This afternoon I came across this article by reporter Chris O’Brien in today’s San Jose Mercury News: “Video Chat has entered the mainstream“. It appears that the worlds of Oprah viewers and Silicon Valley geeks and reporters have more than six degrees of separation. The story starts out by talking about an email he received from his mother:
Seemingly out of nowhere, this note from her landed in my inbox: “Have you heard of Skype? Apparently you can use it to do free video calls on the computer.”
My mother, who lives just outside Kansas City, tends to be a reliable barometer for when a technology is gaining adoption outside the hermetically sealed bubble that is Silicon Valley. Well, my mom, and Oprah. As one of only a handful of people on the planet who don’t watch Oprah’s show every day, I had missed the fact that she’s recently begun using Skype to make regular video calls with her audience.
Chris goes on to report on a brief interview with Skype President Josh Silverman whom he quotes with:
And Skype has a new version in beta that will make video calling much more central to the service, according to Skype President Josh Silverman.
…. And in its new release, Skype users will be able to enlarge the video to fill the entire screen without degrading the picture quality.
Well we now know what Chris is giving his mother for Christmas. For his benefit, listed below are previous Skype Journal posts on both Skype High Quality Video and our reporting last March on Oprah’s use of Skype Video.
- Skype Sponsors Oprah’s “A New Earth” Web Event
- Three Big Milestones in Skype’s Fifth Year
- High Quality Video: What’s the Benchmark?
- High Quality Video: Definitely a Winner for Skype
- Expanding the High Quality Video Experience and Observations
- To Be Restored: Camera Flexibility for Video Hackers
- Installing a Logitech High Quality Video Camera: The Experience.
Chris, keep up with Skype Journal and you won’t be learning about how Skype is used from your mother.
By the way, how did I know to follow up on Chris’s interview with Skype President Josh Silverman last Wednesday? He set it up via Twitter messages with Skype PR. At the time Twitter was their sole available source of contact information.
A final question: will we be seeing a new version of Skype High Quality Video (or better) introduced at CES in January?
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