Monday, December 8, 2008

The Future is Now!

The age of the video phone is here.

As an early Christmas present, Grammy and Grandpop gave us a shiny new webcam, one that has a microphone to go along with its video capabilities. It's just the coolest thing. And now that we have downloaded Skype, which offers free, unlimited video phone service to those who have already paid for the webcam and the broadband connection, we are just zooming ahead into the Fantabulous Days Of Tomorrow. It makes you want to run out and get streamlined, stainless steel, Art Deco appliances.

I set up the camera tonight ("INSTRUCTIONS: insert cord into computer") and set about trying to figure out how this all worked. First, I needed someone to call, which meant trying to locate my brother Keith - the original Skype enthusiast in this progression - and his family. This turned out to be harder than I thought, and eventually I just sent him an email, and he called back. I'm not sure how they managed to do it, as I was off getting the girls ready for bed at the time, but Kim and Keith got us up and running on a video call. Then Kim came and got us, and we had a grand family confab up there on the big screen. Coolness.

Now, video phone calls have been the next big thing since I was a kid - the PHONE OF THE FUTURE (dum dum DAH dum)! - and, well, here they are. And you know what?

Video phones make me itch.

I can't help it. There I am, face to face with a camera, knowing that whatever I do is going to be seen by whomever I'm talking to, and all I can think of is how suddenly my nose itches. Clearly there are still a few bugs that need to be worked out with this system, though whether those bugs are with Skype or with me is an interesting question.

Tabitha and Lauren came down from their bedtime rituals to see, and were just fascinated by this whole process. And when Cousin Josh came online, well, the party was complete. Tomorrow we're going to try this with Grammy and Grandpop, and if we can make it work we'll get on a conference call with Keith, Lori and Cousins Josh and Sara.

The future is here, and I'll try not to scratch.

No comments: