Thursday, January 12, 2006

Is Video Conferencing Finally Catching on?

Today's Financial Times reports that Tony Blair has asked George Bush to overturn a decision that cancelled a $2.4 billion contract for Rolls-Royce:

"According to US and UK officials, the request was made in a video conference call between the two leaders, which came just days after Mr Blair sent a letter to Mr Bush outlining his case."

The fascinating thing here is not the jet fighter engine deal, but that two of the world's world leaders are using video conferencing for chatting about such topics. The days of the red telephone may be numbered.

There have been lots of video-conferencing products coming out lately. Probably the most interesting system is Hewlett Packard's Halo, which costs half a million dollars to install per room, but apparently delivers quality that is out of this world. An Economist article hints at the profile of the the average target customer:

"Steve Reinemund, boss of PepsiCo, says that every chief executive to whom he has shown the system has decided to buy it, too."

Meanwhile, in consumerland, Skype now supports video calling, while Apple is putting an iSight video camera into every new Mac model.

Are we all going to be using video conferencing soon? Will you, dear reader, be using this soon? Leave a comment and let me know.


LT said...

i will, as soon as someone gets me an i-chat. and skype supports mac video conferencing.

F said...

I won't, there's no additional use in seeing the person at the other side of the line. And I would have to clean up my room before each of my video phone calls. That's just annoying.

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