Watchitoo, the video-conference and collaborative tool, launched Watchitoo Playground today, a simpler version of the service designed for smaller businesses. Playground is clean, bright and intuitive, and blows away other (albeit free) services like Google+ Hangouts and Tinychat.
The New York-based video conferencing company has invested heavily in streaming infrastructure, and it shows. Up to 25 people can hang out in the chat at the same time. Screen-sharing and performance of shared YouTube videos are incredibly fast.
“We put a lot of emphasis on quality, because we believe presentation is instrumental when we conduct business,” said Wachitoo CEO Rony Zarom. “Video quality is very important to us," he added.
Having used Tinychat and Google+ Hangouts to collaborate with coworkers, I was rather taken by the service, especially with the large size of the image. G+ Hangouts can lag. Tinychat frequently freezes, crashes, and locks people out, and its picture quality is terrible. With Playground, the picture captured by my laptop's built-in webcam has never looked better.
The name Playground is meant to invoke the fun and experimental sides of the collaborative process, Zarom explained. He's looking for growth in the healthcare and educational sectors. The tool itself is certainly intuitive enough for doctors and patients, teachers and students to figure out without a tutorial - just about anyone, for that matter.
Watchitoo Playground costs $3.80 per user per month, but a free version is available, limited to 11 people onscreen at a time and no screen-sharing capabilities.