Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mobile Video Calling -- The Importance of High Quality Cameras & Ease of Use

I have written several times about the significant opportunity presented by mobile video calling. Network conditions must be "right", of course, for even the "right" cell phones to effectively enable compelling two-way video calling for consumers. The rest of the world is much more advanced in this regard right now than the U.S.

But, the carriers are catching on, and network conditions are improving significantly and will continue to improve given the accelerating importance to consumers of video -- and, accordingly, the accelerating business case for carriers and others in the mobile food chain.

For effective mobile video, camera-equipped cell phones must improve as well, and this too is happening -- expect significant continued improvements in the quality of camera-equipped cell phones throughout 2007. Consumers are fast becoming comfortable with taking pictures with their cell phones as camera quality and ease of use have improved, given that those phones are with them 24/7 (unlike digital cameras). This unique "with-you-at-all-times" aspect of cell phones -- and the serendipity facilitated thereby -- presents unique opportunities for mobile video as well (including live two-way video calling and "see what I'm seeing").

I'll be watching closely and reporting on developments in this regard throughout 2007.