Video email and video conferencing have gone mainstream with Dell's adoption of SightSpeed's (DEMO 04) video-communication services in its new consumer line of Studio mobile computers now available from Dell online and at Staples and Best Buy stores. The new four-way Dell Video Chat and Web cameras are native on its new consumer line, which comes in 15-inch and 17-inch models starting at US$799 and $999, respectively.
"We think it's going to be pretty big initially with Gen Y, who are into social networking," said Anne Camden, a Dell spokesperson. "Our goal is to make video email and video conferencing one click communications, and of all the companies we looked at, SightSpeed's interface was far and away the easiest. SightSpeed is recognised for its award-winning technology and its ease of use."
Dell is integrating Dell Video Chat into its new consumer model first because its mobile computers for business users currently don't include Web cameras. Camden declined to reveal Dell plans for integrating Dell Video Chat into future Dell Studio, Inspiron, and XPS consumer models.
While Dell declined to comment on future products, it seems that with gasoline prices jacking up the cost of traveling by car and airplane and video hailed as king of the Internet, a perfect storm is created for companies like Dell and SightSpeed to push video email and video conferencing to a mass consumer and business audiences.
"This deal represents the mainstreaming of video chat because it's native on the hardware," said Eric Quanstrom, vice president of marketing for SightSpeed of Berkeley, CA. "Before today, only Apple has done it with iChat. Dell is taking a leadership position on the Windows side."
To accelerate mainstream adoption of video email and video conferencing, SightSpeed provides a free downloadable one-to-one version of Dell Video Chat that enables any Linux, Macintosh, or Windows computer users to send and receive video email and engage in video conferencing with others who use the application.
For SightSpeed, which sells nine-way video conferencing to businesses, being native on computers is a new paradigm. Quanstrom declined to discuss whether SightSpeed is developing white label video email and video conferencing applications for other computer makers.
Dell Video Chat powered by SightSpeed features are:
A streamlined Dell user interface
Free, unlimited video chat worldwide
Free, unlimited text chat worldwide
Four-way group chat (voice, video or text)
Low-rate worldwide calling to ordinary phones -- two cents a minute in the U.S. and Canada
Five minutes of free phone calling is included with every Dell system
The ability to purchase custom phone numbers and area codes
All video/voice calls Inbox
Video mail recording of up to three minutes
Storage of an unlimited number of video mail messages
Notification of missed calls and receipt of voice/video mail and e-mail
Reporting of video/voice call history
Because SightSpeed is based completely on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and global standards for setting up and ending voice and video calls over the Internet, it works across the widest variety of computing platforms so users can conduct video, voice and/or text chats with users of devices on any platform.
SightSpeed offers full-motion, 30-frames-per-second video with clear audio and no delay and low to no latency over variable bandwidth conditions. Its technology provides rate control for any bandwidth,handling of firewalls, and video-codec optimization.