Multiway video conferencing has been a powerful tool in business and corporate settings for more than a decade. However, this technology has typically depended on relatively expensive dedicated hardware installations.
Google+ Hangouts democratizes this experience making the face-to-face-to-face experience available to consumers around the world, using only commodity webcams, labtops, and even unreliable internet connections. Moreover, Google+ Hangouts is an extensible platform that provides a framework for real-time interaction across a number of modalities.
In this talk we will briefly touch on the technical design of this project, but will focus on some of the unanticipated use cases projects and even businesses that have emerged from the user-community itself.