Apple’s iChat AV, iSight ‘powerful’ but ‘lack of ubiquity’ could be blindspot

“Every once in a while you get a taste of what the Internet would be like if it were left to a few private enterprises. One glaring example is the deplorable state of instant messaging , which, in part because of balkanization, has failed to reach the level of popularity enjoyed by plain old e-mail. Another is the paucity of high-speed DSL and cable Internet connections, which demonstrates how major service providers create islands of connectivity. It seems that private enterprises, left to their own devices, have a tough time supporting the ubiquitous and open connectivity that has been the hallmark of the government-funded Internet throughout its 30-year history,” writes Tiernan Ray for E-Commerce Times.

Ray writes, “Chat’s ruinous state is particularly unfortunate, for it threatens to set back promising initiatives that might use this technology as a foundation. In particular, lack of ubiquity in instant messaging could hobble Apple Computer’s latest breakthrough product, a camera and software package for videoconferencing that is very good.”

“Released last month, Apple’s iSight, which retails for US$149.95, is a terrific little video camera that hooks up to a Macintosh via Firewire and delivers excellent real-time videoconferencing over the Internet when used over a broadband cable connection. In conjunction with a new multimedia version of Apple’s iChat software, iSight delivers fluid motion and crisp images, and it also can be used without video as a form of Internet phone calling. I’ve been testing iSight and iChat A/V, as the program is called, for about a week with various friends and family members. The overall effect is powerful,” writes Ray.

Full article here.

5 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The competitive marketplace for instant messaging closely resembles the political landscape of Afghanistan — separate fiefdoms controlled by rival warlords or, in other words, chaos.

    The lack of cooperation undermines the power of IM technology, and applications such as iSight and iChat A/V. If the lines between various IM systems/clients were transparent, as with ordinary e-mail, we might well see another revolution in the way we communicate.

    The article does miss one issue: What to do about dinosaur IS departments in companies such as mine that simply ban the use of IM programs, despite the obvious power (or perhaps because of the power) of the technology.

  2. Definitely no excuse for not opening the standard if IM/chat! I prefer using whatever application I can to IM, I should have to download 4-5 darn IM apps to converse with friends of other IM services — AOL, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, etc… It’s ridiculous that the corporate society needs to control the market for their interest rather than innovate properly so the consumer can pick and choose freely. It’s getting to the point where the all the Gov’ts from around the world need to step in and push for more open standards for anything relating to the World Wide Web. ‘NO ONE SHOULD BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST’ because they’re not running Windows and/or using Internet Explorer any other closed standard OS/Browser platform and anything else related!

  3. Typos Typos Typos… If you first don’t suceed, try again :-

    Definitely no excuse for not opening the standard of IM/chat! I prefer using whatever application I can to IM, I should not have to download 4-5 darn IM apps to converse with friends of other IM services — AOL, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, etc… It’s ridiculous that the corporate society needs to control the market for their own interest rather than innovate properly so the consumer can pick and choose freely. It’s getting to the point where the all the Gov’ts from around the world need to step in and push for more open standards for anything relating to the World Wide Web. ‘NO ONE SHOULD BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST’ because they’re not running Windows and/or using Internet Explorer any other closed standard OS/Browser platform and anything else related!

  4. Agree with Thalen. The huge corporation I work in embraced IM and it has been a boom in increasing overall efficiency. People talk more often with each other and share much more information.

    As for the lack of standards, they’ll soon come, sooner than later as companies start choosing one of them. For example, we use Lotus SameTime, which is based on AIM (as Apple’s iChat). Maybe MS will lose this battle in the business market.

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