Face Time

Image credit: Josh Atwell

Face Time

[Today I happened to work with several clients that are not local to me. While we’ve met previously and periodic visits occur, it’s not as simple to grab a coffee or take a meeting in person. Instead, we opt for Skype and even Google Wave.

On the topic of online presence we discussed, the things they pick up on ranged from my Twitter account, to my TripIt, to this blog. That got me thinking… yes. Danger ahead…

So… Remember this from two years ago?

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We’re close to seeing every Dick Tracy dream sequence forge ahead into the realm of right now. Why? Simple.

The previously desktop and laptop only scenario is going truly mobile as the latest smart phones include front facing cameras intended for ad-hoc informal video conferences. In fact, the Sprint HTC EVO 4G that I’m giving away is one such device. Also, it’s probably a reasonable bet to assume the next iPhone will have similar if not more refined approaches to ad-hoc informal video conferences using the iChat paradigm. Or perhaps Skype gets a new leg on life… or ownership?

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Of course… this will all be different if the standards aren’t there and we end up with video calls that only work on one network or one handset to one handset. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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Four years ago everything appeared to follow the model of specific and limited handsets with desktop clunkiness but the promise of SIP standards. It was still niche.

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At the same time, I’m hopeful that the giants of video conference (looking at you Cisco) are already making the play for 5 years from now. I’m pleased that Cisco Telepresence has been offered up as a standard. I expect this to mean people get to connect in ways we’ve only just started to experiment with in edge cases and limited settings.

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The boardroom of the future can rapidly become the living room of the future. Of course, once everyone is mobile this boardroom becomes any room and anytime. The realm of new etiquette and new ways of connecting and sharing will result. We are truly living in the future.

And the future could be really, really, cheesey if we are not careful.