Skype is working on 3D video calls says executive

Brittany A. Roston - Aug 30, 2013, 8:00pm CDT
Skype is working on 3D video calls says executive

In an interview with the BBC, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Skype, Mark Gillett, confirmed that the company is working on 3D video calling functionality. Though he warns that it will still be awhile before such a feature is available – and probably longer yet until it is widely adopted – he also states that he “can imagine a day” when 3D use is more widespread.

The interview was given on Skype’s 10th anniversary, and in it Gillett says that efforts have been under way in the labs to ascertain the abilities of 3D capture and 3D displays, and that while a lot of progress has been made in terms of 3D displays for delivery of the extra dimension, the sticking point lies with capture devices.

With 3D technologies — and specifically for this project, 3D video calls — the users would require cameras capable of recording a 3D video. This setup would require users to have multiple cameras connected to the computer, all of them calibrated to a precise degree in relation to each other and positioned properly.

Said Gillett: “We have [this technology] in the lab, we know how to make it work and we’re looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market … We’re in the first year of your TV at home potentially having a camera attached to it, but we’re several years away from the cameras capturing 3D in that context. You’ll see much more penetration of 3D on TVs, on computers and ultimately in smartphones, probably, ahead of seeing it for sending a video call.”

The subject of 3D video aside, the executive also said that Skype is looking into offering 1080p video calls to devices other than the Xbox One, and that laptops and tablets would gain this ability before smartphones because of the processing power requirements. He also touched on the subject of Sony, saying it is possible such could come to the PS4.


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