Friday July 4, 2003

Mac users were greeted with a flurry of product releases from Apple in June coinciding with the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco including a new video conferencing system - iChat AV software application and the iSight digital video camera. In what it calls "Video Conferencing for the rest of us", Apple is aiming to provide a simple, high-quality video solution for Mac users over a broadband connection where initiating a video or audio conference is as simple as pushing one button.

The iChat AV software requires no set up or configuration beyond installing the software and plugging in any FireWire(R) video camera and microphone. iChat AV also caters for audio conferences over dial-up connections and while it works with any FireWire video camera, Apple have produced the iSight digital video camera to cater specifically for video conferencing.

Lacking none of the crisp style associated with Apple product design, the iSight features a built-in dual-element noise-suppressing microphone, a unique centre mount designed to make video conversations more natural and it is smaller and lighter than most cell phones.

Designed to clip onto Apple laptop computers, the aluminium alloy camera features a custom designed lens with auto-focus and a high-end CCD sensor providing full-motion video at up to 30 frames per second. An on-board processor automatically adjusts colour, white balance, sharpness and contrast to improve colour reproduction in any lighting conditions.

iChat AV is cited as a key feature of the upcoming release of Mac(R) OS X version 10.3 known as "Panther," and is currently available for Mac OS X version 10.2 "Jaguar."

The time-limited iChat AV public beta is available now for free download at (requires Mac OS X version 10.2.5 "Jaguar.")

The final version of iChat AV will be included as a key feature of the upcoming release of Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther".

The iSight video camera is currently available at and costs AUD$259.