TokBox – Great, Free Video Calling

TokBox_1.jpgA phone call is so twentieth century. If you want to come into the twenty-first century, you need to take advantage of your broadband Internet connection and your webcam and begin video calling. Services like Skype and instant messaging clients such as AIM, Yahoo and MSN Messenger have been offering video calling or chatting over the Internet for years. Video calling allows you to see and hear the person that you are talking to in real-time. It is a great thing to do if you have friends or family who live too far away to visit regularly. For example, my wife, living in Texas, has a video chat with our sister-in-law, who lives in Virginia, every morning. They drink coffee together and generally enjoy each other’s company. Our kids get to see each other daily even though they are thousands of miles away. What a great innovation and one that you can easily enjoy using TokBox.

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TokBox video call in progress

TokBox is a website-based service that allows you to conduct video calls from within your browser. The first time you visit the site, you need to set up an account. You can add your AIM, MSN, Yahoo or GTalk accounts to the service to allow you access to your buddy lists. To call someone, simply double-click on a name in your buddy list and the service opens up a split-screen window with your video feed on the left side and an “attempting to connect” screen on the right. See the screenshot at the right to see this. If the person you are attempting to call accepts the call, then their video feed will appear in the right panel. That’s it! No software to download or to run.

I found that it works quite well for my needs. The video quality is very good. In addition, I have always had a problem video chatting with my wife while using the AIM client. She uses AIM on a PC and I use it on an iMac. There is a known bug that keeps a Mac and a Windows PC from being able to video chat while using the AIM client. TokBox circumvents this problem and we are now happily able to video chat. Other great features of TokBox include:

  • video voicemail which allows you to record a video message and have it delivered via e-mail
  • conduct audio only calls
  • traditional keyboard driven IM chats (why would you want to do this, it’s so 1999)

2 Responses to “TokBox – Great, Free Video Calling”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Hmm…interesting. I hadn’t heard of this company. I’ll have to give it a try.

    By the way, it’s good to see you posting again.

  2. Aaron Cravy Says:

    With the holidays behind us, we hope to be much more active going forward. Thanks for the note.