Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Skype Me?!?

"What on earth is a skype??"

The digital natives already know. But those of us who are digital immigrants need help. What does it mean when V-Team says, "See you on Skype?"
U.S. travelers that currently live abroad could probably tell you. Skype is a type of software that basically allows people to make phone calls over the internet. It's like installing a phone on your computer. E-bay purchased it in 2005 for 2.6 billion. And since then, Skype has kaboomed internationally in economic growth and number of users. In some cases, there may be some cell or service charges attached, but for the most part it's long-distance service gone free and global.
The best part about Skype is its video capability. For me, it's like George and Judy Jetson's world meets reality. It's that Saturday morning cartoon come true. I remember thinking it was just about the best idea ever that the people on 'The Jetsons' could actually talk and SEE each other -- like Judy did when she was on the tv/phone. And, well, we didn't know it at the time, but Judy was logged on to a sci-fi predecessor of Skype.
When internet or Wi-Fi is available, V-Team can connect and talk to you, only audio. Or if you have a small camera installed on your computer, you can see them, too! Most Macs come with a camera already installed. But Wal-Mart sells a little clip-on accessory for as little as $30.
As a parent, it's hard to describe how fabulous this technology is when your kid is traveling across the globe. It was such a huge comfort to see a sleepy but safe Andrew in the airport, real time. But for less parental people everywhere, it's just a new & visual way to communicate.
Want more information? Go to: http://www.skype.com/

No comments: