iChat AV: Apple Presents New Video Conferencing Solution

Apple Computer introduced its new audio and video conferencing solution today during the keynote presentation of the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The solution consists of iSight, a new digital video camera, and iChat AV, an upgrade to the companyis Instant Messenger client.

From the Apple Computer press release:

With high-quality, full screen, full motion video over broadband, crystal clear audio over 56K modem and a familiar easy-to-use interface, iChat AV makes natural conversations over the Internet immediate and effortless. Automatic display of video and audio icons within the familiar iChat buddy list instantly identifies buddies with video or audio conferencing capabilities so conversations can begin at the click of a button from the office, home or anywhere.

Featuring Apple?s legendary design and ease-of-use, iSight is a small, light and incredibly portable aluminum alloy camera that features a custom designed lens with auto-focus and a high-end CCD sensor to provide high-resolution images and full-motion video at up to 30 frames per second. iSight includes an integrated microphone that suppresses ambient noise for crystal-clear digital audio. With its on-board processor, iSight automatically adjusts color, white balance, sharpness and contrast to provide high-quality images with accurate color reproduction in any lighting conditions.

iSight is designed to be center-mounted on the top of any computer screen and uses its integrated tilt and rotate mechanism to easily position the camera for natural, face-to-face video conferencing. iSight is smaller and lighter than most cell phones and extremely portable. With all audio, video and power provided by a single FireWire cable, simply clipping the compact iSight camera to any PowerBook? G4 or iBook? for convenient on-the-go video conferencing, makes it easy for travelers to keep in touch with family, friends and business associates while they are on the road.

iChat AV is currently time-limited and in beta form. It can be downloaded at www.apple.com/ichat and requires at least OS X 10.2.5. The final version is to be included free with the release of OS X 10.3 but will be available for a downloadable $29.95 purchase for Jaguar users after the trial period expires.

The iSight video camera is currently available online at the Apple Store, at all Apple Store retail outlets and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested price of $149 (US). The camera requires iChat AV to function.