January 18, 2008 GreenEyes has announced version 3.5 of its unique video phone solution. The EyeCatcher looks a bit like an oversized portable DVD player and is designed to help reduce business travel costs and emissions by linking up professionals with their out of state/country associates.
The aptly named device combines real time eye-contact with life size broadcast quality picture. Traditional video phone solutions place the camera in a location that means you are generally not always looking directly ahead and therefore not making eye contact with the person at the other end of the call. The placement of the camera on the Eye Catcher means you face your caller the whole time making the conversation more like being face-to-face. The Eye Catcher runs through an existing IP network and, at €5,000 per unit, is a more costs effective option than large screen video-conference or tele-presence technologies. The compact design allows the device to sit on a desktop so the images are projected at a normal conversational distance.
The company claims the idea was driven by research indicating eye contact and the ability to assess body language is vitally important in all human communication. As a result, face-to-face meetings are crucial for many businesses but traveling to meetings costs money, time and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Paul Dickinson, CEO of Carbon Disclosure Project ("CDP") and a Director of GreenEyes UK said: "At CDP we use the Eye Catcher to keep in touch with our New York office from London. Businesses are waking up to the fact that they need to reduce their carbon emissions. The Eye Catcher is exactly the sort of device that can be easily incorporated into working life while also forming a key part of companies' climate change strategies."
For optimal performance the Eye Catcher needs 0.5 Mbps bandwidth, upstream and downstream. As video communication is real time this bandwidth needs to be available all the time during your call. Any DSL connection that provides a minimal of 0.5 Mbps "guaranteed" bandwidth is sufficient to use the Eye Catcher. It also works in conjunction with all the other major video conferencing technology, so can be incorporated into existing infrastructure.