Vonage video phone? Feh!!

Earlier today (probably "yesterday," as you read this), Vonage CEO Jeff Citron said that his company would sell videophones and offer a videophone service by the end of March.My colleague Ben Carny reports that the phone will resemble the VisiFone II, from broadband video hardware supplier Viseon.

Earlier today (probably "yesterday," as you read this), Vonage CEO Jeff Citron said that his company would sell videophones and offer a videophone service by the end of March.

My colleague Ben Carny reports that the phone will resemble the VisiFone II, from broadband video hardware supplier Viseon.

There are studies that point to a huge value add for Vonage, but here's where the contrarian in me comes out. They've been talking about video phones for 40 years- even before the ArpaNet. If it was so vital a technology, it would have caught on by now.

The most rapidly adaptable technologies address an inner need of our communicative species. Phone conversations where you can see the other party are not hard wired into our genes. That's why Video VoIP won't recruit hordes of on-the-fencers for Vonage. It will simply be a nice addition to the service set.

I'm hip to video conferencing, and have been in my share of them. But the major video conferences are done via satellite, or via collaboration platforms such as Net Meeting.The enterprise won't take this seriously, and neither will all but a few curious residential subscribers.

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