Earlier we were able to switch to chatting from gmail, now Google added voice and video support to gmail. Users can now initiate voice and video conversation via browser. I’m not sure if we can initiate video conversation via Gtalk. This feature enables seamless experience of all in one, mail, chat, high quality voice and video. In order to use this feature, users need to download and install the voice and video plugin . As always, these features are developed using open internet standards such as XMPP, RTP and H.264, which means that third-party applications and networks can choose to interoperate with Gmail voice and video chat
Check out the video for more explanation
Looks like Google is finally trying to bring in all its disparate services together in a seamless fashion. With the addition of more features like whiteboarding,conference etc could be a perfect beginning to enter Unified Communication play, which is a strong hold of Microsoft,avaya,cisco to name a few. I’m sure this must be a wakeup call to some of the video chat clients like skype, sightspeed etc.
Here is what Google has to say about the launch:
“Our team is spread between Google offices in the US and Sweden, and video has really changed the way we work. Collaborating across continents and timezones is a fact of life for us, and it sure is easier (and greener) to click "Start video chat" than to get on a plane! And when I do have to visit another Google office, I can use Gmail voice and video chat to check in with my family”