Tokbox – A great free tool for video conferencing and video email

May 30, 2009 by  

Whether you are collaborating with team members across distance or want to stay in touch with family and friends there are times when a phone call or an email just isn’t enough.  You long for face time.  Traveling or bringing everyone together isn’t always an option – so why not consider using video?

Recently I was traveling to Boston for a week to meet with some clients.  The hardest part of the trip was being away from my wife and 2 year old son Spencer.  We decided to make things more bearable we would have a video chat at least once a day using Skype. I also decided to send them frequent video emails using a great service called Tokbox.

Tokbox is a free service that allows you to send up to 10 minute video emails and have video conferencing with up to 20 people.  Both of these are very impressive as most other video email programs allow for only a minute or two and most video chat programs only support one-to-one conversations.

To see a sample of Tokbox in action view this short video I recorded using their service:


TokBox – Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

I haven’t tried their video conferencing services much as I currently use Skype for real time video chats but I will be testing it further in the coming weeks –  especially the multi-person video conferencing. I’ll follow up with another blog post to let you know my thoughts and share some of the other video conferencing services I have found.

I used to use Eyejot for video email and while I found the service to be good – it limits you to a recording of only 60 seconds unless you upgrade to one of their paid options.  Tokbox on the other hand blows that away with their 10 minute limit. This past week Spencer and I have been sending lots of video emails to family and friends that haven’t seen him in a while (he has even been strumming on my ukulele and singing some songs – needless to say everyone is amazed!)

Sending video email to family and friends is fun and a great way to keep in touch but video email can always be used as a serious business tool.  Video email among virtual team members is a great way to improve informal communication, boost team cohesiveness, and add a greater level of presence to conversations.  As a manager of a virtual team you could send out a video email to email to everyone on your team once a week letting them know about upcoming project deadlines or celebrating milestones reached.  Imagine how much more powerful a virtual pat on the back to a team member would be if you did it via video email and shared it with the whole team? The possiblities are endless and limited only by your creativity.

Want to know more about the service?  Read 10 Reasons to use Tokbox for Video Mail from their own blog.

Another great feature of Toxbox is they allow you to create a video recorder box to include on your website.  This allows people leave you a video message without having to have a Tokbox account.  We decided to give this a try so we are including a Video Recorder box below – if you have a webcam and a mic leave us a message using the box below and let us know what you think of the blog and if there is anything you’d like to see us cover here on The Anywhere Office.

UPDATE (12/3/10): Unfortunately since writing this post Tokbox has done away with the video email feature.  You can now only use this to leave a video message for another Tokbox user that isn’t available when you try to call them.  I was pretty bummed about this as I thought this was a great feature – but they are focusing more on live video conferencing now. I am exploring other services to use for video email and will write another post reviewing them soon.

No video camera? Leave us a comment below and let us know if you’ve used video email and how you think it can improve your virtual teams.

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  • Many thanks for checking out our video mail service. Please do let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

  • Many thanks for checking out our video mail service. Please do let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

  • Many thanks for checking out our video mail service. Please do let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

  • Many thanks for checking out our video mail service. Please do let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

  • J.S.

    Does this program also allow you to send video that you’ve previously recorded with your camera?

  • J.S.

    Does this program also allow you to send video that you’ve previously recorded with your camera?

    • J.S. – No Tokbox currently only allows you to send video you record on their site. Eyejot (http://www.eyejot.com) does allow you to send video you previously recorded but I believe only with one of their paid accounts.

    • J.S. – No Tokbox currently only allows you to send video you record on their site. Eyejot (http://www.eyejot.com) does allow you to send video you previously recorded but I believe only with one of their paid accounts.

  • J.S.

    Does this program also allow you to send video that you’ve previously recorded with your camera?

  • J.S.

    Does this program also allow you to send video that you’ve previously recorded with your camera?

    • J.S. – No Tokbox currently only allows you to send video you record on their site. Eyejot (http://www.eyejot.com) does allow you to send video you previously recorded but I believe only with one of their paid accounts.

  • Hey there! I’ve been hearing a lot of video conferencing these days on television like the advertisements of CISCO. It feels really great that people are moving forward in technology.

    • Yes video is certainly taking the internet by storm. Now that the bandwidth and speed is more accessible and pervasive I truly believe that video conferencing will help create the “tipping point” to help many organization finally embrace virtual teamwork and telework. There are a plethora of programs available now that allow team members and employees to have richer communication and replace some of the face-time they miss so much with working remotely.

    • Yes video is certainly taking the internet by storm. Now that the bandwidth and speed is more accessible and pervasive I truly believe that video conferencing will help create the “tipping point” to help many organization finally embrace virtual teamwork and telework. There are a plethora of programs available now that allow team members and employees to have richer communication and replace some of the face-time they miss so much with working remotely.

      • I’m pretty excited about the possibilities that video conferencing and other collaboration tools present. I hope you’re right about the ‘tipping point’, I’d like to see more of a universal move towards telework. It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure. The potentialities are endless.

      • I’m pretty excited about the possibilities that video conferencing and other collaboration tools present. I hope you’re right about the ‘tipping point’, I’d like to see more of a universal move towards telework. It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure. The potentialities are endless.

      • I’m pretty excited about the possibilities that video conferencing and other collaboration tools present. I hope you’re right about the ‘tipping point’, I’d like to see more of a universal move towards telework. It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure. The potentialities are endless.

    • Yes video is certainly taking the internet by storm. Now that the bandwidth and speed is more accessible and pervasive I truly believe that video conferencing will help create the “tipping point” to help many organization finally embrace virtual teamwork and telework. There are a plethora of programs available now that allow team members and employees to have richer communication and replace some of the face-time they miss so much with working remotely.

  • Hey there! I’ve been hearing a lot of video conferencing these days on television like the advertisements of CISCO. It feels really great that people are moving forward in technology.

  • Hey there! I’ve been hearing a lot of video conferencing these days on television like the advertisements of CISCO. It feels really great that people are moving forward in technology.

    • Yes video is certainly taking the internet by storm. Now that the bandwidth and speed is more accessible and pervasive I truly believe that video conferencing will help create the “tipping point” to help many organization finally embrace virtual teamwork and telework. There are a plethora of programs available now that allow team members and employees to have richer communication and replace some of the face-time they miss so much with working remotely.

      • I’m pretty excited about the possibilities that video conferencing and other collaboration tools present. I hope you’re right about the ‘tipping point’, I’d like to see more of a universal move towards telework. It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure. The potentialities are endless.

  • Hey Phil

    I set up the Tokbox on my computer. (laptop with basic cam and mic) Thanks for including it in your blog post.

    Smiles :o)

    Gary

    • Hi Gary – so glad you are enjoying Tokbox and thanks for being a long time reader of The Anywhere Office. I was delighted to get your video message and will be sending you a reply!

  • Hey Phil

    I set up the Tokbox on my computer. (laptop with basic cam and mic) Thanks for including it in your blog post.

    Smiles :o)

    Gary

    • Hi Gary – so glad you are enjoying Tokbox and thanks for being a long time reader of The Anywhere Office. I was delighted to get your video message and will be sending you a reply!

  • Thanks for sending me your other feedback as well:)

    “It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure.”

    Hi Kevin,

    I personally agree. I wish that more employers would consider the other factors when deciding to let someone work remotely.

  • Thanks for sending me your other feedback as well:)

    “It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure.”

    Hi Kevin,

    I personally agree. I wish that more employers would consider the other factors when deciding to let someone work remotely.

  • Thanks for sending me your other feedback as well:)

    “It can save employers money on such things as office space and infrastructure, allowing businesses to be more competitive. Employees can save on commuting expenses including gasoline which would, in turn, help reduce green house gas emissions and help reduce our oil dependency. It can also give small businesses and the self-employed a competitive edge through cost-effective and easy to use infrastructure.”

    Hi Kevin,

    I personally agree. I wish that more employers would consider the other factors when deciding to let someone work remotely.

  • I have just come across your blog and have truly found it very interesting and this video was very informative I currently go around collecting as much info on certain topics to grow my business and I hope to visit here again.

    Regards
    Cathy

  • I have just come across your blog and have truly found it very interesting and this video was very informative I currently go around collecting as much info on certain topics to grow my business and I hope to visit here again.

    Regards
    Cathy

  • I have just come across your blog and have truly found it very interesting and this video was very informative I currently go around collecting as much info on certain topics to grow my business and I hope to visit here again.

    Regards
    Cathy

  • Interesting video, will have to visit again, this is one way of collecting information and enlightening ones self.

  • Interesting video, will have to visit again, this is one way of collecting information and enlightening ones self.

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  • Conference software is the latest in global communication. The costs to any company can be cut dramatically in using this kind of tool. I use conferencing software and it has changed the way I do business online. I highly recommend this as a major step forward with any business, large or small.

    • Yes I agree lots of money can be saved using video conferencing not to mention increased productivity.

  • Conferencing Software is huge. I have been trying out different packages for a while now but have just recently seen a huge move forwards in the market place. Anybody unsure if they need conferencing software or not just give it a go, its great stuff.

  • XOP Networks Video Conferencing Application leverages all that to provide a cost effective solution for virtual meetings.
    This further helps businesses reduce their travel costs and operate more efficiently.Video Conferencing

  • We’re already use TokBox and glad to theirs team

    Check our web-app for ultimate conferences and webinars at veliov.com