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No, People Still Don't Care About Video Phones

from the get-over-it dept

What’s with the obsession with trying to sell people video phones? And the media’s obsession with writing about them? With respect to Mike’s comments about absolute statements, it’s hard to think of a single example of any of the highly touted attempts to make money from video calling that have actually worked. But, for some reason, every so often, a reporter trots out a story that makes out the failure of video calling to be a surprise, since what could possibly be better than seeing somebody while you talk to them? Judging by the public reaction to video calling devices and services, quite a lot. It’s not the cost of the equipment or services that keeps video calling from succeeding; it’s just that nobody cares. Video calling may have some novelty value at first, but it quickly wears off, and it’s not apparent exactly why people should be interested. “It’s like a phone call, but with pictures” is a marketing message that’s pretty clearly failed, time and time again.

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Comments on “No, People Still Don't Care About Video Phones”

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Kat o Nine Tales (user link) says:

Re: computers

Topgun has it. My friends who’ve PCSed to South Korea are using Lingo phones so they have a line back here… but now they only use them to talk to those family members who don’t use the internet much. The rest of us got webcams with built-in mics –and I’ve found that though the VoIP phones don’t carry a noticeable delay, if I have an open phone line and an open conference channel (we were trying to set up the cams at the time), the voice comes over the computer speakers slightly before it comes through the phone line (with them on VoIP and me on a cell phone).

Stephen Tillman says:

No Subject Given

I can only see three applications to which these vid-phones may apply:
1) the situation of a grandparent being able to see, and say hi to, a grandchild who lives hundres of miles away… and do so in “real time”;
2)Business conferences… but then again, those work just as well with voice-only systems;
3)something for soldiers over-seas to be able to see and be seen by loved ones in (again) “real time”.
Sounds like a whole lot ‘o niche marketing to me. Then again, would any “Vid-Phone Cafe” work? Would there be enough demand for the service to justify opening a store for people to come in and use these things? How about a mobile service? “We’ll bring the phones in and let you use them”. What about the other side of the call? Do they have a vid-phone to see your call?
Nah… I think until we get to the point of Star-Trek-like display screens and true real-time communications, there’s just not going to be any demand for these.

stizz says:

I want one

My Moto V551 has a measly 5 MB’s of storage. I did not realize this when I bought the phone even though the fact that it played 3gp files was a major factor in the purchase.
I want a phone that plays and records video. Especially now that I can buy TV shows from apple.
I can find plenty of video clipage on the web too. http://www.onegoodmove.org anb http://www.crooksandliars.com always have great video clips that I can easily convert with quicktime pro and then dump them on my phone. I can even locate older television shows (like old sesame street for my kid) via IRC through http://www.dejatoons.net
When my toddler starts melting down, I hand him my phone and seconds later hes chill watching Cookie Monster eat the letter of the day.
If I can find a model of phone that has decent sized screen and swappable memeory with ipod style mp3 and mpeg-4 playback, I would buy it in a hot second. I do not think I am alone on this.

dan says:

No Subject Given

I took an embedded systems design graduate class at my university last spring and our project was to design a cellular phone that would be able to be used to transmit/recieve video for video conferencing (not the actual production design, but the spec-ing of the components and some low level design work).

The whole time, all I could think was who the heck wants a video cell phone? Apparently, nobody does.

Oh, well got an A anyways.

KerryG (user link) says:

Re: For the love of video

Just like most UberGeeks, with my stunning good looks, winning smile, and perfect hair, of course I want people to see me right when I wake up or after a long day at work. I get enough “face time” with clients, I don’t need anymore. More often, I am trying to move clients away from calling me and using IM or email instead so I don’t need some cooked up reason to go back to real time conversations for 99% of my communications.

The Other Mike says:

No Subject Given

As has been mentioned – give me a stable and consistent real time every time video connection and i will give you my dollars. people aren’t interested in half develped systems, not that they aren’t interested period. I would prefer video phones to voice only phones, but not the ones with 2 second video lag or the choppy webcam slideshow, and not the ones that only work with one in 20 phone calls on a sunny day in a major city with no solar flares on a chinese holiday with NASA computers doing the work.

shnot (user link) says:

cell phone porn

Hahaha, what’s the obsession? $$$

I don’t need a phone that can record video…that’s why I bought a handycam. I’ve seen the video that you get from phones, it’s decent if you’re just recording your friend pulling somoenes pants down, but beyond that…i’ll stick with my handycam.

besides the bleh quality, it’s a bit more difficult for someone to steal videos of me getting a bj from my handycam than it would be to take said videos from a cell phone. no thanks.

Stephen Tillman says:

Re: No Subject Given

Multi-purpose phones:
A bit off-topic, but oh well. The purpose of MP Phones (or, Smart Phones, as I’ve heard them called) was to combine a phone and a PDA. One less thing for us business geeks to carry around. I swear, all I need is a bottle of Bat Shark-Repellant and my utility belt will be ready for crimefighting, what with all the things I keep strapped to me.

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