Tely Labs has created a way for families to make high-definition video calls using Skype, straight from the TV. TelyHD is a $249 device that sits atop the TV, connects wirelessly or wired to the Internet and via HDMI to the TV, and runs Skype on top of an embedded version of Android. Users can call other telyHD, Skype-connected users, or anyone (on any platform--laptop or tablet, for example) running Skype.
In some ways, this is what Cisco was trying to do with Umi, albeit at a fraction of the cost and, at least for those millions of people who already use Skype, with much more simplicity.
The telyHD unit has a SD card reader and USB connections, so photos from a camera (or off a thumb drive) can be loaded and shared in a collaboration window. And because the device is running Android, users can also share documents (photos, spreadsheets, presentations, whatever) from, say, a Dropbox account. It's also possible to browse the Web (again, in a collaborative window). Also, if the other side doesn't answer, you can leave a video message.
The product is available at Amazon.com and Skype.com now. You can see the product in action--and learn more details--in the video embedded below.
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