Thursday, July 26, 2007

AT&T Video Share 

After the wedding of my daughter last Saturday our family dispersed all over the world. The young couple flew on Monday to the Bahamas for honeymoon, the rest of the family on Wednesday to Montreal, and I travelled already on Sunday to Chicago to participate at the IETF#69. The idea is that we all will re-unite in Ottawa, ON on Sunday.

In the Palmer Hilton I get USA Today delivered each morning and today I found an interesting article: "Phones let you reach out and show someone - New AT&T Video Share devices send live video".

My first thought was that AT&T finally invented video telephony, or re-invented it, because video-telephony was demonstrated first by Herbert Eugene Ives in New York 1930, the first commercial service was between Berlin and Leipzig 1936, and then re-invented by AT&T as Picturephone in the early 1960.

But at a second glimpse it is more Push to Video. During a voice conversation you may add a one-way video stream to show the other side where you are - provided you have 3G UMTS/HSPDA coverage (EDGE does not work), and both parties have a special phone (Samsung 717, 727 or a LG CU500).

The bottom line in USA Today:
AT&T Video Share

Requires Video share phone and 3G network access: monthly plans start at $5 for 25 minutes
Pro: Lets you view live video stream over your cell phone while continuing a voice conversation. Simple operation.
Con: One-way video. Video quality is mediocre and sound is poor. Expensive service.

I want to add an additional Con: the problem is still unsolved what you do if you call your wife, and tell her you are still busy in a late meeting and she wants you to turn your video on.

BTW: I have since four years a 3G videophone (both ways), tried it out once and never used it again.


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