Cingular Sees The Next Big Thing: Video Calling

from the history-repeating dept

Apparently now that Cingular is a part of AT&T, it's been forced to take up an idea that AT&T just can't let go of: video calling. The mobile operator is bragging that it will show off the feature that nobody wants at next week's Consumer Electronics Show. It's calling it "video sharing" this time around, since it's implemented a little differently and uses an IMS platform, but that doesn't change the fact that video calls have never caught on, despite the perennial wild predictions and operators' repeated attempts to launch them in various formats. For some reason, AT&T remains particularly attached to video calls, dating back to the 1960s -- despite its repeated failure to actually get people to buy the machines. Apart from the relatively narrow market of deaf people who seem to like it, no operator has made a success of selling video calling -- and that's not likely to change, no matter what new technological platform comes along that supports it.

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  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:00pm

    mom: now, get working on your video calling!
    son: but mom, do i have to?
    mom: yes, it will make your company grow up strong
    son: everybody says video calling sucks
    mom: well if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?
    son: but i don't want to video call
    mom: don't make me get your dad.
    dad (yelling from other room): YOU HEARD YOUR MOM, GET TO WORK ON VIDEO CALLING.
    son: ok, but I don't have to like it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:10pm

    Price

    They couldnt sell the technology back then because the cost was too high. With our tech today we should be able to adopt it a little easier. However, did you ever stop to think about some of the people you really dont want to see when you talk to them?
    Gives me the chills somethimes.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:11pm

      Re: Price

      On the other hand, you'll be able to tell if that telemarketer or tech support dimwit is really Indian!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TriZz, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: Price

        I think it's mainly an issue of privacy. Especially with cell phones!

        If I'm out with my buddies and my girlfriend calls - I really don't want her to see what "guys night" entails. Or what if I'm cheating...?

        Plus, if you are doing something guilty - how do you explain why you don't want to video chat in that instant?

        ...it's just a complicated matter. And personally - another reason to support bad drivers.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 3:46pm

        Re: Re: Price

        And the tech support person can see if the caller is a a-hole like you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:37pm

    Video calls and you

    this feature will either make those 900#s profit tremendously or be their downfall due to the lack of sexy voices that actually belong to attractive women

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:50pm

    personal agenda

    Funny how the only concerns that have come up are related to cheating, phone sex numbers and racial intolerance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:55pm

    Not useful

    It seems to me, EVEN if the technology was ubiquitous, easy and affordable how many would actually use/want it?

    Does anyone really need to see YOU when you get a call? I think of the Jetsons when Jane would pull a shade down in front of the TV phone because her hair wasn't done.

    Phones are so much a part of how we communicate it isn't always practical for someone to see you, whether you are doing something you shouldn't or not.... besides being (in the past) impractical, this would (to me) be a main reason not to bother.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Not useful

      Just because you have video does not mean that you should use it all the time. I would love to have it so I can show my little children to my parents or my friends can share a nice event or thing they are witnessing.

      Wake up and smell the coffee man. Japan already has this kind of stuff and America is so behind in technology like this, probably because of people like you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MIXLPLIX, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:58pm

    I WANT IT.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 2:59pm

    I've got 25 free video minutes a month.

    Never used.

    They can't give it away!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2007 @ 3:24pm

    Hey - you can already make free video calls on Windows Live Messenger, and it's a blast. When a loved one is far away, it's a godsend.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hoyer, 5 Jan 2007 @ 3:27pm

    Great for families though . . .

    This could be the grandparent's dream though - getting to see the grandchild that lives halfway around the world. Most instances I wouldn't want video on the phone, but having the capability to use it would be great at times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Kimberly, 8 Jan 2007 @ 5:23pm

      Re: Great for families though . . .

      I work with ACN, a company endorsed by Donald Trump, that's been selling video phones for the past year. They are AWESOME! My parents can see their grandbaby all the time for $23.99/month (unlimited calling)!! Contact me if you know anyone that'd be interested in this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dylan Bennett, 5 Jan 2007 @ 3:58pm

    Video calls will never take off

    They'll never take off. How many other things do you usually do while you're on the phone? Four things? Five? Do you doodle? Twirl a pen? Play solitaire? Read web sites? Sit there listening with your eyes closed?

    Who wants the other person to see you doing that? And that's just normal everyday behavior, to say nothing of the nefarious activities mentioned by some of the comments above.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    funbro, 5 Jan 2007 @ 4:16pm

    guess I won't be able to take any calls while I'm on the toilet anymore, unless I want a lawsuit thrown at me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Enrico Suarve, 6 Jan 2007 @ 5:35am

      Re:

      Funbro - Calls on the toilet?

      Way too much information! - I think you need to prioritise?!

      I hope I don't know you but just in case I'll be listening out for bathroom echo on the phone in future! ;0)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sal, 5 Jan 2007 @ 4:39pm

    UMTS video in Europe and Japan

    This Feature has been available in Europe and Japan since 2001 using UMTS with FOMA or with HSDPA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    someone else, 5 Jan 2007 @ 4:57pm

    as a feature...

    i can see this catching on. i don't use or even have a video phone, but i know they're everywhere and people use them. the only difference is that you don't have to save it to your phone and then send it: it's a live feed.

    as a substitute for vocal communication, i seriously doubt it will catch on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JoJo, 6 Jan 2007 @ 9:56am

    In The UK...

    The mobile operator 3 has been offering video calling from mobiles for a few years now. Theres a range of phones with the feature built in (a little camera on your side of the phone) from all the big names, but I have yet to even hear of anyone ever using them. People on the whole dont want video calling. Definitely not in mobiles anyway. I dont want to be walking and holding my phone in front of me just right, so that the person I'm talking to can see me. Its a bad idea, but they just wont let go of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      misanthropic humanist, 7 Jan 2007 @ 1:59pm

      Re: In The UK...

      Sure JoJo, I remember having a video conference in Hyde Park back in 2005 and feeling "Wow! How futuristic! I feel like Buck Rogers or something"

      I've never participated in a single one since.


      It's a sci-fi technology, glamourised by fiction and forever talked up by those who do not realise there is no practical demand for it.

      It has niche utility, for journalists, for remote operatives - say a field engineer inspecting damage and relaying footage back to base in real-time.

      I once saw a man in a supermarket in France pointing his phone at some shelves and shouting "Qu'est il?!" Presumably his wife was on the other end trying to help him choose a product. But because of the lag, by the time she said "That one!" he was pointing at the wrong thing, so it became "non! Non! a droit! ... non a gauche! Hilarious really.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 6 Jan 2007 @ 10:17pm

    My parents use MSN Messengers video conferencing tool every now and then to communicate with their parents and with their grand children and in turn my grandparents use it to talk to their great grand children and they all love it because they only get to see each other about once a year.

    It is even more beneficial for younger children. My parents have visited their grandson maybe 6 occasions in his first 3 years due to distance limitations but at their most recent visit this Christmas he was more than comfortable with his grandparents because he has not only talked to them on the phone but SEEN them while talking to them usually at least once a month.
    Without this wonderful tool he would have probably been shy as all hell for the first 2 days of a 5 day visit.

    Video phones won't be used on a daily basis for casual calls but if they manage to bring this kind of technology to people with great ease of use then I can imagine all sorts of grand parents video chatting with their grand children all the time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Deep Dickingson, 7 Jan 2007 @ 5:43pm

    Stop the Insanity

    quote: "AT&T remains particularly attached to video calls, dating back to the 1960s"

    Hence why the company sucks a big dick. Completely resistant to change and market needs. They have to resort to buying good companies like Cingular (and fucking them up) to fluff their own name. Land lines are becoming a thing of the past. Can someone please explain to me how the fuck one is supposed to talk on a cell phone, while taking video, while WATCHING video??

    Did IQ's drop sharply while I was away? WTF is going on

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Iron Chef, 7 Jan 2007 @ 11:38pm

    It's only going to be one-way. LOL!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nON CHALANT, 21 Apr 2007 @ 10:06pm

    Stop the Insanity by Deep Dickingson

    MIND YOUR MANNERS DEEP,OBVIOUSLY,YOU DONT KEEP UP WITH THE TECHNLOGY,YOU CAN VIDEO CALL,SIMULTANEOUSLY.STOP CURSING,AND SHOW RESPECT,NOT EVERYBODY WANT TO READ YOUR TRASH TALK,WED LIKE TO SEE YOU ON VIDEO CALLING AND WHAT YOU BEEN EATING,WHY YOR MOUTH IS FULL OF TRASH

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    video wannabe, 17 Feb 2008 @ 3:06pm

    video phones / price.

    Get with it...Video phones would be a great hit , except U.S. phone companies don't want to provide the bandwidth. Keep on texting with those arcane keboards and hoping for something better. We are the last ones to get the great tech advances that everyone else already has. Oh and by the way, you can always block the camera,(thumb), if you dont want video.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    video wannabe, 17 Feb 2008 @ 3:09pm

    video phones / price.

    Get with it...Video phones would be a great hit , except U.S. phone companies don't want to provide the bandwidth. Keep on texting with those arcane keboards and hoping for something better. We are the last ones to get the great tech advances that everyone else already has. Oh and by the way, you can always block the camera,(thumb), if you dont want video.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    thgun, 1 Jun 2011 @ 7:50pm

    video calling

    I like the idea of video calling and you people have got the wrong end of the stick. When making a video call there is an option to stop you from showing your face if you are doing something or you don't want anyone to see what you are doing. Also you can choose whether or not you want to video call someone. You make it sound as if they are going to replace conventional calling with video calling. That is not so you will still have the choice to make what calls you like even if it does one day eventually take off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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