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Posted by Mark Hine at 8:53AM   |  Add a comment

There was a time when futurist thought that everyone, everywhere would own a telephone with a video camera attached. That we would all communicate with one another face to face. It appeared in the 90s and in to the new millennium that this thinking was wrong. In a way, it was. I believe there is an intimacy factor that makes this concept uncomfortable to some. Would you speak with a telemarketer, your bank or a customer service representitive in this manner? Maybe you would like to, to express your ire! But I think the answer is usually, "No. I'm fine with a voice call." Of course, the phone companies have responded in kind. No televideo phones or video phones.

The advent of the Internet, of course, has changed our perceptions slightly. We use Internet video technologies for collaboration. So the expectation of an intimate conversation is replaced by the business at hand. The successes, present and future, of video as a communication tool will most likely be determined the same way other technologies are adopted. Comfort. Convenience. Ubiquity. Each a discrete step in development and adoption.

What we are now accustomed to is video on demand. Recording or producing a video for future use and reference. YouTube and similar services. There is a delineation that we can clearly define between a live conversation and a recorded conversation and the apparent comfort level afforded to each. Video on Demand simply means that the material is available whenever we choose. We can watch the President's inauguration speech at will - in the comfort and convenience of our home or office. The Internet makes this process relatively ubiquitous.

Will video phones replace the telephone? I believe someday they will - but with the option to choose whether you engage in a 'video call' or a 'voice call'. It is clear by the thousands of personally produced, informal videos found on YouTube that we, as a culture, are becoming more comfortable with our visage on camera. In short, our comfort level, and indeed our expectations, are slowly changing which is, in my opinion,  the first step in realizing the next step in intra personal communication.

 

 


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