BlackBerry, Smartphone Users Get FUZE Conferencing Service from CallWave
CallWave's new Web-based collaboration and conferencing service will enable users to employ any Internet-connected computer or smartphone to share high-definition (HD) images, audio and video, as well as make local and international conference calls and send secure instant messages.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
A new Web-based, high-definition (HD) collaboration service from CallWave, named FUZE, brings high-end content sharing and conferencing to any computer or smartphone with Web access, and it’s the first service of its kind that’ll work on mobile devices like the BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Nokia handsets. That means mobile professionals can now use their smartphones to share documents, images and video clips from wherever they may be to increase productivity and cut down on tedious travel time.
FUZE is a device- and browser-agnostic service, according to Jeff Cavins, CallWave’s chief executive, which means that it’ll work on any computer or mobile device with a glass display and a Web connection. (The desktop version of FUZE is browser-based, but a “thin,” or small mobile app is required for use on mobile devices, Cavins says.)
All of FUZE’s HD content sharing and conferencing features are now available to users with desktop and laptop computers, but the service, which is still in the beta release stage, does not yet allow smartphone users to share synchronized high-resolution video (clips of a presentation or procedure, for instance) and other media–though it will by the end of the year, according to Cavins. CallWave is, however, demonstrating the mobile video-sharing service on Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry Bold 9000 smartphone at both the Web 2.0 EXPO and Interop 2008 events in New York City this week.
FUZE’s conferencing, instant messaging and “managed presence” features, which offer information on users’ statuses, are all available to BlackBerry and Nokia device users immediately. Support for the iPhone and Windows Mobile smartphones will be available “soon,” CallWave says.
“Major sociological and economic forces are dramatically changing the way global professionals work,” Cavins said in a press release. “Being able to do everything you need in real-time from your BlackBerry or other device takes it to the next level, enabling mobile professionals to truly collaborate from anywhere at any time with anyone in the world.”
Because FUZE’s Web Messenger technology integrates with Microsoft’s Office Communication Server (OCS)–the company acquired Web Messenger last month–enterprise users with mobile devices have access to a wide-range of traditional desktop-functionality. For instance, FUZE syncs with Microsoft Outlook, giving mobile users access to coworkers’ presence or status information, as well as to their calendars. The integration with Outlook allows users to schedule conferences and distribute invitations to meetings via FUZE
FUZE’s “Fetch” functionality also allows conference leaders and participants to summon additional colleagues and bring them into meetings by calling them directly, eliminating the need to send conference call-in numbers or pass codes, according to Cavins. And FUZE doesn’t have login limits, so organizations can bring in as many participants as they want.
FUZE is unique for a number of reasons, Cavins says, not the least of which is its support for any mobile device. It’s also the only browser-based collaboration service that enables users to share synchronized HD video and images in real-time and to zoom in and out on that content without losing any clarity, he says. They can even scan vertically or horizontally at any point.
FUZE is currently available for free trial, and introductory pricing will be set at $29 for monthly subscribers and $228 per year.
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Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.