When I was invited to have a video chat on my MacBook Pro with SightSpeed CEO Peter Csathy to discuss today’s announcement that their software would now be bundled with Dell computers, I was skeptical. I expected to be making apologies for my poor home DSL connection which usually makes VOIP calls and webcam video look and sound like I’m underwater.
I was pleasantly surprised. The SightSpeed software installed easily on my Mac, and the video conversation with Mr. Csathy was crisp, smooth and effortless as compared to any I’ve tried with Skype. He had a fancy headset, but I was just using the MacBook Pro’s built-in speakers and microphone. For once, video conferencing felt approachable to me beyond Apple iChat.
It’s exactly this “good for everyone” mentality that is guiding Dell and SightSpeed’s partnership. Dell laptops will now ship with specially branded SightSpeed software built-in and ready to go with a single click. The software enables users to participate in free, unlimited one-on-one video, audio and text chats worldwide. Users can invite anyone to participate in chats, regardless of whether or not they have a Dell computer. For non-Dell owners, the software can be freely downloaded from the Dell Video Chat website in versions for both PC and Mac. For $9.95/month, users can upgrade to service that allows for 4-way group video conferencing, longer video mail recording (up to 3 minutes) and other features.