I don’t know about you, but there were two pieces of technology on the Jetsons that used to make me drool: flying cars and video calls – although now, as an adult, Rosie-the-robot maid sounds pretty good too!
While I don’t have a flying car, maybe I don’t need one since I can have “face-time” almost anytime I want by making a video call from my smartphone or tablet. Thanks to the rise of mobile video chat apps, we have even surpassed the Jetsons’ desktop video calls and can now carry this amazing technology on the go.
Juniper Research forecasts that the number of mobile video callers will hit 130 million by 2016 – mostly thanks to the introduction of mobile video calling services from major companies and improvements in video calling technology.
This seems like a realistic estimate being that Apple devices (with Facetime) and Android devices (with Google Talk) both have mobile video conferencing apps built right into the phones. Skype also has mobile apps for iOS and Android allowing you to video chat with their large existing user base by running Skype on your laptops or desktops. With more 3rd party video chat apps showing up every day in the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace, it’s clear mobile video is on the rise.
Late this season, two friends of mine went to a NY Giants game in New York. While I couldn’t physically go to the game with them, we had a Skype chat from the parking lot and did some virtual pre-game shots together to celebrate. Thanks to portable video chat, I got to appreciate all the sights and sounds of the tailgating faithful! This past holiday season the power of video proved itself yet again. It allowed us to be closer to family and friends who couldn’t physically be together, allowing us to “extend our living room” and share our Christmas morning.
The Jetsons future we dreamt of is here today. With a laptop, smartphone, or tablet – science fiction sounding ‘video calls’ from just a few decades ago are now just a few clicks away, and in your pocket. Now . . . about that housecleaning robot!