The more that Internet-connected TVs start flying off shelves, so could other web activities such as video calling.
New research from NPD In-Stat predicts that the number of video callers in the living room will increase from 1.5 million in 2011 to 16.4 million in 2015.
As far as usage goes, the total amount of video calling minutes will approach 550 billion minutes in 2015, up from a pithy by comparison 141 million minutes in 2010. In-Stat also posits that we'll see the biggest jump and interest in video calling from living room tech in the Asia/Pacific region.
In-Stat senior analyst Amy Cravens explained in the report that although the mobile market is seeing the strongest surge in this area, other mediums are not to be neglected:
The integration of video calling with social networks, such as Skype’s integration with Facebook and Google+’s incorporation of Hangouts, is bringing a fresh perspective to video calling. Additionally, introducing this capability to the living room, enabling HDTV video chat, is an additional aspect of the market that is being endorsed by industry giant Microsoft as well as leading device OEMs including Panasonic, Samsung, and LG.
Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not consumers show enough interest in buying an Internet-connected TV with a built-in webcam. It's not quite the default feature like it is on laptops or even tablets just yet.
There are alternative configurations, such as webcams as accessories and Internet-connected set-top boxes. But there's definitely room to argue that most consumers are moving towards favoring all-in-one devices with minimal set-up but maximum connectivity and functionality.