Video Calling - Ready for Prime Time - But is Verizon?

One more quick entry for today. SightSpeed CEO/fellow blogger Peter Csathy has brought this story to my attention. It may not be news to many of you, but it's still worth noting. Peter cites a WSJ story about a new service launched yesterday from AT&T called VideoShare. While not the first to do this, it's a huge validation for person-to-person mobile video calling, and as Peter notes on his blog, it opens up huge opportunities for creative applications.

Peter and his company, SightSpeed, are major advocates of video, and this is great news for companies like his. Video calling has always been slow to take root for all kinds of reasons, but people seem to be far less inhibited on their cell phones, and in some ways, video is really a natural extension of a voice call for mobile users. As Peter suggests, it won't take long for businesses come up with all kinds of applications that will totally make sense. An example he cites is for real estate agents, who can show their clients listings in real time when they're somewhere else. Couldn't agree more!

Peter also brings up the inevitable iPhone question. They won't be supporting video calling in the initial launch, but if uptake is slower than expected - and there are all kinds of reasons for this to happen - you can bet that would change. Video calling will sure have a cool factor for a large segment of the market, and it could turn out to be a great value-add to compete against Verizon, who will be doing whatever they can to retain subscribers lured by the allure of the iPhone. I suspect we'll find out how cool video calling will be when the iPhone era officially kicks off.

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