So far as we know, CU-SeeMe was the first and may still be the only software available FREE for personal computers (Macintosh and Windows) that allows desktop videoconferencing with more than one other site. (CU-SeeMe supports up to 8 "windows" to other "parties" on your own computer screen.
When development of CU-SeeMe began in 1992, the only real-time videoconferencing software for the Internet required expensive hardware which severely limited the number of potential senders and receivers. The philosophy of the Cornell project was to start immediately with available, affordable hardware and deploy it as rapidly as possible. The goal was to stimulate creative thinking and create a wide base of user experience. By opening Internet videoconferences to Macintosh users, the CU-SeeMe team hoped to accelerate the adoption and usefulness of desktop conferencing, including live video. Because CU-SeeMe uses simple but efficient video frame-differencing and compression algorithms, it opens networked videoconferencing capability to users of lower cost desktop computers, and enables broader participation in desktop video technology. During 1993 this grassroots development strategy was realized as interest in CU-SeeMe grew rapidly with training and user support from the New York State Educational Research Network (NYSERNet). NYSERNet spread the word among Internet users by providing one of the first "public" reflectors encouraging users to try the technology and test their connections.
Working with Dick Cogger in the summer or 1992, Tim Dorcey wrote the original version of CU-SeeMe. His overview of the project, CU-SeeMe Desktop Videoconferencing Software was published in CONNEXIONS, March 1995.
Current versions of CU-SeeMe for the Macintosh include audio, thanks to Charlie Kline (University of IIlinois at Urbana Champagne), who developed Maven. A Windows version that includes audio was released in August '95.
The most recent versions of CU-SeeMe for the Macintosh allow for the exchange of text and slides, thanks to development work led by Steve Erde at the Cornell University Medical Center.
This document came from Cornell University's CU-SeeME description page.