LAS VEGAS -- One new video conferencing app is looking to change how you have virtual meetings. Called Personify, the computer and mobile app transforms your average run-of-the-mill video call into an immersive 3-D experience that feels more like an in-person meeting than a conversation with your computer screen.
Previously able to just overlay a single person onto a presentation for a one-on-one conversation, the app is today launching new video conferencing features at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The big difference between Personify and competitors like Skype and Google Hangouts is where and how the people you’re chatting with are displayed on the screen. Using a 3-D camera (you’ll need to snag one of those to use the app) and Intel’s RealSense, Personify captures a 3-D image of let's say developer Bob whom you’re working with across the country.
When you chat, the app applies a virtual green screen of sorts (the thing the weather man stands in front of) to the background behind Bob and replaces it with your desktop. Instead of showing up in a window, Bob will be at the bottom of your computer screen, just like he’s sitting across from you. Any other people you bring into the conversation will be placed beside Bob at the bottom of the page, giving the feel of a roundtable discussion.
While the experience can make your average work meeting a bit more natural, the real win with the app comes when you need to work on something with the people you’re chatting with on Personify. Since everyone is at the bottom of the page, the rest of the screen is open for you to do other things. For instance, you could use the app while playing a collaborative game with a friend, or watching movie with mom. Unlike some other solutions, there’s a balance between the people you’re chatting with and what you’re doing on your desktop.
Videos can also be shared live or recorded and shared later on. That way someone can see your face while watching a recorded video of your pitch presentation or you could have your child chat with grandma about her latest trip to Disney World while virtually showing off pictures. Pretty neat.
Eager to give it a try? You can check out Personify for yourself from the company’s website.