I am a bit surprised that many here seem to consider video telephony rather negatively even in the long run. To me, many of the stated reasons for the "non"-success of video telephony are more like "growing pains" or temporary hurdles, such as the still missing penetration of capable devices, the high price, or the awkwardness of walking on the street while doing a video call. (I just try to imagine how people with a hands-free speaker/earphone set first must have felt).
Fundamentally, I do believe that people want to SEE each other when they talk. Human beings are "multi-media" or "multi-sensory" by nature. Maybe the way we call someone in the future may be different. Probably there will be no "calling" anymore in fact, at least not in the way we are doing it now. Everybody will be "on-line" all the time and we just "knock" on someones' device to have a video chat with them. If they don't want to show their face, they just use "Chara-den", cartoon characters dancing making "faces" on the screen based on the input of the calling party. This (=Chara-den) is available today already, exactly for situations where one side of the phone conversation does not want to show their face.
And yes, I have seen people walking down the streets in Tokyo while talking on the video phone. It did not prevent them much from being mobile.
To me, video telephony is not about "technology versus service". Talking with people while looking at them is something I do all the time in my daily life as a human being, without even thinking about it. If I can do this via my phone comfortably in the future, I sure will.
Just some thoughts,
Received on Tue Oct 26 06:53:08 2004