Friday, March 25, 2011

Video Phones

So there's this Trump endorsed company (ACN) that sells through network marketing. They have cell phones, voip, energy in some countries, and one quirky gadget that looks like a must have for every 80 year old who doesn't have a computer. To me that's really too small of a market to make any serious money off. It's a video phone, and the video phone has never caught on, and never will, for this reason: evolution.

Look at the evolution of the telephone. It was a single device that started out in the entry way of the home. No matter where you were in the home, you would have to relocate to its place in order to use it. And you couldn't wander far, for it did not have a long cord, you had to stay right at the phone to use it.

Next came phones that you could install in more than one room. You still had to stay near the plug in the wall, because the chords only stretched so far.

Then came the cordless phone! What an improvement! I could move 20 feet away from my phone before losing the signal. Or maybe even go outside! Around the same time as the cordless phone came the wireless phone (I may be off here in years, but it sounds about right), the one that only really important people had, such as doctors, lawyers and police chiefs. They could put that little phone in their man purse and look really important talking into it.

Eventually that little cell phone became ubiquitous, and like most technology I wait for it to work really really well before I adopt it. I finally got one in 2003 and eventually discontinued my home phone lines. (Although I still own my home phones. What to do with them?)

So the phone went from something anchored inside the house, to something you can take with you everywhere except maybe scuba diving. I also don't know how well they'd work on a space ship. Every time I fly I lose my signal. Oh, yeah I'm supposed to turn it off, huh? Well sometimes I remember to, sometimes I don't. But now, here's a new product that is, well, it's a phone! it's got a video screen! I'm guessing the other user has to have one as well in order for it to work.

This seems to be going backwards in evolution. With the video phone, you are back to being stuck inside the house in one location. You don't need a phone to have a video chat. All you need is a computer. And if you have a laptop, you can take it anywhere except the deep end of a pool and have your video chat on Skype or even Google. FOR FREE. Well, depending on your internet service... and the laptop isn't free but it can do so many more things!

The makers of this product didn't look at history. They didn't pay any attention to the evolution of the phone. Who wants another bulky piece of future electronic landfill to adorn their living room? Not me, and it's why I could never get behind a company that sells something this .. well.. un-evolved.

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