Using a plugin, now users of Gmail can have video and voice chat with their contacts over Gmail. Techcrunch reports that this latest enhancement comes from the acquisition of a Swedish company called Marratech.
An excerpt from InformationWeek:
To install the plug-in, click on the “Options” menu in Gmail’s left-hand navigation bar chat pane. There you’ll find an “Add voice/video chat” menu option that will initiate a one-time installation download, assuming the service has been activated on your account. Once the download is complete, reload the Gmail page and you should see that the “Options” link has changed to become a “Video & more” link.
The feature added is a simple interface and does not support calls to phones networks and voice recording (yet). Its great to have all the features of email, voice, video and SMS also available from the same place. Marratech specializes in web meeting software, hence the expectation that very soon there will be some kind of virtual meeting place available via Gmail as well.
The plug-in used for Video chat is proprietary and supports FireFox, IE and Chrome on PC and Firefox on mac. Support for linux is slated for a later date.