Logitech Buys SightSpeed For Video Conferencing

[qi:086] Logitech (s LOGI), a Swiss maker of computer peripherals, has acquired video conferencing software maker SightSpeed of Berkeley, Calif., for approximately $30 million in cash. The deal is expected to close sometime in November and will have no material impact on Logitech’s business. SightSpeed was started in 2001 and has about 25 employees. Video conferencing is becoming a larger part of business for peripheral makers such as Logitech, who are seeing an increase in the sales of computer-attached video cameras. Logitech, I suspect, is trying to distinguish itself by tightly marrying its hardware to software from SightSpeed.

The acquisition of SightSpeed will provide Logitech with video calling technology and a software and services development team that can be focused on future video calling initiatives that can enable cross-platform video communications with an intuitive, lifelike experience, for people sitting in front of a personal computer or with their family in a living room. (Press Release)

SightSpeed VideoChat Comes to Linux, Netbooks

SightSpeed, a Berkeley, Calif.-based Internet video chat & conferencing company is going to announce a Linux-version of its video chat service sometime later this week. The Linux-app is going to help target the fast growing netbooks (others call them mini-notebooks) category.

Growing Your Conference Call Capabilities with Calliflower

Calliflower, by iotumI’ve been finding more and more of a need for conference calls in my work and suddenly more and more conference calling solutions coming online. I also find that conference calls add something to my work that has been lacking since I’ve become so reliant on email:  the warmth of human voices!

I recently reviewed Rondee, the easy-as-pie phone conferencing site, but just heard about a new conferencing site worth mentioning to expand your options for free conference calls.

Calliflower provides services to cover the entire process of conference calls – from setting them up to holding them to the followup and continued dialogue after the call is over. Calliflower is all about “building conversations” and sharing media, and they do it through a relatively clean dashboard so all of the elements of your call are on one screen.

Read More about Growing Your Conference Call Capabilities with Calliflower

SightSpeed Offers Useful Video Conferencing

With travel costs rising each and every day, business are seeking ways to not only save money but be more conscience of the way their business practices are affecting the environment.  Video conferencing is a hot space currently with many options for web workers to choose from.  Being able to see your team on a video screen is vastly superior to a run-of-the-mill conference call.

SightSpeedSightSpeed (previously covered at GigaOm) is a great offering that does not require you to install expensive equipment to confer with your colleagues and team mates.  The application allows you to collaborate with up to 4 locations at a one time and is suited for both ad hoc and scheduled meetings.  If you want, you can share your desktop while in the midst of a video conference to enable collaboration on a website, word document, or any window on your desktop computer.

Read More about SightSpeed Offers Useful Video Conferencing

Vid-Biz: Funding, Mark Day, WGA

Zillion TV, SpotXchange, Votigo Raise Money; Zillion gets $4.01 million Series A for its pay TV subscription services; online video ad marketplace SpotXchange receives undisclosed sum of angel funding; user-generated promotion company Votigo pulls in $1.26 million. (Zillion TV: (PE Hub; SpotXchange: release; Votigo: release)

Mark Day Joins YouTube; bald-headed comedian moves from the yellow wall to manage the video sharing site’s comedy channel. (YouTube Blog)

WGA to its Members: Easy, Tigers; while rumors swirl of the guild and producers reaching an agreement, the WGA reminds is members that they are still on strike and there is no contract yet. (Broadcasting and Cable)

Network Foundation Technologies Enabling “Micro-Casts”; company’s streaming technology allows very small companies to create and target niche video ads. (MediaWeek)

Democrats Tap Level 3; CDN chosen to carry live video and content delivery for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. (release)

Vista: it’s what’s for dinner

Vista_logoOne thing I truly enjoy about blogging is that I get to meet many people with different points of view. Sometimes we meet virtually, but the best times are where I get to meet some of you off the grid. If you’re a jkOTR reader and we got a chance to meet in the past at some venue, I think you’ll understand as I truly enjoy putting faces with the names.

Tonight I get another one of those awesome chances as I’ll be dining with mobile tech maven Michael Connick. He’s in the area for work so we’re taking the opportunity to meet up, eat a good meal and talk mobile tech. What’s interesting to me is that Michael and I are among the few end users that are happy with Vista on our mobile devices. I have the beta of SP-1 for Vista on my Q1P and so far, I don’t see much impact for better or worse. I’ve been just fine with Vista on this device for months and I wouldn’t go back to XP if you paid me. Michael seems quite happy with Vista on his 600 MHz Kohjinsha SH6 (you can see a video of his device’s performance here) so while our dinner could have turned into a Vista vs. XP conversation, I suspect we’ll instead share our positive experiences. I tend to agree with James that a "lighter" version of Windows would serve mobile devices well, but as I’ve said before, I think Windows is too many solutions to too many customers and businesses for a whole new take on the OS. Needless to say, if Michael brings his Kohji, it will be interesting to compare the performances of our two main mobile devices.

Place Shifting, Its here & Everywhere

CES is in full swing, and its a shame I could not go. I still feel sluggish, much like a Windows machine infected with spyware. Still, looking through all the news that is filtering in my InBox, I see that place shifting, which I covered in my article, Home Entertainment To Go, is becoming more mainstream. Kinetic Tide, is working with Motorola, while Sling Media is getting kudos for its SlingBox. Orb Networks, which does pretty much the same thing in software and charges a monthly fee, is also getting some traction. Elsewhere, SBC has announced a new set-top box, which grants partial freedom to our digital music. “The big trend for the show is going to be around place-shifting of media,” declared Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for research firm NPD Group.