Video conferencing space is getting heated up as we have noted in recent times many new alternatives popping up every other day. Most of us currently either use Hangouts or Skype to do group video conferencing. Hangouts or Skype no doubt are one of the widely used video conferencing tool by many users.The issue with both is they require install of applications and the users should be logged into the applications to initiate or join the conference call.The other issue is that the data that gets exchanged in the call passes through their servers which means they have the possibility to store these data on their servers. With all the recent surveillance exposures done no doubt that even if we sneeze the same is recorded and stored at some servers.
Appear.in is a recently launched light weight video conferencing tool which uses HTML5 technology. When I first hit this domain I was checking to see if this was launched by any Indian company since the domain name ended up with .in. The product is owned by Telenor Digital a leading Telecommunication company based out of Norway.Okay what makes it different from other applications available in this domain. The first is that it does not require any installation and the calls can be directly initiated from either Chrome or Firefox Web browsers. IE and Safari are not supported currently as these browsers have not yet embraced the technology that is required for this to work. The second differentiating factor is no logins required to join the call, users can join the conference call just by clicking a link.
To start a Video conferencing session visit https://appear.in/
Enter the room name and click Create .If you are accessing the application for the first time then you will be prompted to allow appear.in to access your microphone and webcam and click Allow.Once the room has been created on top click on Copy link which copies the links that needs to be shared with others to join the room.
This link can be shared with other users for them to join the call and the application currently supports up to 8 users. There is a lock room feature available and when it is enabled no more users can join the call. You also have the option to claim a room where in being the owner of the room you can customize the room by setting the background image,Only you can lock the room,you can kick people out of the room and the room will remain locked when it is empty.
Isn’t this cool that we can start a video conference call without installing or logging to any application and others can join just by clicking a link. I am hoping that in future they will add capabilities to support more than 8 users and the application will also scale for large number of users. What do you think about Appear.in? Give it a try for your video conferencing needs and let me know your feedback here.