Videoconferencing went mobile this week with the introduction of two competing PC notebook-based solutions from PC giant Toshiba and Silicon Valley start-up Winnov.
Internet communications specialist Winnov plans to be first on the market with its Videum Traveler card, which combines audio and video processing for H.324 and Internet videoconferencing functionality in a single type 11 PCMCIA card solution for $299. Users will have the choice of either piecing together their own solution based on Videum Traveler, or they can buy the complete VideumConf Traveler solution for $499, which includes the card, the VideumCam colour video camera, Andrea Electronics' PC Microphone Headset, VDOnet?s VDOPhone and White Pine?s Enhanced CU-SeeMe videoconferencing software.
Toshiba?s Computer Systems Division is targeting first year sales of 50,000 units with its sub-$500 videoconferencing solution, which is also due out this month. The Toshiba Noteworthy Business Video Phone also uses a Type 11 PCMCIA card. It comes with a colour analog camera, video cable connectors and a CD-ROM software package compatible with Intel?s ProShare architecture.
Meanwhile in the desktop arena 3Com and Picture Tel have teamed up to bring a $18,000 videoconferencing solution to market. As part of a special promotion two companies will enable customers to roll out video conferencing to up to 108 users each taking up 10Mbps of bandwidth. 3Com will offer four Super Stack 11 Desktop Switches plus a Super Stack 11 Switch 3000 TX Fast Ethernet product while Picture Tel will provide version 2.0 of its LiveLAN starter kit free. The kit incorporates two desktop units to help users introduce videoconferencing technology to their networks.
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