Self serving interest on this post. BUT!! Something that I have wanted for a long time. A better way to do video calling. See my post from this past summer. About a month ago we met with a company called Vidtel that is taking a new approach to building out a consumer video calling service – I am now very happy to state that we are working with Vidtel. Happy because it is both an interesting story and this is something that I have wanted.
With family back on the east coast and two small children, video calling is an excellent way to stay connected. iChat is great and Skype is fine but other family members back east don’t have a Mac and using Skype just isn’t convenient. I find that we would have to try to schedule times to connect via Skype or iChat.
Vidtel changes that. It is a lot easier to just pick up the phone and call, if they are there – great. If not, leave a VM as usual. That’s convenience.
Vidtel isn’t just about video conferencing. It is a regular phone too – and the service is cheaper than most local/long distance services. And because the phone is connected to the Internet there are features like RSS news feeds and other net applications that will be available. Vidtel is working to build the first consumer video conferencing service – and to do this they know it needs to interoperate with other video chat services like Skype and iChat. After all what good would a phone be if you could only call people that have the same service provider. The same holds for video calling.
My mom has a Vidtel and it has been a lot easier to do video calls so she can talk with my son and the other day she was able to watch my 11 month old slither around (her version of crawling). We won’t be going back east for the holidays but at least we will be able to “see” everyone on Christmas morning.
Posted by Rick Loughery