It doesn't always feel like it given how often electronic devices refuse to behave, but everything from tablets to smartphones to business software is subjected to hours of tests and retests by huge divisions of engineers whose job it is to ensure everything just works.
This work is rarely discussed, until things go wrong - we can imagine Apple's design testing team came in for a bit of criticism internally during the antenna-gate debacle that surrounded the iPhone 4 launch a couple of years ago.
It was with interest, then, that V3 had the chance to learn about the work Cisco's industrial design testing team does on the firm's videoconferencing TelePresence systems to ensure no issues affect its customers once devices and software are in the market.
Working from the firm's research and development centre in Oslo, Norway, Ariel Skjørten, director of engineering at Cisco, explained that its Advanced Scenario Test Labs (pictured above) can be configured to mimic any setup a customer may have.
This involves a large-network setup with numerous devices such as IP phones, laptops and personal Telepresence systems (see below).
Developers can test the systems, both hardware and software, to see if there are any issues with the products and updates they are working on. If they discover issues, they put in a fix and retest their changes, so anything discovered is sorted out as quickly as possible.
The R&D Labs, which were originally owned by Tandberg before it was acquired by Cisco, were responsible for some of the first videoconferencing systems developed by the firm. It certainly shows how far the technology has come in the last 15 years or so.
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