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June 28, 2006 at 10:37 AM

Cingular to roll out video/chat service

In a Reuters story today, Cingular’s Chief Technology Officer Kris Rinne said the wireless carrier will roll out a service within the next year that allows you to talk while sharing a video.

I got a first hand of what this might look like when I visited Nokia in Finland, and it’s pretty cool, though it might seem a little unnecessary. The folks at Nokia demonstrated how easily you could take a video while continuing to talk to someone. The perfect example would be filming a grandchild and sending it to a grandparent.

Or, because that’s an unlikely scenario in my family, imagine you are on vacation and want to share a moment with someone back home. You could easily walk through an ancient pyramid and send video and describe what you are seeing.

The story points out that the necessity of such a service is likely to be low, so adoption will based on costs and how easy the service is to use.

The service hasn’t launched before because the phones and the network haven’t had the necessary bandwidth to handle it. Only 3G phones, which are just starting to hit the mainstream, are capable of voice and data at the same time. Although video and talking simultaneously is one possibility, a more likely scenario is that you are talking to someone and want to look up the address of a restaurant at the same time.

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