Video for phone calls may be here but not the way the we might have expected it would be. Certainly not the way I thought it would when I was a kid.
So I thought when I was younger that one day we would have phones that had video in them of the person you were calling. As in home phone that is. I know this feature is available on some mobile phones but it costs a bomb and I would not say that it is widely available and it is price restrictive.
Skype on the other-hand is available, functional and free. The power of Skype was made very clear to me a wile ago when I got a web-cam and a close friend of mine got one as well. We could talk and see each other and it was second best to being there. It is that feeling that, if I can’t be there then this is great and I am feeling like we are hanging out; that is the difference.
With Skype now supporting Mac on the video front I have had a few more of these “being there” experiences. My brother recently converted to Mac only, yup every machine that he owns is a Mac. He was bummed that video was not supported in the Mac, but a week or so ago it happened. Skype for Mac now does video and James and I were able to chat and talk and see each other for the first time. The cool thing in this instance was the fact that we had our kids with us and we were able to interact and have fun, the kids loved it. I think they found it a little strange as well though. This is something that I cherish, my brother’s family is the other end of Australia near Sydney. So Skype gives us something that we would not otherwise have.
Yet another experience that I had recently was that of the Trans-Continental variety. And we took a screen shot to boot. Good mate and podcaster Knightwise from The Knightcast Podcast (from Belgium) and I were chatting on Skype and we fired up the video. He has a Mac as well so this is new to Kinghtwise as well. But the thing that made it absolutely hilarious was the fact that I was talking to Knightwise, using the video and he was cooking potatoes. Don’t know what is was it was just funny. It gave that being there experience and the fact that it has all the ambient sounds of him making his dinner. It seemed a normal thing to do. Talk to The Rooster and make dinner. Not something I thought I would ever do when I was a kid.
The most amazing thing is that all this is free. I can chat for hours to anyone that has Skype for free. Admitedly; a broadband connection is required, but taking something that I would have anyway and using it in this way has blown my mind. That is to say nothing of the fact that this is a free service! Sure phoning me from a land line to Skype costs money, but it is very, very competitive at the cost of a local call in Australia or to call out from Skype is cheaper still at 0.027 cents per minute (no the zero is not a mistake). I am slowly dumping my home phone. I have been saying and will continue to say that the telecommunications companies have a lot to worry about. This is further demonstration of the fact that in the end they will either have to evolve or die.
My home phone just can not give me the experience that the Internet and Skype can. I ask what they are doing about it?
So the ride to where we are now is not what I expected it to be nor have we arrived to where I thought we would end up (since when is that the case anyway). But I am excited about being a part of it and will continue to integrate technology into my life. It is finally becoming something that is impacting my life. Although I still hate computers.
If you want to call me on Skype just call 07 3102 3535, try it out. Or better yet download Skype and call me for free!