinberg and Jim Mackie of Newbridge have arranged to loan the project 3 MainStreet 36150 ATM switches complete with data and video interface cards. Randy Sefton, Ken Schuyler and Michelle Valliere of Bell Canada have arranged to connect the two Telepresence Project sites to its internal ATM network (called "ORBIT") through a dedicated DS-3 service.

For logistics reaasons, the Ottawa end of the network will terminate at Carleton University. We will install a full Telepresence lab at the university laboratory and move some of the Ottawa Engineering Group staff to support the new installation.

Over the course of the next three months we will be studying the technical and usage issues arising from delivering high quality interactive desktop video applications over long distance between metropolitan centres. We will contrast this class of usage, in particular, with the dial-up 128 kb codecs that are currently the main approach to providing such services. By integrating this ATM service with the existing suite of Telepresence applications, we will have one of the most application "rich" ATM deployments in the world on which to base our studies.

Our thanks to Bell, Newbridge and the computing and communications folks at the University of Toronto and Carleton U. for their invaluable help in getting this installation off the ground.


Xerox PARC, one of the Telepresence Industrial Partners, has released their PARCtab technology to Telepresence. PARCtabs are small (2.5" x 3") wireless computer "terminals", or PDAs. The communicate with base stations set up within the building via an infra-red link. Each tab can send and receive data, and has a small LCD panel, as well as a touch screen and 3 input buttons. We are currently adapting them in a "smart conference room" application, which will enable control and interaction in meetings, especially those that take place across sites, such as with the ATM network.

With the combined addition of the miniature wireless PDAs and the ATM technology, Telepresence will - over the next three months - provide a unique test bed which integrates an ever greater range of technologies into a coherent suite of integrated applications.

As these technologies become deployed, we will discuss potential projects and trials with our partners.


Barry Wellman has received a grant of $8,160 from the Summer Experience Development Program (Human Resources Development Canada) for studies of "Social Networks: Supportive, Virtual and Abusive." The funds will support three students for the summer on three separate studies.


Jing Ping Xie, one our engineers at the Ottawa Engineering Group, has recently accepted a position at Bell Northern Research, Ottawa. Jing Ping has joined BNR's FiberWorld division, where he will be working on designing device drivers for an embedded O/S in their ring-maintenance architecture. We are happy to have had Jing Ping work with us this last year and are pleased that the leading-edge experience he gained at Telepresence is being transferred to BNR and used in their state-of-the-art products. We wish Jing Ping well and look forward to working with him in his new role in the future.


The Ontario Telepresence Project is mentioned in the follwoing press release:

NEW ORLEANS, LA, SUPERCOMM Show - May 3, 1994 - Corel Corporation and Newbridge Networks announced today their intention to work together on desktop applications of ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode). To facilitate this process, Corel has established a new division with a mandate to supply software to all ATM card manufacturers in the future.

Building on the success of the CorelSCSI(tm), this venture will be an extension of Corel's SCSI product line into the ATM connectivity market. Under the arrangement, Corel will develop multimedia and LAN software and Newbridge will develop the networking aspects.

"We are excited to work with Newbridge, a world leader in ATM switch technology," said Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer of Corel Corporation. "We feel the combination of the Newbridge VIVID(tm) ATM product line and our leadership in SCSI technology and the Windows applications will accelerate ATM technology on the desktop."

"It's great to be working with Mike again," commented Terry Matthews, Newbridge chairman. "We've been talking about working together in multimedia for some time because we both recognize that multimedia with ATM is the next big technology wave. This relationship paves the way for an exciting new era in communications."

In order to develop new products for the marketplace, Corel is conducting extensive in-house fieldtrials. Corel will be the world's first company to implement video on every desk by the end of 1994, and will research video-mail and the human factors of video conferencing.

Corel is also working with the Ontario Telepresence Project which examines the human factors of using desktop video. This relationship will allow Corel to explore the best way to use and implement desktop video.

Newbridge Networks Corporation

Newbridge Networks is an international company which designs, manufactures, markets and services multimedia, standards-based networking products for global LAN and WAN applications, all manageable by single, graphically rich network and service management system. facilities are located in Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Newbridge Networks Corporation is a public company whose common shares are quoted from trading on the NASDAQ National Market System (NNCXF) in the United States and listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NNC) in Canada.

Corel Corporation

Incorporated in 1985, Corel Corporation is recognized internationally as an award winning developer and marketer of PC graphics and SCSI software, Core DRAW(tm), Corel's industry-leading graphics is available in over 10 languages and has to date won over 150 international awards from trade publications. Corel ships its products through a network of more than 100 distributors in 60 countries worldwide. Corel is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbos:COS) and the NASDAQ-National Market System (symbol:COSFF).

Corel Contact: Julie Galla (613) 728-0826 extension 1672

Newbridge Contacts: Jim Marshall or Sandra Plumley (613) 591-3600

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