With the invention of the telephone and the motion picture camera occurring within 15 years of each other, the fantasy of combining the two has been part of the collective consciousness for over a century. Now that it's here, we're wondering if we really wanted it after all.
Telstra has pulled the curtain up on its first desktop video phone, a standard-looking handset and dial-pad made cool with a 7-inch touchscreen display. The phone runs on the telco's IP telephony Next IP and offers HD voice-calling in addition to streaming video. The VVX 1500 Business Media Phone is, as its name suggests, a product pitched at businesses and government departments, making it really only good for one thing: letting you see just how mad your boss is with you.
The picture provided by Telstra says it all; the angry look on the woman's face in the main display window, the sheepish, hang-dog look on the poor sod's face in the top-right corner. Getting blasted over the phone is bad enough, but now the VVX 1500 can show you the flecks of frothy spit flying towards you as your superior demands to know why report X contains errors and report Y still isn't finished.
The VVX 1500 could also bring you good news too we suppose, but considering video calls can only occur between two compatible handsets on the Next IP network, chances are the only people you'll know with one are your boss and his boss. Still, this slavish vision of the near future still tops many other dystopic future visions (read: the terrifying man-nappy worn by Sean Connery in Zardos).