Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Does iPhone's FaceTime prove that we're in the future?

PopSci - 6.24.10 by Adam Frucci/Gizmodo

FaceTime in action Matt Buchanan/Gizmodo

Videocalling has been a sci-fi staple for decades. From 2001 to Back to the Future people chatting face-to-face from great distances was a way of saying "Hey, look, it's the future!" So does Facetime mean we're in the future?
But then, once you have fiddled with it and both acknowledged how neat it is, once you have showed off your surroundings, once you move onto a conversation about something other than FaceTime, things get a little weird.
FaceTime is Apple's stab at making videocalling a reality. They're certainly not the first: European and Asian phones have been able to do this for years, and the HTC Evo can do it quite handily. But Apple is pushing it hard at the mainstream with the iPhone 4.

Making a call on FaceTime is very cool, at first. You see who you're talking to! You talk about what you are doing, that being using a videocalling system built right into a phone. How cool! You can do neat things like flick the little thumbnail of yourself from corner to corner and flip between the front and back cameras. It's just neat.

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