Amazon Web Services launches its own video conferencing and communication tool today. Its new product is called Amazon Chime, and will feature VoIP calling, video messaging, and remote virtual meetings.

The company's new project will target businesses and will serve as an alternative to Skype for Business or Google Hangouts, and will also take on LogMeIn's GoToMeeting and Cisco WebEx in the virtual meeting industry space.

Chime can be used in Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices, and unlike its competitors, a PIN number won't be necessary to jump in a call.

Amazon Chime's Pricing Tier

According to an announcement made by Amazon, Chime be available in three pricing tiers. The Basic Edition is free but limited to video calls and chat rooms between two users.

Pricing starts at $2.50 per user for the Plus Edition, which includes the benefits of the Basic Edition, plus screen sharing support for remote meetings and integration with identity management systems through SAML and Active Directory. It also comes with 1 GB for message retention.

The Pro Edition will cost $15 per user, and will have all the features of the Basic and Pro Editions, plus video- and screen-sharing for up to 100 users. Users from the two lower priced packages can join conferences created by Pro users, so that businesses can minimize their costs for using the service.

Currently, Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial of the Chime Pro Edition. At the end of 30 days, a user can maintain the basic features for free, or pay more to receive advanced functionality.

Other Features Of Amazon Chime

One of Chime's interesting features is its ability to detect who among the participants have a background noise that is distracting the call. If the meeting does not have a moderator, any participant can freely mute one of their fellow participants to avoid noise such as a barking dog or the sound of typing.

Participants who get muted this way will be notified and they can choose to unmute themselves if they want to. Users can also call in using a regular phone number if they are not able to access the app.

Amazon Web Services' Venture Into SaaS

AWS is mostly known as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, with its EC2 computing platform and S3 storage services. But with this new launch, the company appears to be heading into more software as a service (SaaS) ventures. More recently, AWS has launched QuickSight, a business intelligence service, and WorkMail, an email and calendar service.

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