With the Microsoft Skype deal happening, Apple Facetime, Google Hangout and an increasing number of video chat programs and protocols spreading like tendrils across the digital world we will see a fragmentation of video chat if there isn’t a unified protocol that all video chat platforms can standardize on.
Let’s face it, the video call is here and has been for a few years, the only thing preventing it from being the standard in conversation is the lack of a unified video chat protocol. Video chats being an expensive solution requiring enterprise quality hardware and software is not a necessity for personal video conversations.
Every Smartphone with a camera can do video chatting at some point but with millions if iPhones not really natively video chatting with Android phones this poses a conundrum. It expands when you figure Xbox 360 with Kinect will likely do video conferencing (over Skype perhaps) and Windows phones and Blackberry still have share in the mobile platform.
I would like to dial any mobile number and get a video chat screen to see and chat over video like the video chat depicted in Demolition Man or other Sci-Fi films. Facetime kind of set the standard, and Google Hangout did the same thing on the PC even more than Skype due to being able to have a half dozen people you know video chatting together without having to pay a dime for software.
The question is which is your favorite video chatting platform and which one would you like to see become the “standardized one”? Honestly, only Google Hangouts has the ability to host so many live video chats at the same time even with Skype having group video chat. Facetime is probably the easiest to use and most people who have iOS devices use it by default. Skype would probably have the most widespread audience and number of users, I think Skype announced there were 30 million active Skype users at any one time as of late which is tremendous!
What do you think of the future of video chatting, would you like to see more calls being video chat calls with your friends, family and business partners?