Skip to main content

SocialEyes video calling blends Facebook, Skype

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Rob Glaser is mainly known as the founder of RealNetworks, but since stepping down from the CEO chair a year ago, the man has apparently been keeping busy: at the Demo conference this week in Palm Desert, California, Glaser has launched his latest project, dubbed SocialEyes. SocialEyes blenders Facebook’s social graph with real-time video calling a la Skype and Apple’s FaceTime technology to enable simple one-on-one and group video chat based on users Facebook social networks. The system also offers asynchronous “video mail,” so users can easily leave video messages for people who might be away from their computers. SocialEyes also gives users the ability to set up group video conferences between friends—introducing them to one another—even if those other people don’t know each other directly.

SocialEyes technology is based on Adobe Flash 10, and while SocialEyes’ infrastructure keeps track of who is online and available, the actual video connections are handled in a peer-to-peer, unmediated manner, so SocialEyes doesn’t have the overhead of receiving and retransmitting a myriad of video streams for its users. Users can connect to up to five other users at the same time. While chatting, users can selective mute people they have on video: if you’ve been muted, you can send a “knock” to the person on the other end to request un-muting if you have something important to say. (While muted, video continues to roll; apparently a full audio and video mute is also available.)

For the time being at least, SocialEyes is built entirely on a users’ Facebook social connections; that means only Facebook users get to play, and cannot connect to anyone not on Facebook. However, SocialEyes choice to use Facebook connections was apparently guided by a desire to make the social aspects of the service more apparent: users can immediately see how the technology applies to people they know, and leverage the effort they’ve put into establishing their Facebook social connections.

The service is currently available for Flash-enabled Web browsers, and SocialEyes plans to release mobile versions of the service—which means iOS versions won’t be based on Flash.

Overall, SocialEyes still seems to be finding its feet: although the technology has obvious implications for geographically-disparate workgroups and social interactions, it’s not entirely clear what would make SocialEyes more compelling than existing solutions using technologies like Skype and FaceTime—SocialEyes might be hinting at that with mechanisms like “karma points” that reward people for using the service.

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
How to do hanging indent on Google Docs
Google Docs in Firefox on a MacBook.

The hanging indent is a classic staple of word processing software. One such platform is Google Docs, which is completely free to start using. Google Docs is packed with all kinds of features and settings, to the point where some of its more basic capabilities are overlooked. Sure, there are plenty of interface elements you may never use, but something as useful as the hanging indent option should receive some kind of limelight.

Read more
How to disable VBS in Windows 11 to improve gaming
Highlighting VBS is disabled in Windows 11.

Windows 11's Virtualization Based Security features have been shown to have some impact on gaming performance — even if it isn't drastic. While you will be putting your system more at risk, if you're looking to min-max your gaming PC's performance, you can always disable it. Just follow the steps below to disable VBS in a few quick clicks.

Plus, later in this guide, we discuss if disabling VBS is really worth it, what you'd be losing if you choose to disable it, and other options for boosting your PCs gaming performance that don't necessarily involve messing with VBS.

Read more
How to do a hanging indent in Microsoft Word
A person typing on a keyboard, connected to a Pixel Tablet.

Microsoft Word is one of the most feature-rich word processing tools gifted to us human beings. In fact, the very word “Word” has invaded nomenclature to the point where any discussion of this type of software, regardless of what the product is actually called, typically results in at least one person calling the software “Word.”

Read more