Orgoo Throws Hat into Video Chat Ring

Orgoo, the long-anticipated, all-in-one, browser-based communications suite that presented at TechCrunch40 last fall, is releasing a new video chat service to the public today. This comes ahead of a general release of its email, IM, and SMS tools, which remain in private beta.

Over the last seven months, Orgoo has been working on building a replacement to the Userplane video chat it has relied on. The new service is entirely browser-based and allows up to four people to chat via video together at a time (with an unlimited number of people who can join via text chat). For now, there will be a cap of 1,000 people who can broadcast simultaneously over Orgoo, although the company will increase that cap daily.

Orgoo is one of the first to provide this capability independently and all within the browser for private chat sessions. Yahoo Live, which we covered recently here, allows for five-person video chats but in a more public-broadcasting type of setting. ooVoo supports up to six people but requires a Windows-only download. Tokbox supports up to six people but only provides text chat when used with Meebo. And MeBeam supports up to 16 people but has a very primitive user interface. Paltalk has been at this the longest, and offers a 10-person video chat via PaltalkScene (a Windows-only download) and PaltalkExpress (a Web-based version in alpha for both Macs and Windows PCs).

When demoing Orgoo’s new service, there were some problems with audio echos and delays. However, I was assured that these issues would be worked out for today’s launch. If Orgoo’s video chat is able to function for several people as smoothly as Skype functions for two, then this will be quite an awesome service. Both businesses and casual users alike will find it very useful for connecting with people over long distances.

Orgoo video chats will soon be embeddable into other sites as well. The company is working with MySpace to provide its users with video chat capabilities while alleviating the obvious concerns about child predators.

Another cool feature is the ability to initiate one-on-one chats from within group chats. You can just select the person you want to chat directly with, and you’ll enter a dialogue only with them. Both group and one-on-one chats can be viewed fullscreen as well.