Today is the day - queues at Apple stores around the world of people waiting to get their hands on Apple's latest piece of tech. It sounds like a fantastic piece of kit, and I would love to have one (if I hadn't just splashed out on a Nikon DSLR camera then I might have been tempted). The feature I have been most interested in is the video chat application that Apple has come up with, FaceTime.
As I wrote in my previous post, this could kick start the video communications market, a feat that others have tried previously but with limited success. You may also know that one of the other topics I am following closely, and for which Aculab has a great product, is HD voice. Both technologies have much potential, but share a common problem - if you don't have the same technology at each end of the call and the ability for the call to traverse the network in the middle un-hindered, then you do not get the benefit. You will end up with 'capability islands'. Your new iPhone 4 can communicate as a phone with any other phone worldwide, but you can only video chat with another iPhone 4 owner. Similarly, if you have an HD voice enabled phone (such as those customers of Orange in the UK involved in the HD voice trials) then you can call another HD voice phone on the same network and get a high quality call.
Whilst Aculab does not itself sell phones for HD voice or video, what we can do is provide the core network technology that can join these islands so that the benefit of the improved communication technology can be spread. So perhaps whilst queuing for your iPhone 4 you should make friends with the person next to you so you have someone to video chat with.