Over the past week there were a couple of news items about video communications services:
- Out of Japan, Novac has released a product, Skype TV, that lets you stream your TV across Skype video. More commentary from Gizmodo.
- Last Monday came news about the forthcoming SightSpeedTV, a new feature to be included in SightSpeed’s next release at the end of the month.
But moving beyond the place-shifting domain, last week I had a demonstration of Tele3DWorld from Mellanium, a 3D design and modeling studio. Using 3D texture rendering CAD software with output via a video capture card, they have Skype or SightSpeed recognize it as a webcam for video.
One of the people behind this has already used it on a sales call for the remote dynamic 3D presentation of a new anode metal refining furnace where different types of refractory brick are used within the furnace depending on the high temperature profiles.. Using this tool, Joe was able to walk his customer through the interior of the proposed furnace, zeroing in on critical heat sensitive areas and showing how they have addressed issues related to the different types of brick. In another demonstration, he walked me through a tour of a proposed palliative care unit; a third demonstration is a walk around tour of a WWII Spitfire bomber, initially drawn up in AutoCAD.
In the course of my experience with desktop sharing or web conferencing services, one frustration has been the inability of web conferencing products to do 3D CAD viewing in real time within the desktop sharing tool sets due to the intense real time graphics demands. With video configurations such as demonstrated by Mellanium perhaps we can see this methodology become the standard for this business requirement.
Bottom line: Personal video services, such as Skype’s video and SightSpeed will eventually deliver more than basic video calling. They will require either special hardware (Novac) or TV-tuner-equipped PC’s, such as Windows Media PC’s (Mellanium and SightSpeed) as the video source. Obviously the creative juices are flowing in developing webcam emulations that can flow video through Skype and SightSpeed.