Video calling has gotten to be very easy and convenient. Chris O’Brien, in a Mercury News article, tells us about his mother’s adoption of Skype for video calls. I have a similar arrangement, whereby we ring up my East Coast based parents for weekly Skype video calls (we’re on the West Coast). It’s great to not only hear from family on a regular basis, but to see them as well – smiles, body language, their latest purchase, the kid’s latest art project, etc. When our parents’ generation can configure and activate a service (like Skype), then it becomes prime time for widescale adoption.
And, technology is going to make it easier and easier. I see desktop and laptop manufacturers bundling webcams and associated software, so that video calling is ready to go upon initial power-on of a new computer. When I purchased an Acer Aspire One netbook this month, I noticed (only when opening the box) that it includes a built-in webcam.
With SightSpeed now part of Logitech, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Logitech-powered bundle of video calling capabilities included in some makes of PCs or laptops. I expect to see increased use of video calling in 2009, primarily at a consumer level. It will be interesting to see if video calling emerges in the corporate space and whether it becomes useful (or popular) in venues like B-to-B virtual tradeshows.
Gotta go now – the parents are ringing me on Skype.