As videoconferencing continues to struggle toward the mass market, video email also appears to be on the way.
At the Comdex/Spring '96 trade show in Chicago in June, Array Microsystems will demonstrate hardware and software technology designed to let users attach compressed video clips to Internet email messages. Message recipients will need no Array software to receive video email, only a standard MPEG-1 video player.
The company has not announced a time frame or specific packaging details for the technology. The capability is in fact only one aspect of Array's Personal Video Communications reference design, a set of communications capabilities that the company has developed to showcase its PCI video add-in board. Array said the board is also designed to support videoconferencing, video production, and video editing and authoring.
Other vendors have taken a stab at video email before and met with limited success. Lotus Development offers a video solution called Lotus VideoNotes, which works only as an add-on package for the company's Lotus Notes groupware environment and not with Internet-based email.