Mobile Video Calling Is A Fad – Bust Before It Begins

2001 A Space OdysseyiPhone 4, video calls, WiFi, 3G, 4G… Video calls on the move? Screw it! It’s a bust and if you hadn’t been dazzled by the technospeak you’d engage your brain and move on to something worth focusing on.

Answer me these questions honestly and you’ll understand why it will be nothing more than a fad:

  • Which do you do more – text or call?
  • Why do you text rather than call?
  • When was the last time you made a call?
  • How long did it last and why did it end?
  • How was the call quality?
  • How often do your calls drop?
  • When was the last time you went outside because it was too loud to hear?
  • Do you use Skype to call other people?
  • How often do you actually turn the webcam on?

Also, video is damn intrusive. It requires more attention than listening to audio and in the case of video phone calls, unless you want to appear to be a complete ass and not look at the video, you can forget about multi-tasking while on the call. It’s more than a little difficult to take notes, type that email, hold that ice cream, pour that drink or change that child while holding a cellphone out in front of you so you can see the screen and they can see you.

Will you really feel like having to get dressed or cleaning your living room just in case  the phone rings?

People who cheat in relationships, no more pretending there is no-one in the house with you. She (or he) will just ask you to turn on the camera and pan it around…

Still think video conferencing on cell phones is the way to go?

3 thoughts on “Mobile Video Calling Is A Fad – Bust Before It Begins

  1. I’d say it is more niche than fad. There are those (like me) that use Skype when away from home to speak to people at home, there are business people that will use it for “face time” on conference calls, etc. Is everybody going to use it? No, probably not. You are right in that regard. But it will have some very specific use cases (like phones w/o cameras) that some people will use it for. The barrier for entry with Skype was too much for some people, this will lower the bar a little. Like 3-D movies (and 3-D TV) will it be “the next thing”? For some… just not for everybody.

    (And as a side note for the “cheaters” the technology to pan and scan a room “live” is available right now thanks to Qik, Ustream and others.)

    But that doesn’t mean the front facing cameras are all bad, with a front facing camera, think how much easier it will be for teens to use to take pics of themselves where they can see a representation of their vain selves on the screen rather than having to keep flipping it over to see if they got themselves on the screen.


    1. JayMonster all this has been around before. Nokia phones have had this functionality for ages – it hasn’t taken off. It was huge in South Africa about 4 or 5 years ago (their networks are ahead of the US) and it died off rapidly and that was without additional data charges or anything like that.

      People are very much talking about this being a game changer now because it is Apple. Apple is the only “new thing” in the equation but I doubt even Apple will be enough to make it mainstream especially in light of data charges and the frankly crap networks in the US.

      Like yourself I’m a heavy Skype user, have been for years and can see the practicality of it (and use it as such) from a business point of view – when it is stand alone. If a business call is face to face it’s likely you’ll need to take notes – not something you can do on the iPhone…

      I believe it will be a fad, be big for a short while and then fade out. Even within a niche, I can’t see much practicality behind it. But maybe that’s just me.


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