RealTime IT News

Vokle Wants to Launch a Louder Web

PALM DESERT, Calif. –- In today's multitasking world, it's pretty quiet in the background, save for the sound of fingers typing. A startup called Vokle, presenting at the DEMO conference here, wants to bring in the noise and change it up.

Vokle is offering a video collaboration service that enables instant video chat sessions over the Web on virtually any topic. Rob Kiraz, CEO of Vokle, said video promises to change to the way people communicate on the Web in a fundamental way.

"I don't think the Web today is very social at all," he said. "How silent is the Internet? It's type, type, type, type, type."

Video chat services have been available for years. But DEMO producer Chris Shipley said Vokle stands out. "It's a beautiful platform," she said. There is no download required as long as you have the latest version of Adobe's free Flash player installed. Users submit videos which is ranked by popularity to get to the front page. You can also set up a private video chat with a few simple clicks.

Demos so far look like a jumble of talking heads, but perhaps no more jarring to someone first confronted with multiple IM text sessions. Kiraz said the platform could help companies "virtualize their business" by cutting the need for travel. In addition to chat, users can share content like images and video they already have stored.

"It's time to unmute the Web," he said.

Lights, Camera, Capture

Citrix Online had its own video debut. Building on its GoToMeeting collaboration line, the company showed a new service called GoView that's currently available as a free beta.

At its core, GoView is a video capture and editing program; but Citrix is pitching it as far more easy than other products on the market. In its demo, the company showed how a business might use the product to distribute a recording of how to fill out expense reports. The steps of clicking through and entering relevant information is captured along with an audio play-by-play of how to do it.

Recordings are saved to a Citrix cloud server where they can be distributed where and when the user decides from a My Recordings page. "You can manage all your content from a single view," said Elizabeth Cholawsky, Vice-President of Products and Services at Citrix Online.

Email that really communicates

A company called Ontier thinks it can make bring static email into the 21st century. The company's Pixetell on-demand software is designed to enhance standard e-mail, such as Microsoft's Outlook, with multimedia features.

In a demo, company founder and CEO Sebastian Rapport showed examples of emails that include a video recording of the sender. In one example, the sender's video image asks questions about a floor layout included in the message, and uses a cursor to point out areas of concern, much as one might do in an in person meeting. The recipient can respond in kind.

Other examples used audio only. In the conference brochure, DEMO described Pixetell as "like a little WebEx in your inbox without the crashes." The product is currently in beta.

Rapport said Pixetells can be password protected for security and they play in standard Web browsers. "This goes far beyond online meetings. It's a secure, submersive conversation," he said.

See it in HD

In keeping with the video theme of the show's kick off sessions, Bit Gravity announced it plans to offer a High Definition streaming service next month called Big Live HD. The product works with all Flash players and doesn’t require any other plug-ins or downloads.

CEO Perry Wu gave a demo of live HD streaming, which he said supports resolutions up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. The DEMO conference is already using the service to Webcast the conference.

"This is really hard to do, but is truly stunning," said Wu. "But we can provide higher quality video than what's on television today."