The future sure is not what it used to be. By the year 2000, according to futurists of the first half of the 20th century, everyone was supposed to be driving a nuclear-powered flying car, eating food in pill form and running errands around the city using a personal jet pack.
What happened to the future?
The majority of the predicted technologies never occurred because they proven to be undesirable, dangerous or far too expensive. However, a number of them really came true. One uncontroversial prediction was the video phone, which revealed as a standard element of daily life in matters such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, popular science magazines and The Jetsons.
Futurists predicted that in their future — our present — telephone calls would involve a TV display, and we’d have natural, face-to-face conversations instead of holding a gadget up to our faces for audio-only communication. Along with the futurists got it right — sort of. In fact, millions of video calls now happen daily. And the surprising fact is that the caliber and experience of these video calls can be massively better than futurists ever imagined.
Much more surprising is that we frequently don’t make the most of what is possible. The very best video phone experience is given through a big-screen TV, for an obvious reason: The display is quite big and probably faces some comfy sofas or chairs. TV-based video calls most closely simulate the experience of getting the caller seeing in your property.
Below are some methods to bring video calling to your TV.
Warpia ConnectHD Video Conferencing System – $139.99
There are three fundamental strategies to achieve TV-based video call nirvana. One is via a pc attached to your TV, another is via a smart TV and the third uses a special-purpose gadget attached to your TV.
The easiest is the first: linking a laptop or PC to a TV using a cable, like HDMI, then clicking over to that as your video source. From that point it is possible to use your computer’s camera and video conferencing software, and display it all over the TV.
That is an inelegant solution, but one you can probably implement now without extra purchases. One small improvement to this general approach can be made using a product known as the Warpia ConnectHD. It utilizes video conferencing software running on your PC or laptop. But instead of using your PC’s camera, it comes with its own, which you may place on top of the TV. And instead of working with a big, sloppy HDMI cable, then it utilizes wireless using a USB device that plugs into the pc.
Using the camera on top of or just below the TV is important with video calls, because it creates the illusion of eye contact.
Samsung 51-Inch Plasma 8000 Series Smart TV – $1,697.99
Samsung’s 51-inch plasma TV is a terrific all-around smart TV, with 3-D, apps, innovative motion gestures, voice command and face recognition. Additionally, it has something I think many TVs are going to have in the future: a built-in camera. Along with the TV comes with Skype built in too, so you may readily make living space video phone calls.
Future smart TVs from Samsung and other major TV giants will increasingly come with Google TV layouts, that will enable Google+ Hangouts as the video-conferencing system, and also other apps for doing video phone calls in fresh ways.
Logitech TV Cam HD – $199.99
Logitech and Skype offer a product called the Logitech TV Cam HD. The camera connects to the Internet within either Wi-Fi or ethernet, and links to TVs using HDMI. Logitech claims that any TV that supports HDMI will work with the item.
The camera itself is high definition and wide angle, so it will demonstrate the whole living space. However, you can zoom in if you desire using the included remote control unit. Four noise-canceling microphones cut down to any echo from a large room.
And you’re going to hear the phone ring if the TV is off.