Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gizmo Project and Live Journal

by alec on July 27, 2006

The integration of social networks and VoIP has seemed inevitable for some time.  Yesterday, Gizmo Project and Live Journal announced the first such collaboration. According to the folks at Gizmo Project,  they’re creating a co-branded version of Gizmo, called “Gizmo Project for LJ Talk”, and providing Live Journal widgets for click to call, presence and so-on. Live Journal and Gizmo Project will also automatically synchronize contact lists, providing a nice seamless VoIP experience for LJ users.

Six Apart also announced a new Jabber service, which is the backbone for this feature, noting that in addition to it’s preferred client from the Gizmo gang, this feature would work with any Jabber client.  The server they have built will be contributed back to the Jabber community as open source.

Buried in the Gizmo Project press release was another “announcement” about a new partnership / co-branding program.

Gizmo Project for LJ Talk is an outgrowth of Gizmo Project’s new partner program designed to create and distribute custom-branded voice and IM software, or “softphones.” The software delivers free VoIP calls, instant messaging and dozens of other advanced features, and can be used to reinforce a partners’ own brand with a frequently-used product. Customization services are provided by SIPphone and projects from start-to-finish can be completed in about a month. Localized versions are available and co-branding of web content associated with the softphone and service can further improve the experience.

That announcement probably deserved it’s own press release.  It’s big news.

Gizmo’s distribution strategy is becoming more and more clear as time goes on.  This latest move, white labelling the client, is another clear way to differentiate themselves from Skype, which retains absolute control of the customer’s experience. They’re open for business to add voice to any application you might be building. In my opinion, they should take it a step further, and publish APIs for 3rd parties, so that it can be done directly by the application developer, rather than as a customization offered by Gizmo.

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Sightspeed 5.0: Video-Phone meets TV

by alec on July 27, 2006

Sightspeed 5.0 hit the web last night.  They’re Andy Abramson’s client and he has pulled together a round-up of the coverage over on his blog. In particular, read Tom Keating’s lengthy review.  The feature everyone is raving about is the TV integration.  You’ll need a media PC for that, though. Unlike Slingbox, Sightspeed is all software, which is a good thing. 

I think the “Sightspeed Guy” summed it up best.  By the way, Sightspeed Guy is an ongoing video blog on all kinds of features.

I haven’t had a chance to play with Sightspeed 5.0 yet, since it didn’t hit the web until after my bedtime yesterday.  I’ll be downloading it today, time permitting.  As always, the spectacular video is the hook for me.

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