Between Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, Facetime, and a whole host of other services, there's no shortage of ways to communicate and collaborate through voice and video conferencing. But Solaborate sees all this as clumsy and bloated, and is attempting to simplify the process of group video chat across different platforms with its new webcam, Hello.
While the company seems to want to avoid the term, Hello is essentially a fancy webcam that's been designed to plug into any TV via HDMI. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the specs list a 4K video sensor for high picture quality, an array of microphones to help pick out individual voices and a quad-core processor to keep the system running smoothly.
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There's a 130-degree wide angle lens that can tilt up or down to keep everyone in the shot, and the microphones are reportedly capable of recognizing voice commands. Solaborate has also included motion detectors to allow the Hello cam to act as a surveillance device that keeps watch over a room and sends an alert if it detects movement.
A proprietary app and browser portal will allow users to jump into video calls from standard webcams, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, Hello can mirror a computer or device's screen and throw it up on the TV for all to see, and calls can be quickly transferred between the TV and a device by a quick flick on a touchscreen.
Solaborate is seeking funding for Hello on Kickstarter, and the campaign has dwarfed its goal of US$30,000, bringing in over $220,000 with more than 2 weeks still left on the clock. A stretch goal of $300k will add support for Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and Cisco WebEx.
All the Early Bird specials are long gone, so pledges now start at $189. While the company has said it plans to monetize the service later, it promises that all backers will have free unlimited access for life. If all goes to plan, delivery is estimated to start in December.
You can see the Hello campaign pitch video below.