Amazon launches videoconferencing for cloud customers

Promising to take the frustration out of meetings, especially those that seem to be happening across different states or different countries with increasing frequency, Amazon Chime hopes to provide a more seamless solution to teleconferencing.

Amazon Rekognition is a developer toolkit that is part of the firm's AWS cloud computing service. Users at the other two pricing tiers can join conferences set up by Pro users, so companies can mix and match licenses to minimize Chime's cost. Amazon Chime is available for free in a basic version, which includes video calls for up to two people.

Today, Amazon launched Chime.

Amazon has launched a new messaging service, called Chime.

One of Chime's interesting features is a visual roster of meeting participants that includes information about any people who have distracting background noise interrupting the call. Video conferencing is definitely not anything new. The app allows users to participate in online meetings, video conferences, voice calls and text chats, as well as share files with other users.

Jeff Barr, AWS's chief evangelist, said in a blog post that this is a new kind of unified communications service that will make meetings more efficient than ever before. The move indicates that the online retail giant is pretty serious towards making its mark in the video conferencing industry.

Called Amazon Chime, the app uses on-click dialing and boasts noise-cancelling technology for clear conversations - and can be used on Windows, iOS and Android devices.

And, those who are running behind can tap a "running late" button to automatically notify everyone in the meeting.

There's also a traditional chatroom element to the app that allows users to message with people, inside or outside of the organisation.

Amazon says its chat app was built from the ground-up with mobile in mind, so everything works seamlessly on smaller screen devices, like smartphones, and enables users to painlessly transfer from portable devices to sprawling desktops. Advanced editions of Chime allow IT to centrally manage users and settings, including integrating it with existing corporate directories. In other words, it's a direct competitor with Skype and Google Hangouts, and a major blow to any company offering an expensive enterprise-focused meeting software/service.

Pro costs $15 per user per month, and lets users do all of the above, plus host meetings with up to 100 participants.

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