As much as it was expected, it is still incredibly exciting to watch the announcement of the new iPhone 4, especially as it brings two incredibly important milestones for video – video calling and HD video recording on the iPhone.
The question remains will the ability to do face-to-face video calling on the iPhone make it mainstream?
The answer I think lies in what consumers point to the greatest barriers of video calling becoming as truly mainstream as a phone call – those barriers being quality, ease of use, ubiquity or accessibility.
To date, image quality of video calling has been unreliable, many mainstream consumers find most free services too complex to use, and probably the greatest barrier is that video calling has been mainly accessed via PC to PC communications, or on the business side, costly meeting room to meeting room implementations.
Our vision is that video calling will indeed become as mainstream and seamless as a phone call and to get it there, we will deliver on the promise of bringing HD video to anyone – consumers and businesses – anywhere, on any screen.
In April, I announced that we’ll bring HD video calling to the PC, and told Peter Burrows at BusinessWeek we will introduce a mobile version of Vid by the end of the year. Then last month at Google I/O, we announced that we’ll be bringing HD video calling to the TV this fall.
We applaud Apple on the news today as this is a critical step in video communications. We are also excited about the interoperability potential of Apple’s Facetime app since it is based on open standards (SIP and H264). SightSpeed – the network that powers Logitech Vid – is also SIP based. We firmly believe in supporting open ecosystems that enable interoperability, as this is the only way video communications can become truly ubiquitous in both the consumer and enterprise markets.
It seems that 2010 is turning out to be the most important year for video calling… by knocking down key barriers – not only will Logitech make HD video calling a reality, but we’ll soon enable seamless video communication between the PC, TV, and smartphone.