I remember the "PicturePhone"... I was going to buy one as soon as they
where available. Something went wrong, however, and along with those
thousands of Popular Science covers it never made it to market.
I've been using the MBONE for a few years now. It's a cool experiment
which is not quite ready for prime time. I think it will be at some
point, perhaps soon. There's still some technology issues and many
routing and policy issues to be solved but meanwhile the applications
The first application as audio. Next came video. I recently watched
Vint Cerf give a talk from Japan as I sat in my office in Boston. It
was great - I could understand everything and even view his graphs.
I enjoyed the talk and almost forgot the technology which brought it to
me (this is a good sign).
Now that sound cards and video capture cards are cheap (a reasonable
video capture card is now $99) I would think that video conferencing
over the Internet is going to increase. I ran into "cu-seeme" the
other day. It seems popular in many circles (including, unfortunately
people who like to sell sex). Mitch Kapor once said that it was
pornography which made the VCR take off. No doubt chat+video
conferencing will make the MBONE grow. Personally I'm happy not to
have to board an air plane.