Is Skype 3D Video Chat on the Way?
Are you ready for phone calls in three dimensions?
This week Skype confirmed it's working to make 3D video calling a reality, but the feature might have to wait until consumer technology catches up.
Microsoft's Sky vice President Mark Gillent told BBC News that it may be "years" before 3D calling becomes mainstream -- if ever.
"We've done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3D-screens and 3D-capture," Gillent said. "We've seen a lot of progress in screens and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image. But the capture devices are not yet there."
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Computing devices need at least two precisely-calibrated cameras in order to capture 3D video, CNET reports.
The technology is readily available, but few computers, tablets or smartphones have the capability built in.
And it's yet to be seen if 3D video will ever take off. ESPN and the BBC, among others, recently ditched 3D cable channels after they proved unpopular.
Skype is already working to make 2D chatting look better than ever.
An update to the Skype app released this month adds support for the iPad's HD front camera.
Skype has supported HD video calling for some time, but this marks the feature's debut on a mobile device outside of Windows Phone smartphones. Previously HD calling was available exclusively on desktop computer or on high-end Windows Phone platforms like the Lumia 925.
The feature isn't yet available on Android devices.
Only the fourth generation iPad supports HD calling, but it may come to other iOS devices including the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 in the future, Cult of Mac reports.
In addition to HD video calling the Skype iPad update includes "general improvements to call quality and stability." It's available for download from the App store.