by Ben Parr (MASHABLE)
Quick Pitch: Fuze Box provides applications that allow people to communicate, collaborate and conference from any device, anywhere in the world.
Genius Idea: Fuze Box, which presented earlier this week at the DEMO Conference, seeks to innovate on the standard conventions of business collaboration and the virtual meeting, a packed market dominated by players such as WebEx and GoToMeeting.
The product it launched at DEMO, Fuze Meeting, has similar functionality to its larger web conference competitors, but it offers several killer features. Our favorite though has to be the ability to access video meetings via the iPhone (and soon the BlackBerry).
While Fuze Meeting does have a mobile version, it’s primarily browser-based. This means no plug-ins or software installation is necessary. You can share your desktop, chat with other attendees via IM, and share files. However, Fuze Meeting can seamlessly stream HD video and high-res presentations to everyone in the room. You can even annotate these videos through the company’s Fuze Movie product.
Like we said though, the iPhone app is our favorite feature. From your iPhone, you can view screencasts, send IMs, host audio conferences, watch shared HD video, and bridge outside callers into the conference. With businesspeople on the go so often, it only makes sense to have a simple, easy-to-use mobile version.
Do we think Fuze Box and Fuze Meeting have great potential? Yes. Do we know if they will be able to compete in an already tough space? We can’t tell. Startups like Team Apart already have some of thse features in the browser. If Fuze is to survive, it must focus on being the best mobile meeting system around. Fuze Meeting costs $29/month or $279/year to use.