After I posted a list of iPad apps for videoconferencing (all of which needed to connect back to a particular type of service in order to work), @caskings suggested that I check out an app called Bria (http://www.counterpath.com/bria-ipad-edition.html) since it looked to be a native SIP client for the iPad that supported video.
$19.98 later (cost of app, plus video dialing option), I’m making SIP and H323 video calls from my iPad. The app does require that you register with a SIP registrar, you can’t make direct SIP calls to an endpoint. I suspect this is because the app comes out of the VoIP world. In my case, I registered it to a Cisco VCS Controller. Calls to and from SIP endpoints were possible from the moment I registered. However, since the Cisco VCS supports H323-SIP internetworking (translation), I was also able to get calling from my iPad (SIP) to any H323 endpoint with help from my friend Scott Glass, who is much better at Regex than I am. Here is the search rule and transform that he created to make it work right.
Note: H323 calls to an IP address are made as URIs in this case with the format of [IP firstname.lastname@example.org. The VCS will strip off the @vtc.vid-in.com and make an attempt to call via direct IP.
So this is very cool, by registering my iPad running with the Bria app to the VCS , I can make calls to and from SIP and H323 devices. As I mentioned, the cost of the iPad application (with Video dialing) is $19.98; Bria’s app also works on android. And all of this is happening without a LifeSize ClearSea server, or a Radvision Scopia Desktop Server, or a Cisco Movi/Jabber server, or a Vidyo server, or a Polycom CMA server, or any of the other pieces of infrastructure that the major makers of videoconferencing equipment require in order to support SIP and H323 videoconferencing on a mobile device.
This would been even more cool, if I didn’t make a living selling and installing such infrastructure…..
I wonder if there is a market for just providing gatekeeper and SIP-H323 inter-networking services for apps like this? There are a lot of SIP registrars that you can purchase or subscribe to, but I don’t know of any that will translate between SIP and H323 the way the Cisco VCS will. Let me know if you have a spare VCS and want to start a new venture!
Below are some screen shots from the iPad (Click for full size image). I was dialed into the LifeSize fish tank test site while sitting outside enjoying a fire. Notice that I could switch to the rear camera to show the fire! If you want to test, call me on my iPad at ScottCIpad@vtc.vid-in.com (not available all the time, email me at email@example.com if you want to schedule a test).