By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 29, 2013 11:44 AM EDT
Skype is apparently working on 3D video calling, but it can't release the feature until camera and video technology is ready for it.
Everyone has at least heard of Skype, if not actually used it, and the service is now aiming for greater things, ready to take it to the next level.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Skype's vice president Mark Gillet revealed that his company currently has the potential to support three-dimensional conversations in the future, but "many years" may pass until the technology can actually launch.
"We've done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3D-screens and 3D-capture," he told the BBC. "We've seen a lot of progress in screens and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image. But the capture devices are not yet there."
According to Gillet, a computer system would need multiple cameras attached for 3D video calling to work. All of those cameras would have to be precisely calibrated and the proper angles so they can take suitable images.
Skype's research and development (R&D) teams have reportedly been working on such a system and "know how to make it work," but the devices currently available that can support 3D technology are scarce.
Moreover, the 3D viewing format stirred a great deal of excitement when it became available, but eventually failed to live up to the hype. Even the BBC itself ultimately decided to drop its 3D channels because it saw poor demand from users. The BBC explained that the whole 3D technology was "hassly." ESPN announced that it is closing its 3D cable in the U.S. as well, further confirming that 3D hasn't really taken off.
Skype's adoption of 3D technology might have the potential to reignite consumer interest, but Gillet thinks that video calling will likely not rank very high in the list of 3D applications in the future.
"You'll see much more penetration of 3D on TVs, on computers and ultimately in smartphones, probably, ahead of seeing it for sending a video call."
As exciting as 3D video calling may sound, Gillet just may be right on this one. Consumers would likely prefer seeing movies, videos, games or special effects in 3D rather than just chatting with the 3D image of someone. It's still early to tell, however, so who knows?
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