Geek Speak – Predictions from the Jetsons

By Oscar Myre IV
Valley Bugler Columnist

The Jetson’ TV Show from the 1960s made a lot of cool predictions of the future. Now is the future and I’m still waiting on my flying car and my transporter tube. But one of the predictions that is now here is the Video Phone. Jane Jetson used the video phone to chat with her Mom in the very first episode.
George later used some other video phones to talk with his Boss and even check in with his son Elroy. Modern day calls look remarkably similar to what was envisioned over 50 years ago. The major difference is that their “phones” just made calls. Today you can video conference on phones, tablets and computers that can do a lot more than just video conference.
When I was a kid, we didn’t have fancy video conferencing like those Jetsons. We made calls on phones that were connected to the wall. And we liked it. ~:-)
There have been a lot of changes in how we connect with computers.
iChat
The first call that I remember using iChat was made from a Mac to a Mac. It was 10+ years ago. My wife Michelle and I used Apple iChat to make a Video Call with her Parents. We both used iSight cameras. We could see them and they could see their granddaughter. My parents had a Windows machine so we installed AOL Instant Messenger and configured a Logitech camera. Our very first mobile video call was when we used a camera on our laptop and were able to show them our house and baby’s room.
Skype
We later found that Skype worked great on Macs & Windows. Michelle and I were involved with a ministry that offered counseling to a couple in Brazil. They had a camera, and we were able to connect with them from Longview. Counselor Jim said that the use of video allowed him to see important body language that he would have missed over the phone.
The two major problems with the early connections:
1) they took a lot of configuring and/or investment.
2) the Internet wasn’t so fast so the video quality could be better.
FaceTime (Video Calls on Smart Phones)
When we got our first iPhones with FaceTime we were able to turn a phone call into a video call with just a tap of a button. This was the first time I experienced mobile Video Calls. Both callers did have to be connected to a WiFi network so it had its limitations, but you didn’t have to be connected to a computer. There was a bit of configuring to do, and making sure you were near WiFi to make a call. Now FaceTime and other video calls on other smart phones can call from wherever they are connected to the Internet.
For Business
And now like George Jetson we can make video calls to our boss or clients. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in other states using WebEx and Zoom in recent years. I even did a web training recently with a client in Italy.
I love when technology can be used to help people connect.
But even with all the advancement in calls, I’m still a little jealous of the Mask that Jane used when making her calls before she had her hair done.

Oscar Myre IV is the Creative Director & Owner at omOriginals Marketing! a Washington based Web firm for over sixteen years. Serving National and International clients of all sizes. Call them at (360)575-9839 or omOriginals.com

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