You know me. I reflexively pull back when I smell overhype. My B.S. detector, just like the volume setting of that guitar player on "Spinal Tap," routinely goes to"11" on a scale of ten.
Yet earlier today at NXTcomm, I gave in to the absolute coolness of AT&T's Video Share. There I was in a conference room at the back of the show floor, holding a Samsung handset, exchanging live videos over a cell connection with a very well-informed AT&T Wireless marketing type from Atlanta.
Video and accompanying sound were crisp. We're talking 15 frames per second- not movie quality but not the pixel-y glop you get from some other connections.
VideoShare is now being tested in three markets. That'd be San Antonio, via SBC's acquisition of "the old" AT&T now the home base of "the new" AT&T; Atlanta, where Cingular Wireless was based, and Dallas,too.
Expect a wave of new market rollouts by the end of next month, reflecting all of AT&T;s 160 3G-enabled metros. More or less full deployment by end of 2007.
I definitely envision some relevant applications (didn't say killer app) for Video Share.
Phone your spouse from the farmer's market- zero in on prospective purchases. Hey, Kenny is coming up to bat in his Little League game- Video Share a call to your husband (presumably the kid's father, heh) on a business trip. You're sitting in gridlocked 5 p.m. traffic- hey I'll be home late, honey, here's some live video about how traffic looks. Realtor to client: here's the kitchen. Bids due on this house by 5 p.m. Should I go for it?
Subscriptions to Video Share seem more than reasonable to me. $4.99 a month for 25 minutes; $9.99 a month for 60 minutes, pay as you go for 35 cents a minute.
Compatible handsets so far: Samsung a707, a717, a727, and the LG CU500w. By the way, all three Samsung's I mentioned totally rock in the form factor dept.
Final thought: it will be interesting to go to an AT&T Wireless store and see how many of the iPhone fanatics notice the Video Share signage and decide- quite against the dominant iPhone maniameme- that a Video Share-compliant device and subscription is quite the most right decision for them at this moment in time.