Video chatting has been around on computers for quite some time, and although it seems common in modern society, it’s not. A very small percentage of computer owners with webcams or built-in laptop cameras actually use video chat. And even out of those who do use video chat, it’s usually one of those “fun things” that lasts a week and goes away, kinda like voice dialing or using a Bluetooth headset.
So one can’t help but wonder as to why people don’t video chat. The technology is there, the infrastructure is there, it’s all easy to use and hassle free – yet it’s still uncommon. Perhaps the reason is because there’s no real purpose to video chat. Sure, you can see each other, but who cares? It’s not like your message is written on your forehead…it’s in your words. And quite frankly you don’t need video to perceive audio.
The developers at the startup 6rounds clearly realized the lack of a functional purpose in the world of video chat. That’s why they created a website, which they describe as a “live meeting point”, for advanced and more exciting live video chatting.
Once you and a friend start a session, seeing and speaking to each other is just the beginning. You can co-browse websites, watch YouTube videos together, online shop together, play games together, go on Facebook together, and more…all while seeing and speaking to each other. It’s incredibly fun, and even more importantly, it’s so convenient. You and your friend don’t need to send emails with URL links back and forth to each other. Just log in, start a session, and look at the page as if you were sitting next to each other. You can also make all sorts of special effects on your screen.
6rounds also has lots of features that allow their members to make new friends. You can press a button and be hooked up to a 1-on-1 chat with a random person that matches some criteria you chose. The entire thing is integrated with Facebook and other social networking sites.
It’s also free, simply go to www.6rounds.com. (after seeing our article, 6rounds gave us 100 invitation codes, just follow url and create an account)
Just watch this video demo:
While the site is popular and the developers have received over a million dollars in funding, 6rounds can become one of those sites that’s familiar to the entire web community. There is a piece of technology that will help this video chat concept achieve such success, and consequently take the video chatting experience in general to the next level. So what is this technology? Just look at the picture below. The 6rounds desktop application needs to be put on the Apple iPhone (or the iPod Touch, which according to the latest rumor should be getting a camera in the next model.)
The iPhone has everything it takes to run software like this (assuming it gets a front facing camera in the future). The recently released iPhone 3GS is video camera equipped. With a little work, the next iPhone…maybe it’ll be the iPhone 4G or the iPhone 3GT…should be able to run an application based on the desktop version of 6rounds.
Just think of the possibilities. In addition to being able to share Facebook, YouTube, websites, and games in the middle panel (like on www.6rounds.com), you and a chat buddy will be able to both tune-in and see whatever is physically in front of one of you. If the iPhone would have two cameras, one front and one back, then while one camera tapes your face, the other camera would tape the scenery in front of you. You and a friend or family member could literally feel like you’re next to each other. Your chat buddy could see the scenery around you, live, as you walk down a street in Venice while vacationing in Italy, all from their iPhone or computer back in the states. No matter what would be in front of you, no matter where you were, you could share the experience. The possibilities are endless.
This is the future of the iPhone, and the future of video chatting. If such video chatting technology gets onto an upcoming iPhone model, they will be responsible for revolutionizing the chatting experience.
And if you’re thinking, “This is very cool and all, but the iPhone will never be able to do such complex things”, then check out the video below. There is a company called Layar that has already created a functional augmented reality application for Google’s Android. Since it exists for Android, there’s no reason for it not to exist for the iPhone. Actually, developers are working on creating similar applications for the Apple iPhone already. With such apps, the iPhone will literally be able to interact, learn, and essentially become a part of your environment. Now if it can do that, it should certainly be able to support video chatting.
The possibilities are endless. Augmented Reality applications can be integrated with mobile video chatting to provide a truly real scenario. Think about it, not only is your phone understanding and enhancing your environment, but it’s sharing it all with your video-chat-buddy via 6rounds. For all we know, Apple may already be working on some of these things for a future iPhone model. After all, Apple has filed a few groundbreaking patents in its day. Actually, they’ve already filed a patent for exactly what we’re talking about here…a front facing camera. Check it out for yourself:
In conclusion, it’s clear that the iPhone is key to the future of the video chatting experience. Why specifically the iPhone, and not some other smart phone? For one, when the video-camera-equipped iPhone 3GS came out, mobile uploads on YouTube went up by over 400%. No other device has had such an impact on society. Together with the iPhone and Augmented Reality applications, the advanced video chatting platform can completely change modern social interaction, and give us a swift kick toward the future. This isn’t a SciFi movie folks, the fantasized, flying-car filled future is near. This should be a part of it.