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Rewriting Life

Online Meeting

SightSpeed’s technology enables delay-free video Web conferences.

Using a webcam to chat in real time over the Internet is often a frustrating experience: there’s nothing like jerky, unsynchronized movements to distract you. But a startup company out of Cornell University called SightSpeed has developed software that enables delay-free conversations over the Internet: you can see lip and eyebrow movements essentially as they happen.

Toby Berger, director of Cornell’s digital signal compression and video encoding lab, started SightSpeed in 2001 to commercialize technology that speeds up the encoding and decoding needed to send and receive video over the Internet. With exclusive licenses from Cornell and more than $1 million in venture capital, mainly from the Roda Group of Berkeley, CA, the company released its software this past winter and has sold it to two corporate customers; Berger says three more deals are in the works.

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