Amazon unveils Chime, a Competitor to Skype and GoToMeeting

amazon-chimeI doubt if many individual genealogists will use this new service to call each other but it should become valuable for meetings, such as at your local society meetings or the board of directors’ meeting of any organization. Amazon Web Services has unveiled Chime, a new service that it says takes the “frustration out of meetings” by delivering video, voice, chat, and screen sharing.

Instead of forcing participants to call one another on a dedicated line, Amazon Chime automatically calls all participants at the start of a meeting, so “joining a meeting is as easy as clicking a button in the app, no PIN required,” the company said in a press release. Chime also shows a visual roster of participants, and allows participants to pinpoint who exactly on the call is creating annoying background noise.

“It’s pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today,” said Gene Farrell, Vice President, Enterprise Applications at Amazon Web Services in a press release. “Most meeting applications or services are hard to use, deliver bad audio and video, require constant switching between multiple tools to do everything they want, and are way too expensive.”

The announcement from Amazon states:

Amazon Chime is now available to all customers. Amazon Chime is a modern, fully-managed communications service from AWS that makes it easy for you to communicate with people inside and outside your organization using voice, video, and chat. With Amazon Chime, online meetings are easier and more efficient, crystal clear audio and high definition video keep you focused on the discussion, and the service is designed to work seamlessly across desktops and mobile devices. Because Amazon Chime is a managed service that runs on AWS, it doesn’t require you to deploy or maintain complex infrastructure and software. And you benefit from the security that comes with a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.

You can use Amazon Chime for online meetings, video conferencing, voice calls, chat, and to share content, all from the same easy-to-use app. Meetings start on time because they’re easy to join – meetings call you and you can join with a single tap. Lengthy pins are a thing of the past. A visual roster shows who has joined the meeting and who is running late, and allows anyone to mute background noise. Amazon Chime offers rich apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac, and your chats are always synchronized across your devices. You can switch seamlessly between devices anytime, even in the middle of a meeting.

With Amazon Chime, there are no minimum fees, and you pay only for what you use. You are billed per user, per month, and you can change or cancel your subscription at any time. Amazon Chime is available in three editions:

  1. Amazon Chime Basic allows you make 1:1 voice and video calls, and to use chat and chat rooms, on all your devices
  2. Amazon Chime Plus adds the ability for you to share your screen during meetings, and enables integration with your company directory
  3. Amazon Chime Pro offers the full set of features for online meetings, including scheduling and hosting meetings, recording meetings, and personalized meeting URLs, for up to 100 people

To learn more about Amazon Chime, and to start your Amazon Chime Pro 30 day trial, please visit the Amazon Chime website.

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