Want to Have a 9-Way (SightSpeed Videocall)?

There seems to be a lot of news this week in the way of on-the-PC video calling. First Skype announced its version 4.0 beta, which puts video conferencing at the forefront. And today SightSpeed has unveiled support for 9-way video calling. SightSpeed is the first consumer VoIP software provider to allow as many as nine simultaneous video-call conferences. We did a full review of SightSpeed not long ago and found it to be one of the best VoIP/video-conferencing services on the market in terms of quality and offerings. The new feature does comes at a price. It is part of SightSpeed’s Business package, which costs $19.95 per month. The free version of SightSpeed supports one-to-one video calling. You can get six-way calling from oooVoo for free. This brings me to a question my friend Kevin Maney of Portfolio posed to his readers yesterday: Who wants to video chat? Do people really want to be seen on the telephone? I test a lot of integrated notebook webcams, which forces me to make video calls on a daily basis, but I rarely make video calls in my personal life. When traveling, I occasionally make video calls to my boyfriend and back to my colleagues in the office. Then there is the question of the next video conferencing frontier: the cell phone. I saw a remarkable piece of software demoed in the spring at CTIA called iVisit, which allowed for four-way video conferencing over a 3G or Wi-Fi network. Front-facing cameras are becoming more common on cell phones, but will people opt to use it for this purpose? On the other hand, Oprah has been known to use a webcam, and don’t the masses do as the Oprah does?

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