SocialEyes video calling blends Facebook, Skype

socialeyes video calling blends facebook skype

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.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Mobile

Apple stomps on one FaceTime bug, only to have another one appear

Having fixed a FaceTime bug that let users eavesdrop on calls, another issue with Apple's video chat app appears to have surfaced. It concerns adding people to group calls, though there is a workaround.
Computing

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 
Computing

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.