TokBox is a new site that we just heard about moments ago. It’s completely live but appears to have been flying under the radar until now.
It allows you to set up a video chat channel in seconds. It instantly and accurately detected the camera and microphone on my Mac laptop after registration. At that point, I was prompted to invite someone to the chat via email, or send them to my user page on the site. They click on the link and can participate even without registration. The controls are simple – set volume, mute or kill camera. If the person is not there, you can leave a video message. That’s all there is to it.
If you enable browser popups you can pull the video chat out of the browser and go to other websites or applications without disrupting the conversation. The chat box can also be embedded on another website.
TokBox is also a basic social network – you can add friends who’ve registered to call them more easily. You can also tag yourself, suggesting that the site will try to find people with similar interests and put them together. That also suggests the site may be used for online dating, which is a big venture capitalist-pleaser.
While there are plenty of video chat products out there on the market, including Skype, most of them require at least some software download to the computer. Something about the simplicity of TokBox, which is entirely a web application, suggests it might get very popular very fast.
Update2: Check out competitor YouCams as well.