Skype looks to 3D video calling as it celebrates ten-year anniversary

By on August 29, 2013, 1:30 PM
microsoft, happy birthday, skype, 3d, video calling, 3d video valling

Despite the big marketing push a couple of years back, 3D technologies haven’t really caught on with users. But the team behind Skype believes there’s still a lot of potential in this area, revealing that they have been doing trials in the labs and hope to officially support 3D video calls once the ‘ecosystem of devices’ is ready.

In an interview with BBC, Skype vice president Mark Gillett says they’ve seen a lot of progress on the display front, noting people have access to the technology on both television sets and computer monitors. But it’s another story when it comes to 3D capturing devices. For something like this to work “you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle,” according to Gillett.

There’s a bit of unintended irony to his comments given Skype-parent Microsoft produces perhaps the most widely deployed 3D capturing device out there, known as Kinect. But the fact remains the technology just isn’t quite there to match R2-D2’s three-dimensional video calling expertise.

Aside from technological limitations the format also faces an uphill battle gaining the public's acceptance. After all, 3D pretty much failed to live up to the initial excitement surrounding its arrival on modern TVs, and broadcasters including BBC and ESPN have recently decided to ditch their 3D channels due to poor demand.

The BBC interview also touches the possibility of offering 1080p video calls to other devices apart from the forthcoming Xbox One console, including Sony’s PS4 and mobile devices, as well as advances from the Microsoft takeover and the threat from services like Whatsapp in the mobile communication space.

On a related note, Skype happens to be celebrating its 10th anniversary today, claiming more than 1.4 trillion minutes of voice and video calls under its belt or the equivalent of more than 2.6 million years of conversations. The company has posted an infographic highlighting some of the achievements this past decade brought.




User Comments: 11

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1 person liked this | wastedkill said:

Great more 3D stuff I just don't see whats soo good about 3D besides feeling like my eyes have been looking at a screen for a few years straight then the screen being darker... which is terrible and the fact that 3D is a massive scam.

19 3D films I have watched at cinemas and yet guess what 16 out of those 19 3D films had ZERO 3D element to them except the cwappy 2 different colors added to it.

3D should just disappear entirely its useless and a waste of money and time, 4D/5D is where we should be going towards not this nonsense 3D.

kosac said:

NSA needs data in 3D? thx no Americans

2 people like this | freythman freythman said:

The 3D fad just needs to die, especially when it requires the usage of glasses.

JC713 JC713 said:

This is awesome. The hardware will be expensive though.

1 person liked this | Lurker101 said:

This is awesome. The hardware will be expensive though.

'Awesome' must have a very different meaning in your country

JC713 JC713 said:

'Awesome' must have a very different meaning in your country

It is cool but not practical. I never said I or anyone would use it lol.

Guest said:

Voxon have already implemented 3D 'Holographic' video conferencing and demonstarted the worlds first

3D volumetric capture and display of Princes Leia a few weeks ago at Scince Alive in Adelaide. The demonstration

was implemented using a Voxiebox prototype in conjuntion with an Intel Perceptual Depth Camera. See video below.

[video embed]

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

This is awesome. The hardware will be expensive though.

C'mon JC. You must be the only person who thinks this is awesome. It's just another way for them to empty your pockets. It's totally unnecessary (at least in a lot of peoples opinion). It doesn't take long for any novelty to wear off but it does take a while to recoup that loss. This will probably fade into obscurity like the rest of 3d should. They've been trying to market 3d since the 50's and it's never been successful. No reason to think this will be any different.

tonylukac said:

If I was ceo of microsoft they wouldn't do such a dumb thng.

JC713 JC713 said:

C'mon JC. You must be the only person who thinks this is awesome. It's just another way for them to empty your pockets. It's totally unnecessary (at least in a lot of peoples opinion). It doesn't take long for any novelty to wear off but it does take a while to recoup that loss. This will probably fade into obscurity like the rest of 3d should. They've been trying to market 3d since the 50's and it's never been successful. No reason to think this will be any different.

True. I was under the impression this was a hologram until I read further xD.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Video on Skype never looks so good unless you use HD 720p or higher. 3D for those who want it. I don't just more to worry about. Let's keep it simple and for real!

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