June 12, 2013

Tixeo’s Helleo Video Communication Tool out to Play with the Best

An increasingly wide array of video communications tools are coming online, and sometimes, it’s hard not to see a new one either being released or getting ready for prime time. But Helleo from Tixeo may be just a little more than anyone was expecting, thanks to its assertions that not only will it be the fastest communications tool anyone’s ever used yet, but also the easiest to use thanks to its ability to work inside any Web browser that can handle HTML5.

The Helleo video communications system, according to reports, will not only run without the need for plugins or the like, but will also offer up much faster and easier communications capabilities than many of its contemporaries in the field. For instance, Helleo promises to be fully 20 times faster than e-mail, 10 times faster than instant messaging, and even three times faster than a phone call or video conferencing solution.

Using Helleo is surprisingly simple; users configure the software by assembling a team, which then appears in a blurry window to preserve privacy. When someone needs to contact a member of the group, or several members, that user just clicks on the blurry window to launch a larger window and carry on the conversation. A simple Chrome extension allows for a smaller window to be shown in the corner of a display, with a document or spreadsheet or the like larger in the background, allowing users to focus on work while in the middle of that call between team members.

Helleo was built around the concept of Web-based real-time communications (WebRTC), as used by Google’s (News Alert) Chrome browser and coming very soon to both Opera and Firefox. Some beta versions of Firefox actually have WebRTC activated, so seeing this on full releases of Opera and Firefox should be, indeed, just around the corner. Even better, Helleo is free for personal use, and business users will be able to get in for $9 per month. Both the free and business versions will have all the features Helleo can offer, but the $9 a month charge comes with a secured team and priority e-mail support should something go wrong.

There are, of course, a variety of applications for something like this. For small groups, it could be the kind of thing that’s downright indispensable, making for fast and easy connections to get, say, quick answers to short questions. It takes advantage of many of the bonuses offered by WebRTC in general without encountering too many of its flaws like needing a lot of bandwidth in larger group settings.

Helleo, however, is going to find itself in a bit of a bind, as a lot of other products are looking to step into this very same space. While it certainly has the necessary features to keep pace, there doesn’t seem to be much here that will serve to distinguish it from its competitors, and that could be a problem for the company going forward. Yet, given that parent company Tixeo has several other solutions on hand, including WorkSpace 3D for easy online meetings, considering Helleo as a part of a larger suite of tools may serve as all the distinction it needs.

Helleo is reportedly currently available, so it will be interesting to see just which companies end up going the Helleo route and just which companies decide they’ll be better off with one of its competitors.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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