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VoIP is real

Monday,  05/09/05  08:52 AM

So, VoIP is real.  It is a really big thing.  A "the world is going to be different now" kind of thing. 

If you're online and you're reading my blog, maybe this isn't news to you; most of my readers are geeks, and most geeks know VoIP is real.  But to my Mom, and your Mom, VoIP is the funny sound a ball makes when it hits a wall.  Their world is about to change, but they don't know it yet.

This morning I spoke with one of Aperio's field engineers in our London office.  He called me from his Vonage phone, so it looked like a local call from San Diego.  Incremental cost $0.  I called him back using Skype to the Vonage phone.  Incremental cost $.01.  Both calls were clear with a slight delay.  If we made those calls using landlines the incremental cost would have been several dollars apiece, depending on how long we spoke.  Over the course of a year, that adds up.  And it isn't just the savings in money; when the incremental cost of something is $0, you use it more often.  Communications between our offices are going to improve based on being able to speak about anything for $0, which will have an intangible benefit to our business.

And of course it isn't just voice over IP.  How soon before it is video over IP?  Very soon.  Apple showed the way with their amazing iChatAV.  Soon it is going to spread, and we'll all have cameras in our monitors just like we all have microphones in our laptops.  Soon Skype or something else will include video as well as audio, and you'll be able to have a video-call online with anyone anywhere for an incremental cost of $0.  Nobody doubts this is going to happen, right?