New Delhi: Apple (www.apple.com) today introduced a major breakthrough in video conferencing - the iChat AV software application and the iSight digital video camera.
Together they enable high-quality video conferences between two Mac users over any broadband connection, revolutionising the way people communicate with business associates, colleagues in education, friends and family.
iChat AV also features audio conferences even over dial-up connections to the Internet. iChat AV requires no set up or configuration beyond installing the software and plugging in any FireWire video camera and microphone. Buddies with audio or video conferencing capability automatically show up in your buddy list, and initiating a video or audio conference is as simple as pushing one button. iChat AV is a key feature of the upcoming release of Mac OS X version 10.3, and is available as a public beta today for Mac OS X version 10.2.
While iChat AV works with any FireWire video camera, Apple's iSight digital video camera was designed for video conferencing, delivering sharp images and clear sound through its built-in, dual-element noise-suppressing microphone. Smaller and lighter than most cell phones, iSight has a unique centre mount design which allows video conversations to be far more engaging and natural. iSight is available today and demonstrates Apple's unique ability to create a tightly integrated hardware and software solution.
"iChat AV is a major breakthrough in communications - users can now video conference with their business associates, colleagues in education, friends and family with just the push of a button," says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iChat AV and iSight truly offer video conferencing for the rest of us, and since they were designed with Apple's legendary ease-of-use, anyone can set them up in under five minutes."
Building on the success of the iChat instant messaging application in Mac OS X, iChat AV extends instant communication to the next level with the world's best personal video conferencing application. With high-quality, full screen, full motion video over broadband, crystal clear audio over 56K modem and a familiar easy-touse 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 aluminium 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 onboard processor, iSight automatically adjusts colour, white balance, sharpness and contrast to provide high-quality images with accurate colour reproduction in any lighting conditions.
iSight is designed to be centre-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 travellers to keep in touch with family, friends and business associates while they are on the road.
Pricing and availability
The time-limited iChat AV public beta is available immediately for free download at www.apple.com/ichat, and requires Mac OS X version 10.2.5. Video conferencing requires a PowerPC 600 MHz G3 or greater Macintosh computer. The final version of iChat AV will be included as a key feature of the upcoming release of Mac OS X version 10.3 and will also be downloadable from Apple for $29.95 as a standalone upgrade for users of Mac OS X v10.2.5 or later.
The iSight video camera is available today through Apple authorised resellers for a suggested retail price of Rs 14,300. iSight requires the iChat AV public beta and Mac OS X v10.2.5 or later.
Mac OS X v10.2 requires a minimum of 128MB of memory and is designed to run on the following Apple products: eMac, iMac, iBook, Power Macintosh G3, Power Mac G4 and any PowerBook introduced after May 1998.