I am convinced after speaking with Paul Amery of Skype at TMC’s recent Communications Developer Conference that one serious killer application in our market is the integration of VoIP applications and ecosystems of partners. Now I use VoIP loosely in this article… IP communications is a more accurate term.
The point is, adding services like avatars to conversations and embedding games is an amazing way to extend the functionality of a conversation.
Paul gave the example of how playing checkers while Skyping with his family kept the kids on the phone much longer than a Skype call alone. Checkers is just one of the applications bundled into Skype as an Extra.
Remember, we are in an ADD (attention defecit disorder) society. This point was driven home at a TMC team lunch last week when one of my coworkers said his son’s baseball team consisted of 15 kids wanting to play catcher. Another coworker commented that 10 years ago no one wanted to play catcher. It seems in today’s ADD driven society kids need to keep themselves busy at all times (as well as many adults by the way. Can you say Crackberry? 😉 )
For the corporate ADD sufferer, we have similar solutions such as collaboration solutions like WebEx to keep others paying attention.
VoIP isn’t needed to have this added value but a VoIP client supporting easy to access libraries of applications is what Skype has on its hands. Ten years ago it would have been impossible to guess IP communications would be the enabler of vast communities consisting of millions of people who start with a phone call and end up playing games and/or transforming themselves into farm animals or other avatars as they converse.
Now that we’ve arrived at this point, one wonders what’s next.