NOTE: I checked the links on 3/31/2020 during the coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic. They all work! 🙂
Cloud-based video conferencing is a great way for small to medium sized businesses to get involved with multi-point video conferencing.
These businesses do not need to purchase expensive infrastructure components, nor do they need the support personnel needed to run that infrastructure. Simply sign up for a relatively inexpensive cloud-based service and meet with your clients, colleagues, friends, and family. The quality is great and the services are on 24 x 7.
Use this blog post as your jumping point to the world of cloud-based video conferencing.
This is a living breathing blog post that will grow over time, so check back often!
Last Update: 10/13/2016, 1/24/2019, 3/31/2020, 4/17/2020 4/29/2020, 5/14/2020
Google Meet is, now, FREE to everyone.
Bringing Zoom like capabilities to the Google family of video chat, video conferencing, apps, Google Meet can be used by schools and businesses to gather up to 16 participants per window and up to 100 to 250 participants total.
Until the end of Sept 2020 you can use Meet for any length meeting, after that they will limit meetings to 1 hour.
This was formally Google Hangouts.
I played with it a bit and it worked well enough, but, I had a hard time getting the remote participants video to display on my Pixel 3 XL. You have to download the app before starting.
I will play with it more as time goes by.
As of March 2020, Google Duo now supports up to 8 people by video and 4 people by audio, for a total of 12. It’s free and works well. 🙂 On Android the texting app now has an icon to Duo your contacts. Since my contacts use iPhones, I have no one to call. 🙂
Skype works well and has multipoint video. I will catch up on Skype and add a bit more info here. I have evaluated Skype in this blog, but, it’s been years. 🙂
Skype just introduced “Meet Now” call-in to a video conference feature yesterday. If that sounds familiar….I designed the first Ad-Hoc IP-based call-in service for video calls in like….the late 1990’s. I can send you a copy of my seminal paper, if you wish to be bored. 🙂
Blue Jeans Network
Google Chat, Skype, H.323, Telephone call-in, Web RTC browser, Microsoft LYNC, SIP is in Beta. Schedule a meeting or an instant meeting to fire up the virtual room. People call in or the system can call them. Full administration to add, drop, mute, etc.
This snippet is from their web site: “The easyConference3 or 6 is a cloud service that enables several video conferencing systems to connect in the same meeting. This is a service where you can seamlessly collaborate with any videoconferencing system, and Win/Mac, iPhone/iPad. To join, you only need to dial the EasyNumber and meet “
“IOCOM, now Visionable, is advanced collaboration made easy. It is different from other video conferencing platforms that rely on SIP, H.323 or WebRTC and similar peer-to-peer communication methods. IOCOM’s core technology is covered by 29 issued patents, with additional patents pending. This unique solution means IOCOM can provide unprecedented scalability, control and features beyond other common products. Every participant in an IOCOM meeting can be a simultaneous, active participant, with unlimited video and data sharing.”
Completely ad hoc and guaranteed availability e.g. reservation-less
Virtual WaterCooler call in is supported, up to 12 hour call duration on multiparty, unlimited on one to one calls.
Adminstration: All call participants have the ability to add/drop participants, share content etc. Connections is chair-person-less.
H.323, SIP, Skype, and Audisoft Frontline Communicator connectivity. Supports Android and iOS mobile devices as well as “kits” available for Windows and Mac computers. Up to 10 participants in a meeting, can share presentations, etc.
This is from the G2J web site:
Using G2J’s virtual rooms, you can connect all these people to the same meeting:
- Your workforce, equipped with IP or RNIS videoconferencing and telepresence endpoints,
- Your audio contact by phone or smartphone your mobile users
- in front of your PC
With full interoperability with PC/Mac/iOS/Android, web browsers via native WebRTC with no downloads, traditional video conference units like Cisco/Polycom. Also Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber, Skype and phone participants. Utilizing customers existing conferencing/desktop/mobile hardware and software investments
VideoCentric VideoCloud 365
“Launching in February 2015, VideoCloud 365 enables seamless interoperability between any professional video conferencing endpoint, such as any standards-based video system, Microsoft® Lync®, desktop software clients, mobile applications, Web browsers, WebRTC, Skype™, and even Office 365™ users. “
From the Vidyo web site: “Enables seamless inter-connectivity of Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, and other legacy H.323 and SIP-based endpoints, supports Microsoft Lync and voice only devices, provides free mobile client for users without access to legacy VC or MS Lync”
Downloaded app on your browser, presentations / desktop sharing, video conferencing (3 for free). Mobile apps available.
Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across ZoomPresence, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.
More to come soon….help me build this list.