You won’t need a Google+ profile anymore to use Google’s Hangouts video chat, thanks to new updates that aim to make the video conferencing platform more appealing to businesses.
Elance recently introduced video chat to its users as a new feature embedded directly into the site. That will allow employers and contractors to have face-to-face communication without having to open a different application or video chat client.
The idea of physically manipulating digital data through gestures, as shown in the movie Minority Report, may seem like sci-fi, but there’s much that applies to the desktop of tomorrow. Oblong’s John Underkoffler envisioned the future at the GigaOM Net:Work event on Thursday.
One of the major drawbacks with traditional room-based telepresence installs is that systems from different vendors are typically incompatible with each other. Video conferencing and online meeting provider FuzeBox, makers of the Fuze Meeting service, announced Fuze Telepresence Connect, which hopes to overcome these interoperability problems.
Comcast has partnered with Skype to bring its video chat service to subscriber living rooms. With an adapter box and HD video camera, Comcast subscribers will soon be able to video chat with any other Skype users from the comfort of their living rooms.
Microsoft’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype is official, giving the Redmond company an instant voice and video calling user-base of more than 170 million globally connected customers. With only an estimated 2.5 million Windows Phone 7 handsets sold, there’s ample opportunity here to boost smartphone sales.
Does video really perform as well as face-to-face interaction? How does it compare to audio-only communication? Does it always outperform text-only channels like email? Let’s look at different types of tasks and see how video affects the work and communication quality experienced by remote teams.
According to some new research issued by Forrester, desktop videoconferencing is not yet taking the enterprise by storm. It found that nearly three-quarters of business technology users don’t want to use desktop videoconferencing, and just 15 percent have access to the tool on their computers.
HP today announced it’s releasing a new line of high-definition videoconferencing products. These new Visual Collaboration products provide a solution that not only works via hardware installed in conference rooms, but can also be accessed on desktop and laptop computers.
Cisco’s videoconferencing division must be relishing the air travel ban caused by Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud, especially now that the company has established a foothold in Europe via its Tandberg acquisition. Not only did the potentially lethal plumes from Mt. Eyjafjallajökull prove to be a thorn in the side of jet-setters — and oddly, helped reduce CO2 — they also threw a wrench in countless meeting schedules. It’s a situation that offices outfitted with spendy videoconferencing systems can sidestep entirely, so don’t be surprised if the ash cloud persists as an undercurrent in Cisco’s marketing plans long after the skies over Europe clear up. But what if you’re not a well-heeled corporation? Don’t worry, Simon Mackie at WebWorkerDaily has a neat list of effective and affordable communications and collaboration tools that can help your business get work done like nothing happened.