Computer based webcams have been around for many years, but you need to have a desktop computer or laptop to use them, and usually there is software that requires installation and some setup. The Biscotti is simply a webcam for your HD TV and uses your home or office WiFi to connect either to other Biscottis or any computer, iPhone, iPad or Android device that supports Google voice and video chat via any number of free apps such as Google Talk or Vtok.
Set up is a snap. You just mount the Biscotti, which really does look like a cookie, except that it's shiny black plastic, onto the top of your TV with some sticky pads. Plug in the power and then connect a standard HDMI cable (included) from your TV to the HDMI OUT port on the Biscotti. You can install a second HDMI cable (not included) between the HDMI OUT on your cable or satellite box and the HDMI IN port on the Biscotti. This will allow you to use the Biscotti to video chat while watching TV.
Once the hard wiring is done, you'll be using the supplied remote to connect to your WiFi network and to invite your Google or Biscotti friends to be part of your network. This will take some time, since you have to methodically peck out the letters on the screen with the remote. The Biscotti is designed for a high-speed internet connection and you may have to move your wireless router around to get a strong signal to the Biscotti. You also have to set up a Biscotti account to access the TV Cam on the web. This is a way to monitor your webcam when you're away from home.
Once setup is complete, you can take a picture of yourself for your Biscotti ID, adjust the picture and you're ready to go. Some compatible TVs will automatically turn on when a call comes in.
At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, the company introduced the $299 Biscotti XS - The new XS features hardware and software enhancements including high-performance Wi-Fi, ethernet connectivity, a much-needed keyboard remote control, and a universal mount, along with some cloud-based services.
If you have family and friends who aren't computer savvy, or just want to enjoy a large-screen video chat experience, the $199 Biscotti is a great choice.