I got an invite to check out the new beta software package called ZiiLife. It appears to take on Skype with VoIP taking center stage. In fact the first thing you are greeted with is an option to buy a 3 month beta plan package for $7.95 that includes 360 min of global talk time. This package also includes unlimited 1 to 1 (assuming that video conferencing would be extra) and 1GB of cloud storage. The other option is the free plan in which you can buy credits to call for as low as 2.1 cents per min, unlimited 1 to 1 video calls, and 200 MB of cloud storage.
ZiiMeet is the software package you download to the desktop that resembles any old IM client. Later ZiiMeet will be available for the ZiiEGG- so it seems like Creative is trying to create an entire VoIP handset solution. As of the current state of the ZiiEGG it will be all WiFi, but in theory, looking ahead the Zii platform could be put onto hardware with 3G and 4G data. Perhaps it would make a great WiMAX device on Sprint’s Clearwire network.
Though there is a whole media slash cloud storage element to the whole ZiiLife package called ZiiDisk. The space included allows you to upload your music, movies, photos, and docs. The interesting thing is that there are folder structure is typical to the root directory of an MP3 player like the ZiiEGG with “software” and “sytems” being included folders. By this I would guess that the ZiiEGG will get tied into the ZiiDisk forming a pretty strong device/cloud bond.
Moving on to the ZiiJournal, this is similar to most online photo services like twitter, where you upload photos to you ZiiDisk. You can then view them and comment on them along with other users’ photos.
It’s interesting stuff, but I question how fast Creative can move on this. Many of their products are great, just sometimes too late. ZiiEGG developers are getting restless, unhappy with the slow firmware releases- time will tell, but we will be keeping an eye on the Zii ecosystem for you. In the mean time join us in the Creative Zii forums.