I’d like to continue to add to last week’s post. There I made the point that, although we are certainly using technology more and more for communication, human beings will always rely on (and get the most joy from) face-to-face interaction. Some of you may have heard of the iPhone 4. It’s Apple’s new smartphone that’s selling faster than borscht at a Mennonite Church potluck. One of the most advertised features of the iPhone 4 is “FaceTime,” a video conferencing technology that allows you to chat with friends, family, and enemies face-to-face. When Apple launches the next generation iPod Touch (tomorrow) and iPad, they’ll bring this feature to the entire platform.
I’ve been following Apple for a long time, and they are actually often behind the curve in technology. Cell phones with front-facing video chatting cameras have been around for a long time. And computers with webcams have been on shelves for years. Video chatting has been out there. But what’s interesting about Apple is that they don’t bring a product to market until they think the market is ready and, more importantly, until they think the technology is ready. Video chatting has been fraught with complications: cruddy cameras, poor internet connections, and really badly written software. Apple has put a decent camera in the iPhone, writes great software, and is only allowing you to use wifi for FaceTime (not over the phone network). What this means is very simple: the world is finally ready for video conferencing. Technology has progressed to the point that your 84 year-old grandmother will be able to video chat without asking you for tech support.
And here’s the whole point: while the world (read: the older generation) has screamed and cried about the lack of face-to-face interaction, technology is slowly bringing us back. And the world (read: the older generation) will have no problem embracing this technology when they realize how easy it is.
In other words: we’re heading back to face-to-face, and that’s a good thing.
PS. Check out the video