Video support system to offer free, chargeable sessions from experts
Google has quietly launched a version of its Hangouts video conferencing system for support services. Helpouts will allow professionals and skilled individuals to offer advice and support for a number of subjects over video and audio to their customers, with the addition of charging a fee to the viewer for the support session.
Cloud architecture prevents taxing users' machines
Zoom.us is a new service that is offering users free video calling through an existing Facebook or Google login, and works with Macs, PCs and iOS devices to offer high-quality video conferencing with up to 15 participants by leveraging its own servers to manage bandwidth and processing, meaning users' computers are not as heavily taxed.
Real-time profiles of callers via social networks
Built for the iPad, the new software and service HookFlash aims to challenge Skype and other VOIP rivals with corporate features such as group video conferencing, easy audio conference calling, group messaging and real-time participant profiles generated from social and business networks, among other features. Exiting and re-entering conference calls can be done with a swipe of a finger, and conversations can be recorded and shared if desired.
Avatars paired with patients, doctors, groups
Microsoft appears to be previewing ways for its Kinect technology to be utilized in new market segments, as the company's research and strategy head, Craig Mundie, shows how the system could be used in a healthcare setting. In a demonstration at the Pacific Health Summit in Seattle, the executive demonstrated a diabetes support group meeting in a virtual setting using their avatars rather than typical video conferencing feeds.
Entry price now dropped to $399
Cisco has announced that its HDTV-based ūmi video conferencing system is now compatible with the company's range of TelePresence systems for businesses. The interoperability is claimed to enable businesses to take advantage of video communication for services such as distance learning, healthcare, and community services.
Mass production expected to begin in June
OmniVision has unveiled its latest electronic component, the OV2720 image sensor with support for 1080p video. The compact design is claimed to be the first 1/6-inch, native 1080p/30fps CMOS sensor capable of fitting into the thin housings of netbook lids, netbooks, or other video conferencing devices.
Warnings hint at 3G video support
The latest iPhone 4 SDK beta appears to include new code related to video conferencing functionality. Although basic video conferencing provisions have been included in the past firmware releases, the latest offering expands a number of status and error strings.
CMA Desktop products updated
Polycom has updated its CMA Desktop software, adding Mac support amongst other new features. CMA Desktop provides video conferencing tools for presenters and participating users, allowing businesses to manage telepresence and multipoint video resources.
Controls spotted for zoom, flash
Following the iPhone SDK 3.2 beta 3 release earlier on Tuesday, developers have already spotted code that references several camera features. Apple has yet to confirm any camera equipment on the iPad, however its SDK allegedly tests for three different camera characteristics that have not been found in the iPhone version of the developers kit.
First Look: LifeCam Show
If you have one of the more recent iMac or MacBook models, you have a built-in webcam, embedded like a third eye into the top of your monitor. If you have a Mac Pro or a Mac mini though, you’ll need to buy a separate cam if you want to do video conferencing or chatting. Although designed specifically for Windows XP and Vista users, the Microsoft LifeCam Show is a webcam that also works flawlessly with any Mac. The most obvious difference between this one and others is its size.
DimDim adds Mac support
DimDim has announced DimDim 4.0, an update that adds Mac compatibility to its browser-based web-conferencing platform. DimDim 4.0 features text chat, video conferencing and desktop sharing over the web. Video conferencing is offered via webcams, and desktop sharing works across both Mac and Windows desktops. DimDim 4.0 also records and plays back meetings, including video.
iPhone patent: GPS, video
A newly-published Apple patent application points to iPhone technologies not currently in use, a report observes. The application, measuring some 372 pages in length, documents many different aspects of the iPhone, but makes particular reference to the touchscreen interface and its underlying software. A variety of "modules" are listed as being stored in memory; though many are to be expected, such as those for graphics, e-mail and motion-sensing, one is listed as "GPS Module," while another is a "Video Conference Module."