HP unveils Skyroom video collaboration tool

The $149 telepresence software, shown off at the start of Intel Developer Forum, allows video conferencing and desktop sharing.

HP Skyroom
HP Skyroom software Hewlett-Packard

SAN FRANCISCO--Looking to take advantage of tightened corporate travel budgets, Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday showed the latest tech to come out of its labs, called Skyroom.

Unveiled together with Intel at the start of the Intel Developer Forum here, Skyroom is a real-time collaborative video conferencing and whiteboarding tool. HP CEO Mark Hurd hinted at the product when he spoke at Fortune's Brainstorm conference in July.

Skyroom allows colleagues in separate locations to make video calls and share videos, 3D applications, documents, and more in real time. Using an advanced video codec, rich applications and video are compressed and shared over a standard network, and intended to run as smoothly as if they were hosted on the user's local desktop. Cisco offers similar software with its WebEx brand.

Some of the more advanced teleconferencing software used now requires special equipment and often a specific room. Skyroom is supposed to work "more like a phone call or IM," Jeff Woods, the head of marketing for HP's workstation division said Tuesday.

At $149, and no subscription fee, it costs less than a round-trip airplane ticket from pretty much anywhere, as Woods noted. It's available immediately to both business users and consumers as a download on HP.com. But customers who buy an HP workstation notebook or desktop will get the software included for free. Commercial notebook buyers will get a 90-day free trial version.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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