BlackBerry PlayBook To Get A Native “FaceTime” Like Video Conferencing Application

CIO’s Al Sacco had the opportunity yesterday to sit down with David Heit, Research in Motion’s VP of enterprise strategy, to talk about the highly anticipated launch of the of the BlackBerry PlayBook rumored to be taking place April 10th.  During their conversation the topic of video conferencing came up.

It was a known fact that the BlackBerry PlayBook would support video conferencing as the device has both front and rear facing cameras.  We didn’t know, however, how video conferencing would be implemented on the PlayBook, i.e., some third party application like Skype, Adobe FlashTime, or Google Talk, etc.  What Al found out during his interview was that, not only is RIM working on their own peer to peer video conferencing app for the PlayBook, but, that it will be released “very soon”…

The PlayBook will use a new, peer-to-peer video-conferencing app, not unlike Apple’s FaceTime video chat app, meant for consumer use, to enable BlackBerry video conferencing, according to Heit. And it’s expected to be released “very soon,” the RIM executive says, which suggests the app will launch along with the PlayBook.

I wonder if RIM’s new video conferencing application will in any way be an extension of BlackBerry Messenger, even if only in name?  BBM has ridiculous brand awareness amongst BlackBerry users  and non BlackBerry users alike and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if RIM were to put their video conferencing app under the BlackBerry Messenger banner.

[Via CIO]

  • BBM Gnome

    FaceTime sucks cause it only works over wifi :(

    • Robb Dunewood

      You do realize that the PlayBook, initially will be Wi-Fi only.

  • SaveTheDrama

    Who cares…just release the stupid thing. Then watch it rot away because everyone else already has iPads and iPad 2s.

    • Cynthia

      Not everyone lives in the US. IPad2 was only relased in the US on 3/11. The rest of the world gets it on 3/25.

  • Mitch

    I just hope you are not limited ONLY to the this native app. I hope you can use Skype, which would enable functionality across platforms.

  • Robb Dunewood

    There really is no reason to think that you would be, however, third party support completely depends on the third parties developing for the platform.

  • stanford

    yes, when in the world will us bberry users be able to use skype, and I mean the full use, not like verizon’s;

    and yes, indeed – who gives a damn about the playbook’s capabilities anymore – RELEASE THE PRODUCT!

  • Jeff

    Do we even really know that an untethered Wi-Fi Playbook (a) has a PIN; (b) can do BBM? If not, I find it kind of bizarre that we’re talking about a video-conferencing app being a “mere extension of BBM”. I think we all knew it was going to do video chat as soon as they announced it with a front-facing camera. The thing that Apple always gets right (and RIM always seems to get wrong) is how to present that in a simple, universal way that would be meaningful to consumers.

    People call Steve Jobs a “gangster”, but his company is also walking the walk. RIM, in my opinion, has been more arrogant than Apple because they repeatedly assume that they can give consumers as little information as possible and people will grab up their phones and tablets because BB is the “important device for important people”. That made sense in 2006, but now that everybody and their 14-year old has an iPhone (or iPad), maybe RIM should try selling products to “less important people” too, instead of just expecting them to show up.