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The Jetsons life in a 2011 reality – A look at Videoconferencing.

November 12, 2011 1 comment

I remember the Jetsons cartoon.  I still catch myself humming the theme song sometimes when thinking about my Oregon childhood (Meet George Jetson!).  For those of you who are unaware of such a staple of my cartoon diet, or those who want to take a quick jaunt down your own memory lane, enjoy:

Now that you too have the theme song playing over and over in your heads, I’ll get to the point of this post:  We live a (relatively) Jetsons life.

There is an episode I remember as a kid when a neighbor calls the Jetson’s home early in the morning.  Jane (the mom) was still getting ready for the day; her hair in rollers.  In the Jetsons world, when someone called, a television screen came popping down from the ceiling.  People spoke face to face.  You looked at the person calling.

Jane, of course, couldn’t bear to let herself be seen by the neighbor, so she donned a mask of herself before answering the television.  During the conversation, the neighbor sneezed and her own mask flew off of her face.  The conversation ended quickly!

It was all science fiction of course, but to the six-year-old Todd Hamann it was awesome!  To look at the person on the phone.  Wow!

Fast forward 30 (-ish) years to an older Todd Hamann staring down an iPad Touch running facetime.  It was awesome!  To look at the person on the phone. Wow!

“AHAA!”

Do you ever get that “AHAA!” moment when taking a broad look at today’s technology?  The ‘next big thing’ changes too fast sometimes to even become a big thing at all.  Products evolve so fast that consumers become numb to the technological leaps of each phase.

…anyway, I digress.

Tablet computing has Jetson-ized us even more and I think it would be a good time for that “AHAA!” moment again.  A computer measured in millimeters thick, and fractions of  a pound.  We can call our neighbors with these little TVs anytime, from anywhere.  Society calls it video conferencing, but to this grown-up boy it’s still called awesome.

I took a quick google search and found some professional video conferencing services.  I list them at the end of this post.  Video Conferencing is turning into quite an industry.  It’s cleared the $2 Billion annual revenue mark according to Tandberg.com .   Companies are catching on to this evolution in communication.

 

 

List of Popular Video Conferencing services.

http://www.oovoo.com – free video conferencing for up to six people at a time.  $9.95/month gets you up to 12 people at a time.  Currently a free download, but they will soon release a cloud interface.

http://www.skype.com – free one-on-one conferencing.

http://www.webex.com – $19/month

http://www.netmeeting.com – $49.00/month for up to 15 attendees