Skype Doubles Down with 10-Person Video Chat


Skype announced today that the latest beta version of Skype 5.0 would up the ante in terms of group video chat, as well as introduce a more stable and sleeker experience for its Windows users.

When the company first introduced group chat in May, it limited the number of participants to five, but now it has doubled that number to 10.

This limitation was one of the primary things we focused on when we looked at the new feature, which we immediately compared to free, Web-based services like Tiny Chat. Leer más “Skype Doubles Down with 10-Person Video Chat”

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The Revolution Will Be Telepresenced

For some reason, I have never fully adopted the use of video conferencing.

In my defense, I think I’ve been pretty accepting when it comes to incorporating new technologies and communications platforms in my daily routine. Over the years, I’ve expanded from AIM and AOL chatrooms to GChat and message boards, from (gulp!) MiGente to Facebook and Twitter. But, so far, I’ve resisted the siren call of real time, face-to-face communiqué. And I believe my rationale is sound: I’m lazy.
rolfcopter

Given my social circle, it would probably be laborious (and aggravating) for me to attempt to migrate my friends and coworkers into fully adopting a telepresence. And frankly, call me old fashioned, but I still prefer to be texted, emailed, and, depending on how serious the circumstance, (gasp!) called.

However, there is one desirable consumer segment that is already embracing (and taking ownership of) the telepresence platform as a viable platform for communication: teens.
Here’s Looking at You, Kids

The youth market- which I’d like to think I’m not completely removed from- is unique. They’ve never known a life without some form of digital-enabled, hyper-communication. And because of that, the rapid adoption (and abandonment) of new technology is second-nature to them.

Recently, I was chatting with a colleague who mentioned that her daughter (and all her friends) took to ooVoo every night to socialize.

Wait, ooVoo, the video conferencing software that I use to connect with coworkers is being used by 13 year-olds to casually shoot the breeze? Seems like overkill. (Almost as absurd as anyone other than doctors using pagers for communication!)

But upon further inspection, maybe I’m just a Luddite. In March, Ad Age reported that “although video calling and video instant messaging are still a small fraction of overall internet traffic, video communications will increase tenfold from 2008-2013.” Skype, ooVoo, iChat, GChat, Stickam and a growing number of other services have created a playing field for a new culture of communication that will likely have far-reaching cultural implications.

Teens’ use of “video chatting” might be the catalyst that precipitates the widespread adoption of the technology. If text messaging, IM, and prior to that, beepers are any indication, teens tend to sit at the vanguard of electronic communication, not only creating the credibility and initial user base that allows the critical mass to migrate, but also defining the rules of engagement (lexicon, etiquette) for the new platform.

The question is, however, how can brands offer value by engaging consumers through this platform-from-the-future?


For some reason, I have never fully adopted the use of video conferencing.

In my defense, I think I’ve been pretty accepting when it comes to incorporating new technologies and communications platforms in my daily routine.  Over the years, I’ve expanded from AIM and AOL chatrooms to GChat and message boards, from (gulp!) MiGente to Facebook and Twitter. But, so far, I’ve resisted the siren call of real time, face-to-face communiqué.  And I believe my rationale is sound: I’m lazy.
rolfcopter

Given my social circle, it would probably be laborious (and aggravating) for me to attempt to migrate my friends and coworkers into fully adopting a telepresence. And frankly, call me old fashioned, but I still prefer to be texted, emailed, and, depending on how serious the circumstance, (gasp!) called.

However, there is one desirable consumer segment that is already embracing (and taking ownership of) the telepresence platform as a viable platform for communication: teens.

Here’s Looking at You, Kids

The youth market- which I’d like to think I’m not completely removed from- is unique.  They’ve never known a life without some form of digital-enabled, hyper-communication.  And because of that, the rapid adoption (and abandonment) of new technology is second-nature to them.

Recently, I was chatting with a colleague who mentioned that her daughter (and all her friends) took to ooVoo every night to socialize.

Wait, ooVoo, the video conferencing software that I use to connect with coworkers is being used by 13 year-olds to casually shoot the breeze? Seems like overkill.  (Almost as absurd as anyone other than doctors using pagers for communication!)

But upon further inspection, maybe I’m just a Luddite. In March, Ad Age reported that “although video calling and video instant messaging are still a small fraction of overall internet traffic, video communications will increase tenfold from 2008-2013.”  Skype, ooVoo, iChat, GChat, Stickam and a growing number of other services have created a playing field for a new culture of communication that will likely have far-reaching cultural implications.

Teens’ use of  “video chatting” might be the catalyst that precipitates the widespread adoption of the technology.  If text messaging, IM, and prior to that, beepers are any indication, teens tend to sit at the vanguard of electronic communication, not only creating the credibility and initial user base that allows the critical mass to migrate, but also defining the rules of engagement (lexicon, etiquette) for the new platform.

The question is, however, how can brands offer value by engaging consumers through this platform-from-the-future? Leer más “The Revolution Will Be Telepresenced”

Vidyo: Videoconferencing’s Best Hope?

Without HP’s support, Vidyo is just another promising startup. As the world’s biggest PC maker and a prime supplier of corporate tech, HP could bring Vidyo and videoconferencing to the corporate mainstream. Analysts expect HP to use Vidyo to distinguish HP’s computers and mobile devices from products made by rivals such as Dell (DELL) and Apple. It could also help HP build up its $35 billion-a-year a consulting business by advising companies on how to use videoconferencing to lift productivity.

It’s unclear, however, whether HP will aggressively pursue this video calling market. Although it introduced its Halo system a year before Cisco unveiled its own telepresence product, HP has just 3 percent of the videoconferencing market, compared with 45 percent for Cisco, estimates Davis. “Vidyo could be an important weapon for HP, but it all depends on what they do with it,” says Chuck House, a retired HP executive who now advises Vidyo’s board. He points out that Cisco CEO John T. Chambers promotes videoconferencing every chance he gets, “but you never hear HP say anything about it. It’s an afterthought.”


A New Jersey startup gets pricey and basic systems communicating—and could be videoconferencing’s ticket to the mainstream

By Peter Burrows

At most companies, videoconferencing has yet to evolve from a technological parlor trick into an everyday utility like e-mail. One reason is there’s no cheap and easy way to make it available on all the devices people use. Even companies that opt for top-of-the-line equipment from Cisco Systems (CSCO) or Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)often pay nearly $1 million to upgrade the underlying corporate network, says IDC analyst Jonathan Edwards.

That’s why tech industry veterans are keeping a close eye on Vidyo, whose technology will soon be sold by HP. The 120-person startup, based in Hackensack, N.J., makes software it says can run on almost any device that connects to the Net—and adjusts whether that’s a high-speed link in the boardroom or a cell connection from the 18th hole. While most companies buy a few high-end videoconferencing systems for executives, “We want to connect millions of people,” says Vidyo Chief Executive Ofer Shapiro.

The aim is to bridge the gap between traditional systems costing up to $300,000 for a just-like-being-there telepresence room and cheap but low-quality PC-based services such as Skype—and in a way that lets people using all of these options participate in calls together. Leer más “Vidyo: Videoconferencing’s Best Hope?”

Fring and Skype Embroiled in Bitter Blog Fight

The words “banned” sit below the Skype logo on the Fring Web site.

The latest Silicon Valley squabble sounds like an unusually esoteric episode of “Gossip Girl.” This one involves a couple of mobile Internet-based phone services.

Last week Fring, which sells software that allows people to talk and chat over mobile phones on the Web, announced a fancy new feature to its service: the ability to video-chat using the iPhone 4 over a 3G mobile phone data connection. Currently, the iPhone requires a Wi-Fi connection to use its built-in FaceTime video chat feature.

Skype, which runs a service for making calls over the Internet, was none too pleased.

Fring said in a company blog post that Skype had decided to block Fring members from using its chat service. Fring gets a little nasty in its blog post, calling Skype “cowards,” and saying that Skype “once championed the cause of openness” and is now trying to “muzzle competition, even at the expense of its own users.”

Skype quickly fired back in a company blog saying that Fring’s accusations are “untrue.”


By NICK BILTON

DESCRIPTION

The words “banned” sit below the Skype logo on the Fring Web site.

The latest Silicon Valley squabble sounds like an unusually esoteric episode of “Gossip Girl.” This one involves a couple of mobile Internet-based phone services.

Last week Fring, which sells software that allows people to talk and chat over mobile phones on the Web, announced a fancy new feature to its service: the ability to video-chat using the iPhone 4 over a 3G mobile phone data connection. Currently, the iPhone requires a Wi-Fi connection to use its built-in FaceTime video chat feature.

Skype, which runs a service for making calls over the Internet, was none too pleased.

Fring said in a company blog post that Skype had decided to block Fring members from using its chat service. Fring gets a little nasty in its blog post, calling Skype “cowards,” and saying that Skype “once championed the cause of openness” and is now trying to “muzzle competition, even at the expense of its own users.”

Skype quickly fired back in a company blog saying that Fring’s accusations are “untrue.” Leer más “Fring and Skype Embroiled in Bitter Blog Fight”

Large-Audience Webinars And Webcasting Tools: Best WebConferencing Services For Online Events With Hundreds Of Participants


To create, host and manage large-audience webinars and online events, there are a number of web conferencing tools that can help you deal efficiently with hundreds of participants. But how do you choose among all these services which one is best for you? In this MasterNewMedia guide you will find out which are the best webinar and webcasting tools out there that can handle large audiences and what characterizes them through a set of comparative tables and mini-reviews.

As I have already told you in my 2010 New Media Predictions, webinars and live online events will become increasingly interesting in the near future.

Why? Leer más “Large-Audience Webinars And Webcasting Tools: Best WebConferencing Services For Online Events With Hundreds Of Participants”