BlackBerry PlayBook gets official video chat app from RIM

Research In Motion on Monday announced a new video chat application and service for its PlayBook tablet. The announcement, which came from the company’s BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, marks the addition of another service that likely should have been available on the device at launch last month, but may have been omitted due to the company’s rush to release the device. The video chat app itself looks like it covers most of the core video calling functionality users might desire, such as one-click calling, incoming call notifications, picture-in-picture so users can see their own feed in a small window while the other chatter’s feed displays full-screen, and the ability to swap between the PlayBook’s front-facing camera and its rear camera. RIM’s video chat app fro the BlackBerry PlayBook will be available for free in BlackBerry App World beginning May 3rd. Hit the jump for RIM’s full press release.

RIM Announces New Video Chat Application for the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet

Allows BlackBerry PlayBook users to easily share special moments with friends and family

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the availability of the BlackBerry® PlayBookTM Video Chat application – an easy and fun way for friends and family to place and receive video calls between BlackBerry® PlayBookTM tablets over an internet connected Wi-Fi® network.

“BlackBerry is a renowned mobile communication solution for connecting users to the people and information that matter most throughout their day,” said Tom Goguen, VP, Collaboration and Social Networking at Research In Motion (RIM). “With the BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat application we are excited to be enabling our customers to share important moments and events with family and friends via video calls. With the BlackBerry PlayBook’s high-resolution video cameras and stunning display, a Video Chat call is the next best thing to being there.”

Key features of the PlayBook Video Chat application include:

  • One-Click Video and Voice over Wi-Fi Calls – with just one click users can make a call from their Video Chat contact list, log of recent calls or simply by entering the BBID email address of the person they want to call.
  • Incoming Call Notifications – users will receive a notification pop-up when a new video call comes in, allowing them to accept the call as either a video or voice call, or decline the call. For those quiet moments – such as when while watching a movie or playing a game -users will also have the ability to simply set the “Do Not Disturb” option and the BlackBerry PlayBook will automatically ignore all incoming calls.
  • Powerful In-Call Functions – by using the picture-in-picture function users can easily preview their own video image prior to placing the call in order to see what will be displayed on the other end. They can also easily switch cameras from front to rear so their friends can see what they are seeing, and for private moments users can mute/unmute audio or make or take calls using voice only.
  • Friends List – BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat comes complete with a Friends List for maintaining your favorite contacts. A picture can easily be added to a contact to personalize the entry and a Call Log makes it simple to keep track of received and missed calls.

The BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat application will be showcased this week at BlackBerry World 2011 (www.blackberryworld.com) in Orlando FL. It is expected to be available on May 3 and will be distributed to existing BlackBerry PlayBook customers through an over-the-air software update and will also be available on BlackBerry App WorldTM.

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