A top Skype executive has announced in an interview with BBC News that the company is working on 3D video calling capabilities. The technology is far from complete, but in the works no less. Difficulty lies in the ability to place and calibrate multiple cameras on computers and especially phones in order to capture 3D images.
This news is a small step back from a recent note sent out by Microsoft, Skype’s father company, which detailed the idea of a “body double.” The letter explained that body doubles would give workers a “true seat at the table, the ability to look around the room, turn to a colleague and have a side conversation.”
3D Skyping seems like the logical next step for the company, even though the trend in 3D media, like movies and TV, is on a slow decline. While adding 3D capabilities to video calls might not prove to be as useful in business communications as body doubling, as Microsoft originally noted, another dimension would increase the realism of video calls for personal use. This would also give Skype a leg up against competitors like FaceTime, WhatsApp, Viber, GroupMe, and LINE.
The extra dimension could change the way we communicate long-distance. Skype is often used as the “next best thing” to actually being with co-workers and loved ones, and with 3D add-ons a working dad could actually feel like he is helping his daughter blow out candles or let grandma study fine wedding dress details from across the country. It might not be necessary, but it would certainly put things in a new perspective.