Polycom + Skype = PolySkypism? (Skype Teleconferencing)

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If you thought that Skype was just meant for teens and geeks who want to talk online for free, you might want to revise your thinking.

Polycom—makers of the ubiquitous (at least in most corporate settings) and well recognized triangular teleconferencing devices—have now launched Polycom Communicator, a Skype-certified, VoIP-based USB device that is built on the same technology as their SoundStation conferencing phones. According to Polycom:

“The Polycom Communicator delivers high-fidelity wideband voice quality that sounds like you are in the same room with the people you’re calling. Two high-quality microphones provide excellent range for group conversations with up to four participants. Polycom’s Acoustic Clarity Technology eliminates echoes and feedback, maximizing your Skype experience.”

I already know a number of people who use SkypeOut for phone calls and interviews—particularly in the podcasting circle (myself included)—and others who use it as an informal method for teleconferencing with internationally-distributed offices, and sure there were various Skype-based telephones previously as well.

But now, with the intro of the Communicator by a teleconferencing giant like Polycom, I believe it will take Skype to a whole different level (i.e. for business users) and put it into consideration as an affordable alternative to expensive teleconferencing devices and costly per-minute phone charges…Great for the home-office or SME on a budget.

According to Skype Journal, the Polycom Communicator will ship in June 2006 at a price of $129.

Resources for more info on the Communicator:

- Official announcement by Polycom
- Polycom’s website with demos (including link to microsite)
- A great (p)review by Skype Journal
- PodTech interview/podcast with Jim Kruger (VP, Polycom)

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