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The Future is Full of Videophones

21 September 2012

If science fiction TV shows and movies are any indication, Skype and FaceTime are the way everything is headed. After a certain point, we’ll use video communication for all our person-to-person calls, emails, and any other form of contact.

It’s the way of the future. Just ask 1992.

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I just don’t see it. Companies keep coming out with videophones (there’s a $300 ASUS model that appeared recently), but I don’t know anyone who’s radically excited about the technology. Most people I know who have FaceTime used it once or twice when they first got the iPhone, then went right back to calling and texting people (mostly texting). So why does the videophone keep popping up on every sci-fi show?

One, it’s good visual style. Having people communicate over voice or text isn’t all that interesting to watch on TV. More than that, though, we as an audience see video calling as a hallmark of the FUTURE, even though the technology’s been commercially available for more than 20 years at this point. It’s a future we’re not necessarily interested in ever reaching… but apparently, we still see it as the future.

Well, that, and the holocommunicator idea in season 5 of Deep Space Nine just sucked.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 September 2012 1307

    If I traveled a lot for work, I can see Facetime being cool to chat with my wife. Skype always worked when I was in another state. But for the average call, I never understood the video phone thing. They put them in at the last job I had and everybody’s first move was to close the lens and aim the camera toward the ceiling, just in case. There was no need for us to look at the person we were speaking to on the other end…although the one project manager who didn’t know he was on camera…watching him rub his temples and rock back and forth as he stressed about things was kind of fun.

    So maybe the future isn’t so bad, after all.

  2. 24 September 2012 1347

    And holocommunicator would be cool if you could interact with it (i.e. On an extended trip and its a way to be with a loved one)

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