Team Apart Offers Free Video Chat While Dyyno Preps Rich Media Sharing

Team Apart launches as a beta service offering free video chat and real-time collaboration in work spaces for up to four people. Such messaging and collaboration solutions are becoming popular at a time when companies are fed up with licensing video conferencing applications from Cisco Systems, Microsoft and IBM. Also, Dyyno Instant Sharing prepares to launch its one-click rich media streaming platform.

Some startups are looking to capitalize on the slower news pace of midsummer with product launches. Web collaboration software maker Team Apart and rich media-sharing startup Dyyno Instant Sharing are two such companies.

Team Apart launched as a free beta Aug. 6, inviting small company workgroups to initiate online meetings where employees can engage in group video chat and share files and content from whiteboards and notepads in real time.

Team Apart lets users create shared work spaces and invite up to four team members to join by clicking on an URL to get to the work space. Once there, users can talk via video chat, according to the Team Apart blog.

Users can download whiteboards and notes and save them as files or keep them in their work spaces on the Team Apart cloud, residing on Team Apart's servers for future meetings.

Team Apart claims its solution is perfect for "small teams that work remotely and need to collaborate, or client-based businesses that need to meet regularly in different locations." The company suggested that these include small businesses, distributed workgroups, PR agencies, ad agencies and design shops.

In a sense, Team Apart seems to be trying to ride some of the real-time excitement of Google Wave's experimental collaboration platform because, as with Wave, the video conferencing, file sharing, whiteboarding and note-taking all happen in real time.

Team Apart also runs in users' Web browsers, a departure from classic download-to-the-desktop software such as Cisco Systems' WebEx, Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 and IBM Lotus Sametime.

Here's the kicker: While those companies charge licensing fees for their software, Team Apart will remain free-even when it is no longer a beta. VentureBeat reports that Team Apart will launch a paid Pro version with the capability for at least four more users to join video conferencing sessions.

Team Apart is entering a crowded field of collaboration software play. Cisco, Microsoft and IBM have gobbled the largest slices of that pie, but Team Apart has plenty of competition from startups such as CallWave, Dimdim and OoVoo.

Meanwhile, Dyyno, which is launching Aug. 11, allows up to 10,000 users to instantly share live events, games, video, audio, text and music with one click through a GUI. This is a departure from traditional client/server media-sharing platforms from Cisco, which are costlier and require more infrastructure.

Dyyno's shareable rich media includes anything from multiplayer online video games such "World of Warcraft" to multimedia presentations from a Cisco WebEx conference, according to a company spokesperson. In fact, Cisco has integrated WebEx into its tool bar.

Dyyno is available in two "channels." The Dyyno Personal Channel costs $8.99 for one user, who may use it to capture and share live video with up to 25 people. The Broadcast Channel lets a single user share content with multiple users.

Dyyno also offers marketing-oriented solutions: a Broadcast Station for marketing to communities via streaming media; a Broadcast Network to let marketers build communities around streamed content; and the Dyyno Development Kit to let programmers build tools to broadcast live and record in high-definition video quality.