It’s incredible but true: For two years I knew nobody but myself who was using 3G Video Telephony in a real network. But yesterday, I finally saw the first 3G video call "in the wild" between three persons unknown to me.
It was interesting to watch the person casually holding the phone while wandering through the supermarket, joking with the person on the other side, showing him some stuff he discovered and showing his girlfriend who was with him what was going on at the other side. It was good to see the practicality of the whole setup. They didn’t use a headset but used the hands-free mode of their Sony Ericsson V800. The audio quality must have been o.k. since they had no problem communicating.
I am more convinced than ever now that once 3G phones become more widespread and a critical mass is reached mobile video telephony will become a mass market application. 3G coverage is now widely in place in most countries in Europe and video telephony has a major advantage over many other advanced services: It is as easy to use as voice telephony!
24 Aug. 2006 – Update: While in Verona the other day, I’ve seen another peroson engaged in a video call. Once again no headset was used. The person, a man in his best years was hardly in the age group that is known to try out freaky new things. So it looks like video telephony is slowly entering the mass market of the ‘non geeks’, too.