Since sometimes reading “lol” doesn’t deliver the same punch as actually hearing your friend laugh at your jokes, you can now use voice and video capabilities in your Gmail chat. From within Gmail, you can have an actual conversation with someone (seriously, out loud), or even chat face to face over video.

See and hear family and friends right inside GmailGMail Voice Chat

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

* Download the Gmail voice and video chat plug-in, quit all open browser windows, and install the plug-in.
* Sign in to Gmail.
* In the Chat section of your Gmail, select the contact you want to call. If they have a camera icon next to their name, you can make a voice or video call to them; just click Video & more.

If your friend doesn’t have a camera next to their name in your chat list, you can invite them to download the Gmail voice and video chat plug-in from the Video & more menu in a chat window. Even if your friend doesn’t have a video camera, you can still make a voice call or a 1-way video call.

Techinicalities
Gmail voice and video chat incorporates Vidyo technology.

Why VidyoTechnology ?
Vidyo’s unique intellectual property leverages the recently approved H.264/SVC standard to create VidyoTechnology—an SDK that concurrently delivers a coded representation of source video signals at a variety of temporal, spatial, and quality resolutions embedded in a single bit-stream. The different bit-stream components and the VidyoRouter allow the system to dynamically adapt to varying network conditions such as packet loss, jitter, network bandwidth, network delay, and the like. Similarly, the use of multiple bit-stream components permits the flexibility to adapt to changing processing power at the video source as well as at the receiving endpoints.