Google continues to integrate their system in an ever-tightening web of connectivity with video chat for Gmail. This video chat comes in the form of Hangouts, the same system that's currently working in their social network Google+. You'll be able to use this chat system without signing up for a Google+ account, but Google is encouraging you to do so anyway, of course, for "even more" special features than you'd get without such an account.
This upgrade will be rolling out starting today and will be coming across the world in the coming weeks. Hangouts allows users to work with high reliability and "enhanced" quality over anything Google has used before for video chat. Because this new system is not just peer-to-peer, you'll no longer have to worry about cut-outs and chopped-up video. This system also works not only with people on Gmail, but with people in Google+ in their browser or using their Android or iOS device as well.
Some of the features you'll get if you grab a Google+ account as well are the ability to watch a YouTube video or chat with up to 9 people at once. You can collaborate on Google documents, you can dress yourself up like a pirate with enhanced facial-recognition technology, and one whole heck of a lot more! This system is made for simple video chat for Gmail and an enhanced experience for Google+ - in essence, it's a hook.
And a hook is what you'll get in the demonstration video above as well. At the end there's a bit of some pirate action while the fine folks at Google explain your many abilities once you're fully hooked up. This video chat system will appear on the left of your screen right next to where you'd otherwise be chatting with your contacts online. The video symbol will launch you into a window where you can invite additional guests and chat the day and night away. Let us know if you've gotten the upgrade already!
[via Gmail Blog]