June 2, 2011 – SINGAPORE – Skype announced that it is providing silicon vendors with a new standard interface for communication to H.264 encoding cameras. The new Skype UVC 1.4 standard will become the de facto standard for video calling giving silicon vendors the opportunity to develop cameras for Skype applications built on SkypeKit. SkypeKit is a collection of software and APIs that allows any Internet connected device to offer Skype voice and video calls.
In order to make video calling available to more consumers, the new standard interface from Skype will enable a generic solution for real-time communication on consumer electronic devices, making it easier for partners to develop encoding cameras that can deliver high quality video conversations by eliminating the need for additional processing by the computer or television running Skype. Starting today, the Skype UVC 1.4 specification is available as a free download fromhttp://developer.skype.com/accessories/cameras, giving silicon vendors the freedom and flexibility to develop cameras for a wider-range of consumer electronics devices.
“We are focused on making HD video calling available to as many people as possible, on as many devices as possible,” said Jonathan Christensen, Vice President of Emerging Opportunities at Skype. “By offering a single standard to silicon vendors, we believe it will speed up the development of high quality cameras that work with televisions, computers and blu-ray players, which ultimately will provide consumers with more device choice for enjoying their Skype video calling experiences.”
Skype is already working with a number of partners who are leveraging its UVC 1.4 specification standard to implement HD video calling on a variety of consumer electronics. Here is what some of those partners are saying about Skype UVC 1.4.
“At Logitech we’ve focused on bringing HD video communications to consumers anytime, anywhere, and we welcome the opportunity to continue working closely with Skype to bring Skype-enabled HD webcams and TV Cams to people worldwide,” said Joerg Tewes, Vice President and General Manager of Logitech’s Consumer Video Division. “Skype’s move to offer a single interface standard will no doubt improve the proliferation of HD video calling in the living room – making it easier for companies such as Logitech to bring video calling to more screens in more places.”
“Skype has been instrumental in bringing video to the desktop,” said Niels Anderskouv, Vice President, Digital Signal Processing Systems at Texas Instruments. “Together, TI technology with Skype’s standardized encoding interface and products, are helping to connect people everywhere – and in HD. By standardizing the encoding interface, cameras can be interoperable, allowing developers to easily add video to anything.”
“Quanta is one of the leading certified manufacturers to adopt SkypeKit on notebook and TV applications,” proclaimed Benjamin Hong, Vice President of Quanta Computer. “Leveraging Skype’s standard design kit enables Quanta to effectively reduce overall design time and efforts when implementing different hardware platforms and software porting.”
“This new standardized interface for Skype encoding cameras will reduce time-to-market for our customers, while enabling the same camera to work on a wide range of Skype video products,” said Brian Gannon, Executive Director of the Video Processing Product Line at Maxim Integrated Products. “Maxim is a contributing member to this new specification, which we believe strikes the right balance of backward compatibility and more optimized handling of compressed audio and video, yet still allows camera silicon vendors to differentiate themselves. This will result in better HD video cameras that are compatible with more devices.”
"By working together on this initiative, Ambarella and Skype will enable a new generation of smart HD cameras," said Bengt Christensson, Ambarella’s senior director of marketing. “With Ambarella’s video SoCs and SkypeKit, vendors will be able to deliver a superior video experience on a wide range of consumer devices.”
For more information on how to access the encoding camera interface specification document and to learn more about Skype’s Developer Program, go to http://developer.skype.com/public/skypekit
Skype is a communications platform provider whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they’re apart. Skype was founded in 2003 and is based in Luxembourg. Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at www.skype.com.