Google Talk now has video chat, spicing up the plain interface a touch. Santa Cruz Networks currently provides Festoon for the Skype free VoIP Internet telephony service. The plug-in for Google Talk is designed to also work with Skype. As well as Google Talk and Skype, Santa Cruz Networks is also working with America Online, Yahoo, and Microsoft to add video to their instant messaging services.
How it Works
Getting started is simple. Just connect a camera, download the free Festoon plug-in, and see each other one-on-one or invite up to 200 buddies to a video call - even if they don’t have a camera.
To use Festoon, users need to connect a PC digital camera to their computers and download the free-of-charge Festoon plug-in from the Festoon Web site, www.festooninc.com. The plug-in works on PCs with processors of 800MHz or higher running Google Talk on Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems. There are plans to make the pluggin available on Macintosh and Linux OS’s in the near future.
The Festoon plug-in comes with EyeCandy video effects that include placing a variety of cutouts around the individual’s online image so they can appear to be a rock star, a muscleman, a priest, a surgeon or even a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
EyeCandy also allows Festoon users to distort an individual’s facial features in a variety of ways. A new feature in the latest Festoon plug-in is Snap Picture, the ability to take a picture of any video window you see including your own that can then be saved as Festoon Pictures.