RealTime IT News

ooVoo Vooms Past Typical Videoconferencing

Videoconference communications provider ooVoo has pushed out a Mac version to complement its PC software that provides telephony, video messaging, instant messaging and files sharing capabilities.

Currently a free desktop application, the provider has also enhanced its tool to include a conversation recording feature, which lets enterprises record create video "notes" of an online meeting. The New York-based privately-held company is prepping both business and consumer service packages to deploy in the next few months.

"In the future we're looking to provide application sharing services as well as additional security encryption features as we realize those are capabilities the enterprise environment are looking for," Phillipe Schwartz, CEO, told InternetNews.com during a four-person video chat conference via ooVoo.

Such videoconference advancements fall in line with the increasing adoption of unified messaging platforms that let enterprises reach out various ways to foster quicker decision making in a more cost-effective manner. ooVoo isn't alone in this field, Microsoft is also making inroads in unified communications.

As the company related, fire department personnel who once traveled several hours a month to meet are using ooVoo to meet and saving big on gas and personal time. A group of retired businessmen who are located in various states are meeting in video chats as plan a new fishing lure business. Public relations firms use ooVoo to interview prospective new hires as they realize video presence is increasingly popular in media and marketing efforts given the popularity of YouTube sites.

There are currently 1.5 million videoconferences being held via ooVoo a month.

"And that's at a point where the technology is just 11 months old," noted Schwarz.

The tool, which boasts a very simple and clean user interface, provides six-person videoconferencing. Video performance, as well as audio performance, was crisp and clear throughout the 45-minute product discussion.

Users can create a 'chat' buddy list by inviting people via email to use ooVoo. The company is working on federation technology that will soon let AOL users reach out to AIM buddies on the ooVoo platform. Features allow users to 'go invisible' when necessary.

The one-year-old tool is currently free though ooVoo will soon be pricing various services as it launches revenue programs. Additional revenue lines will be through advertising and partnerships, such as with job search sites and online social networking communities, according to Schwartz.

"“We're continually looking to improve the quality of our service and offer features that will help our users to communicate in a more meaningful way," said the CEO, estimating that about 20 percent of ooVoo users are small to medium-size businesses.