Skype has become ubiquitous when it comes to video calling but it is heavily used for one to one video calls from personal devices such as phones, tablets, or laptops. Microsoft is overcoming this by making it easier to Skype from your living room and to have group calls involving more than two parties.
Microsoft continues to advertise Skype as a way of bringing people together. The recent rebranding of Lync as ‘Skype for Business’ focused on bringing people together in the workplace and Skype for TV focuses on bringing people together at home. Skype for TV accomplishes this by addressing two major setbacks when it comes to having multiple people Skype from within a room, fitting multiple people into a frame, and trying to share a device while Skyping.
Personal devices have webcams with very small frames that struggle to fit more than one person. The Samsung Smart TV has a built in webcam with a larger frame which is much more capable of including a group of people. Personal devices are also quite awkward to hold if more than one person is trying to be on camera at once. Samsung’s smart TV overcomes this by having the web cam built in to the television. Many living rooms are set up to face televisions so the conversation feels much more organic.
In the past group calls between more than two locations came at an extra cost but Microsoft has been changing that over the last year. Group calling already switched to a free service for Windows desktop, Mac, Xbox One, Windows tablets, and Windows 2 in 1’s over the last year. Skype 4.0 on TV works with the 2014 Samsung Smart TV and now will also be able to make group calls for free. Skype is viewed as a way of making the world feel smaller and the ability to make group calls for free from your living room will only enhance that view.